I have many posts about ways to make your marriage better that all involve doing something for or with your partner. But did you know that there are also ways to make your marriage better that don't involve interacting with your partner at all? If you really feel distant or angry, these are often easier options, and they can start changing your perspective for the better so that you're in a more tolerant and positive place when you do try to engage with him in the future.
1. Watch your wedding DVD.
If you enjoyed your wedding day, this can be a welcome reminder that the person you once loved is still around, although he may act different now. Listening to the music and seeing all your friends and family can make you feel happy again. And you don't have to worry about what your husband is thinking when watching it, like about how much you've changed too, because you're watching it alone.
2. Talk to friends that like him.
Get the conversation around to the topic of your partner and his good qualities. Often, hearing about these qualities from other people can give you a fresh perspective on your marriage.
3. Find some early mementos of your life together.
Did you save letters, emails, IMs, wedding memorabilia, ticket stubs? Spend some time looking at these and remembering the positive times.
4. Write a list of your husband's top 10 good traits.
You don't have to share it. This is only for you to personally see if you can jolt yourself into some positive feelings toward your partner.
5. If you have kids, enlist them to make a special card or project for Dad.
When you can see how much your kids love your husband, this often can soften your feelings toward that jerk. I mean, toward your darling.
6. Write out the top 10 ways you contribute to the problems in the marriage.
This one is great because it focuses your brain on what you and you alone can work on. Focusing on your partner's less-than-ideal traits usually does less than nothing to help you two get along better.
7. Read marriage books.
If you're new to this blog, my top two recommendations for rethinking your marriage on a deep level are Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love and Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition. I also like Marriage Confidential and Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence if your main issue is you're bored, restless, and dissatisfied.
8. Get a makeover.
Or at least put on some non yoga pants. When you feel good about yourself, you feel happier with everyone. And you feel less like a dissatisfied wife and more like the hot ticket you used to be in the wedding video era.
9. Plan a couples vacation.
Even if you have no intention or possibility of going, research shows that just planning a vacation can improve mood. Who knows, maybe you'll want to share this plan with him sometime in the future and make it happen.
10. Write a thank you letter.
Write your spouse a letter that you have no intention of showing him, listing the various things he has done over the years that have made you feel good. You may not feel intimate enough to send this letter today, but just thinking about nice things that have been done for you can change your perspective about your husband and about your relationship.
Try one of these every day for the next week and tell me how it goes! And until we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Loves Homework Assignments.