"Really? 15 seconds can change my marriage?"
Yes, it sure can! One of the techniques I guide many of my clients through is the 15 second expression of admiration and appreciation. Sounds simple? Guess what, it is!
Expressing appreciation for something recent and specific is like gold in a relationship. I mean, who doesn't like hearing words of appreciation?
Dr. Gottman refers often to the 4 horsmen, one of which is Contempt. Contempt is the number 1 marriage killer. The antidote to contempt is... yes, you got it, admiration and appreciation.
So I teach my clients to express admiration every day, which takes about 15 seconds each way. It has to be something specific, recent and about their relationship. Some examples may be...
"I really appreciated you bringing up a cup of coffee to the bedroom this morning"
"I admired how patient you were with me and my mother this afternoon when we all went shopping"
"I loved how you got yourself looking all nice and done up for our date, it made me feel close to you"
I can't begin to tell you how many times, when I introduce this exercise, couples tell me that they have never spoken like this to each other, or if they did, it was many years ago.
Knowing that each day you are instructed to express appreciation to your partner puts you in a different mindset. You are now looking for the positives rather than the negatives. It is less likely you will have a heart of resentment, anger, frustration and contempt.
So do you have 15 seconds a day?
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