How Happy Couples Deal
Did you ever wonder how happy couples deal with resentful or anxious feelings? How happy couples deal with feelings of hopelessness or loneliness? So, are you feeling resentful, anxious, distant, or lonely in your relationship? Whether you have been dating two months or married 10 years, things can go south all too easily in couples. Yet there is nothing quite as painful as when things are falling apart, when you know that your love might be lost forever. Can I turn it all around, you wonder? Is it even possible now to learn how happy couples deal with pain?
How Happy Couples Deal with Self-Sabotaging Beliefs
Well I have great news for you. It is possible. If you have the courage to go for it. All you need is to follow my three simple steps and you can learn how happy couples deal with the pain of everyday life. Here is the three-step secret sauce, adapted from my newly revised 10th anniversary edition of Love in 90 Days.
First, identify what I call your Relationship-Killer Beliefs. These are your self-sabotaging beliefs like, “All men are jerks,” or “I can’t make an intimate relationship work.” These relationship killer beliefs kick in when you are in love and problems arise in the couple. So instead of dealing with what is actually happening you go on an emotional rant in your mind. Let’s look at two Relationship-Killer beliefs described in an email that Joanne, one of our Love Mentor clients recently sent me:
Relationship Killer Beliefs In Action
Dear Dr. Diana,
Love in 90 Days just saved my relationship. I was ready to break up with my boyfriend of 10 months because he was recently divorced and not meeting my emotional needs. I was out of town for the holidays and contemplating if this would be the last time we would be together. When I got to his house he had a big smile on his face and was so loving… but that wasn’t good enough for me. I had to punish him for all the times he wasn’t loving so I was standoffish.
While sitting next to him watching the football game, I began reading your book and read for several hours while completely ignoring his love advances; something I’m always complaining that he doesn’t give me enough of. Finally got to the killer beliefs. I had killer belief #5 “This is not exactly right.” and #6 “Relationships mean that one person has to give him- or her-self up”. But what really hit home was the research that unhappy couples discount their mate’s actions because they don’t think they have good intentions. Of course, happy couples focus on the good intentions. Obviously, that’s how happy couples deal so much better with each other and accept each other with love.
Joanne Becomes Self-Aware
BINGO! That has been me all the way. I want my boyfriend to behave a certain way and when he does, instead of encouraging him and being happy, I punish him because he wasn’t doing it all along! Yet, I am so thankful that he has loved me enough to not throw me out on my butt. The first light bulb just came on! Because of all my killer beliefs in action we went to bed with a little tension between us. I kept laying there thinking, Joanne, you are so blowing it here. Also kept thinking negatively about my boyfriend lying right next to me and all he doesn’t do.
How Happy Couples Deal: Journaling
After you have identified your Killer Beliefs, like Joanne did, journal about them and compare them to what is truly going on in your relationship. Let’s continue with her breakthrough story.
I got up about 3 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep because of a sudden head cold. Took your book into the kitchen with me and read it while getting some cold medicine. Wrote down my Killer beliefs and then made out a long list of all the great loving things my boyfriend had done. I felt freed of an enormous burden.
How Happy Couples Deal: Create a Love Intention
Finally, create what I call a Love Intention, which is a one statement affirmation about the kind of super happy couple relationship you would like to create. If it feels right, also help create one for your partner. Let’s see how Joanne did it:
Then I got to the part about creating a Love Intention and focusing on what you “want” instead of what you don’t have. I created the love intention, “Jon and I have an exciting, fulfilling, growing, passionate, and nurturing relationship. We learn how a happy couple deals with pain and stress.” I kept meditating on this. When I got a negative thought about my boyfriend, I pushed it aside and mentally repeated the intention. Then I decided to make one for my boyfriend who is always trying to explain to me that he loves me but he needs his man time. I went back to bed.
When we woke up I told him about my love intention and that anytime I had a negative thought about him or our relationship that I am going to meditate on my intention instead of what I don’t have. Then I told him that I created one for him to which he quickly replied, “You can’t do that.” But then I said,” Just hear it. I told him that the the love intention I created for him was, “Joanne and I have a growing relationship that is balanced with the perfect amount of togetherness and independence.” He loved it! He only wanted to add one thing. He said put “happy” in there so that it would read “a growing and happy couple that deals with life together.” He kept saying it over and over until he memorized it. Then he said, “That really empowers me.”
The rest of the morning was beautiful. We talked in bed. He made me breakfast. I put on cute clothes, fixed my hair, and put on a little makeup (something he likes). Jon told me I was so sexy. He was so attentive and loving (what I want). Jon asked me if I wanted to workout with him at my gym tomorrow. He’s hasn’t asked me that in 4 months. When I was leaving he gave me a big hug. Then he told me he’d call me later to see if I needed anything for my cold. Diana, everything I wanted just materialized by making a shift in my thinking which came from following your book.
I now realize that my man isn’t the problem, I am the problem! Over analyzing, being negative, and pushing him away. I am so thankful to your book and that I picked it up and started reading it at just the right time. If not, I would have let this good man go and not know how a happy couple deals with everyday stuff.
Three Steps to Becoming a Happy Couple
So there you have it. Use these three simple steps, Identifying your Relationship-Killer Beliefs; Journal about them and what is happening in your relationship; and creating a Love Intention for you (and possibly your partner). Then go ahead and continue to learn how a happy couple deals with each other easily and effortlessly!
And be sure to visit our Happy Couples page for a lot more information on this topic!
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Dr. Diana Kirschner
Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
“Diana Kirschner’s work is life-changing, love-affirming and wonderfully effective.”
~Dr. Christiane Northrup, Internationally bestselling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.