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Family & Relationships 5 'love hacks' to get through shaky times in your marriage

21:22  05 october  2017
21:22  05 october  2017 Source:   today.com

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If you’re on the shaky side of things, you could invest more time and energy into your marriage , or just expect less of it. Another approach is to employ what Finkel calls “ love hacks ” — simple steps to take when you don’t have time to do the “go-all-in” strategies

If you’re on the shaky side of things, you could invest more time and energy into your marriage , or just expect less of it. Another approach is to employ what Finkel calls “ love hacks ” — simple steps to take when you He urges people not to get overly ambitious and feel the pressure to list ten big events.

  5 'love hacks' to get through shaky times in your marriage © Shutterstock Modern marriage comes with great expectations. You want your spouse to be a thoughtful companion, terrific lover, best friend, attentive co-parent, ambitious worker, your key to fulfillment and more.

It's an impressive ideal — if it works out.

We're in an era where the best marriages are better than ever, but the average marriage is shaky, says Eli Finkel, author of the new book, "The All-or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work."

"We're lumping more and more expectations onto this one relationship and consequently, we're actually damaging it," Finkel, a psychology professor at Northwestern University and director of the school's Relationships and Motivation Lab, told TODAY.

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We’re in an era where the best marriages are better than ever, but the average marriage is shaky , says Eli Finkel, author of the new book, “The All-or-Nothing Marriage : How The dynamics of spouses’ daily interactions may influence whether an ill partner’s physical functioning improves over time …

It helps to know that even strong couples go through a tough time in marriage and that there are things you can do to get through them. This will only drive you two apart. 2. Connect, accept, love . Connection, acceptance, love – that’s what we desire from our partners, says Goertz.

"But at the same time, there's something really nice about high expectations because they put within reach a level of marital fulfillment that would have been out of reach in an era where we weren't even trying."

If you're on the shaky side of things, you could invest more time and energy into your marriage, or just expect less of it. Another approach is to employ what Finkel calls "love hacks" — simple steps to take when you don't have time to do the "go-all-in" strategies, but aren't ready to give up on your expectations.

The strategies won't turn a bad relationship into a good one and they're not for people who are in danger of being abused, Finkel cautions. But if your relationship is healthy, they can help you sustain a sense of closeness when life gets hectic.

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You will get through them and life will very likely present you with another set of challenges. Be encouraged and take a look at 25 quotes to help encourage you during those tough times in your “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times , always with the same person.” ~

Allow the objective counsel of a therapist to see you through this trying time . They will offer insights to help you heal and can be a consistent form of support in such shaky times . But if you want to eventually get back to some semblance of a loving marriage , then forgiveness needs to occur.

These five science-based hacks have two defining features: they don't take much time or energy, and you can do them independently of your partner.

1. Think about conflict from the perspective of a neutral third party

This is one of Finkel's favorite hacks and it comes from his own lab. People who spent time writing about a conflict with their spouse from the perspective of a neutral third party who wants the best for all involved were happier in the marriage, research conducted at Northwestern found.

It may not be easy to channel a neutral third party in the heat of an argument, but we can train ourselves to do it, Finkel said. Just be pro-active about it.

"It doesn't make us have fewer conflicts, but it makes us less angry when we're having a conflict," he noted.

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2. Be generous with your touch

Look for opportunities to touch your partner. A hand hold or a gentle rub of the shoulders is something you can do quickly when you're swamped or overwhelmed, and you'll feel a little closer.

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Marriage hacks : A strategy or technique for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently. Buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life. Become good at asking and answering questions and you’ll cut through a lot of heartache. Here’s some great ones to supercharge this hack in your marriage

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What Finkel found especially interesting is that in a research setting, it didn't matter if spouses knew that the reason why their partners reached out and touched them affectionately was because the experimenter told them to.

"We often feel we need to be authentic and make sure our expressions of affections are spontaneous," he said.

"But it looks like — at least in this context of affectionate touch — even if you're not feeling it… but you just think, 'I should touch now, I'm going to just act in an affectionate way regardless of what my current feelings are,' that tends to make our partner feel good."

3. Think about the ways your partner has invested in the relationship

Take a few moments to consider the actions or sacrifices your partner has made to make you happy or to ensure the relationship goes well.

Research shows you'll feel more grateful to your spouse and more committed to the relationship, Finkel said. He urges people not to get overly ambitious and feel the pressure to list ten big events. Just think of one meaningful thing your spouse has done for you. It's not necessary to write it down, but if you want to, writing a paragraph might reinforce the effect, he said.

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Now if you want to just send a one- time loving text, I’ll include some of the following ideas to get your mind rolling. I find it best to start with something like: “Hey babe [or your choice of pet name], I’ve just been thinking about you and . . . [insert loving text]”.

As these five couples discovered, when love is on the skids, sometimes you have to take a big risk to get it back on track. I said out loud, "What is the answer?" Right then my phone rang; it was Jimmy. That was my sign that it was time to give my marriage another go.

4. View conflict as an opportunity for growth

If you subscribe to the "soulmate theory," conflict with your spouse can be especially scary because you start to think perhaps you were "not meant to be."

It may be better to adopt the "work it out theory" of people who believe relationships develop through the resolution of conflict and an active effort to become compatible.

"All of us are going to have conflict, so if conflict is a signal of incompatibility, then that's pretty destructive for the relationship," Finkel said.

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The “ Marriage Hacks ” Premise. When we first marry we have no real idea what we’re getting ourselves into. Given time , the “new marriage ” shininess fades, our tidy lives get messy, and true love is put to the test. Compassion Through Solitude. Learn More.

There are lots of ways to shake up your marriage , revive your sex life, and start feeling the love again. You'll know it's time to bring the passion back to your marriage by reconnecting with your own 2. When you scroll through your texts from the last week, four out of five are related to food.

"If conflict is… an opportunity to learn about each other and grow, then we navigate it much more constructively and we're more likely to come through it in a way that is beneficial for the relationship, rather than harmful."

5. Be generous when explaining your partner's behavior

It's up to you how you interpret your spouse's actions. If he doesn't return your texts, for example, it's tempting to immediately think "He's a jerk." But if your partner is generally a decent, good-hearted person, then there's a lot to be said for letting things slide, Finkel noted.

Maybe he's not returning texts because he might have a lot going on or the phone battery is running low. Consider the possibilities and don't jump to negative conclusions.

"The way we interpret the behavior has a profound impact on how we feel about it and the relationship," Finkel said.

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