HOW TO SMOOTH YOUR RE­LA­TION­SHIP HANG-UPS

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - RELATIONSHIPS -

● Avoid in­tim­i­dat­ing, de­mean­ing, lec­tur­ing and crit­i­cis­ing (iron­i­cally, all things I tend to do in my mar­riage). Ev­ery hu­man be­ing wants to be shown enough re­spect to change. ● Tell your spouse that chang­ing his be­hav­iour will ben­e­fit him di­rectly be­cause you will be hap­pier and more re­laxed. ● Load­ing dish­wash­ers turns out to be one of the most fraught house­hold tasks be­cause we fall into three dis­tinc­tive pat­terns: ‘Pro­tec­tors’ care­fully load the ma­chine so that all the cut­lery is han­dle up and any­thing not cleaned prop­erly is im­me­di­ately hand-washed; ‘Cu­ra­tors’ make sure that the plates are al­ways in size or­der; and ‘Or­gan­is­ers’ just want to load and un­load as quickly as pos­si­ble. There is no point in ar­gu­ing who is right or wrong if you are not dish­washer com­pat­i­ble. ● Try not to ar­gue in front of the chil­dren but if you do, prac­tise dam­age con­trol im­me­di­ately. Ex­plain to your chil­dren that adults have strong feel­ings too, but that you still love each other. ● If you want to avoid di­vorce or sep­a­ra­tion look for the good. The small­est ges­tures, a smile or show­ing af­fec­tion, ap­pre­ci­a­tion, even ad­mi­ra­tion will help in­crease your ra­tio of pos­i­tive to neg­a­tive in­ter­ac­tions and in­crease your chances of stay­ing to­gether.

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