It’s Your Choice – Negative or Positive

Get off the Bench

Do any of the following statements (both ones people like to hear and ones people don’t like to hear) seem familiar to you and your partner?

You and your partner probably have things that you say to one another quite often.

Do any of the following phrases (both ones you like to hear and ones you don’t like to hear) seem familiar to you and your spouse?

Negative Comments

    • What did you do all day around here?
    • What is your problem?
    • No.
    • I’m still thinking about it.
    • Give me a break.
    • You always…
    • What did you say?
    • Why didn’t you… ?
    • It’s all your fault!
    • I told you…
    • You’re just like your mother/father.
    • Why is it always my fault?
    • You never…
    • You don’t love me anymore.
    • Is dinner ready yet?
    • You don’t listen.
    • You’re damn fool
    • My way is the only way.
    • And what have you been up to?
    • I’m tired.
    • Forget it.
    • I don’t care.

Positive Comments

    • I was just thinking about how much fun we had when we met.
    • I love you.
    • Thanks.
    • That’s neat… great job!
    • Thanks for marrying me.
    • Let’s eat out tonight.
    • You look super.
    • I’m so glad we’re married.
    • I’ll help.
    • Our kids couldn’t ask for a better mom/dad.
    • Like a back rub?
    • Let’s do something fun together… a movie or a walk?
    • I need your help.
    • Are you feeling alright?
    • Can we find a babysitter? I’d like to be alone with you.
    • Life with you is a joy.

Bottom Line

If you don’t think you are using the positive comments enough, work at using them more in your daily talks with one another.If you respond to one another without really thinking first about how it might sound to your partner, start thinking before allowing the negativity to take over.

Dr John

Restoring Trust and Faith

If you have violated the boundaries of your relationship by doing something harmful like lying, being unfaithful, spending money you had agreed not to spend, keeping a secret that affected your partner in a negative way, telling a secret that embarrassed or betrayed your partner there are steps you can take to begin restoring trust and integrity back into to your relationship.

  • First thing first.  Acknowledge that you messed up. Take 100% accountability.  You could do this in writing or face-to-face.  If you do it in writing make sure you follow it up with a face to face talk.  Make sure you don’t blame anyone else or offer excuses or reasons that let you off the hook in terms of responsibility. Just describe what you did. This is not the time for reasons and extenuating circumstances.  Leave that to another time.  Only discuss the facts of the situation and skip the commentary which may be difficult to do.  We often get caught up in the commentary which doesn’t help the situation.
  • Apologize! Apologize! Apologize!!!! Offer an apology and ask your partner if there is anything you can do to rectify things. If possible, make amends in the way they requests. Note exactly what they tell you.  Do not negotiate.  Accept fully what they are telling you.  You may find it helpful to write it down in a contract format with a time frame where you will handle what you need to.
  • Begin assuring your partner that you won’t betray them in the future.  Then make sure you follow through with all the actions you have promised to complete.  Be honorable about your future behavior. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked.
  • If you feel you may be unable to follow through, be honest and let your partner know before the problem grows or reappears.

Dr. JohnImage