Here’s how one true life couple, Josie and Sam, turned things around using a proactive approach to communication.

How to have a positive marriage

Josie always wanted things her way and pouted if they didn’t work out just how she had planned. She thought the whole world should think as she thought. Raise your hand if you’re guilty…

As the youngest child in the family, she’d grown up with everyone loving and catering to her. She'd been given everything she ever wanted, so it’s only natural she would step into a relationship expecting the same.

When Josie married Sam, her life changed completely. She adored Sam and they were very good friends, but she was angry at the beginning of their marriage because she wanted things her way without compromise. She didn’t want to go to work every day or do the laundry or clean up the apartment.

After a severe temper tantrum, she sat in the living room crying. Sam knelt beside her and told her he wanted her to be happy. His kind words, in contrast to her angry ones, caused her to really look at herself, and she realized she didn’t like her angry self. She talked with her girlfriends and found they were also struggling with adjustments in their marriages. She realized that she needed to discuss things with Sam if she wanted to be happy.

She told Sam it was hard for her to keep up with all the responsibility of the home. She was tired after work and didn’t want to be left with so many household jobs. The two of them outlined a plan. They organized the housework so each of them had daily chore assignments. That way they could keep their household running smoothly together, and still have time for fun.

Josie and Sam were successful in their marriage because both were willing to be open to new ways. There is a lot more to their healing process than can be told here. But I admire Josie because she let go of her pampered life and, with a constructive attitude, learned to adjust and share.

Positive energy found its way into Josie and Sam's relationship because of their ability to be proactive and solution-focused. They stayed away from blame-games and finger-pointing.

8 Simple ways to refresh your own relationship

Take a moment to assess and address what might be hindering your marriage, and learn these lessons from Josie and Sam.

1. Get real: Ask yourself, “Are your childhood beliefs or habits negatively affecting your relationship?”

2. Get tough: If so, are you willing to let them go?

3. Get honest: Try journaling your ideas first, to help you sort them out, and then discuss them with your spouse.

4. Get going: Notice your negative thinking patterns and release them.

5. Get positive: Replace them with positive ones.

6. Get a break: Take a timeout when you find yourself heating up.

7. Get together: Visualize a positive outcome as you work with your partner.

8. Get gracious: Practice giving to others.

Entering a relationship is like walking on holy ground. To be invited into another person's space is a sacred experience. To know the soul of another is a true blessing, so cherish it.
Christy Monson established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her books, Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen, and Becoming Free: A Woman's Guide To Internal Strength are publ... Read More