It is easy when we are unhappy in our marriage to let our emotions get away from us.

For example, normally if our spouse has had a bad day at work and is stressed when he or she returns home, we may encourage or comfort them. We may even give them a little massage or do other things that will help alleviate their stress.

But when we are fighting or unhappy in our relationship, we may let that loving concern be replaced with blame, criticism, anger, or just ignoring our spouse’s pain. Or, we may internalize our spouse’s unhappiness or stress and somehow believe our spouse is blaming us and so we might get defensive.

At times like these, it’s important to check our emotions.

Don’t let every little look, smile, comment, frown, or other body language turn into all-out war.

For example:

  • Don’t assume that look means your spouse thinks you did something wrong – he just may have an upset stomach.
    • Don’t play fortune teller and think you know what your spouse is thinking – their comment is directed at you only if it’s directed at you.
    • Don’t automatically doubt your spouse or believe that they are doing something intentional to hurt you if they come home late from work one day – they really may not have finished their report on time and so had to stay late to finish.

Learn to give the benefit of the doubt. Learn to not take or make things so serious. Learn to choose your battles. Lighten up! Smile. Laugh. Learn to take things in stride.

If you can make these changes, the outcome will be worth it. If nothing else good happens, at least you won’t be the cause of starting a fight over a perceived slight.

So, give it a shot. What is there to lose?

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