How to Reinforce Love, Day In and Day Out

As we learn more and more about the human brain and conflict, we learn more about how to feel better in relationships, how to care for one another, and how to change negative energy into positive energy.

For example - do you and your partner constantly fight? Are there certain behaviors that, whenever your partner does them, you feel attacked, disrespected, and mistreated? Does your partner fire right back, saying, "Well, when you do this, I feel the same way"?

Often, our first instinct is to say: "I'll change when you do." However, studies show that the is the LAST way you'll get the change you want to see. Rather, the best way to see change happen is to act and think the way you want to be treated. If you brain learns, "Okay, this is how I should react here," you both will be better communicators and lovers.

What we now know about the brain tells us that we need to practice the behaviors we want to have. It is not wishing, but doing, that delivers results. When you invite your brain to develop positive thinking patterns, it causes internal changes that will deliver more trust and positive emotions in the future. The neurons wire together, and they create a new, stronger electrochemical pathway, dropping the negative behaviors you don't want.

For instance, if you want to change the way you appreciate or recognize your spouse -  knowing that you need to do 5 appreciative comments to delete a harsh, critical one - how would you do it?

We know that successful (happy!) partners still have conflicts like everybody else. However, they do something different from distressed partners, who continue feeling upset, aggravated or hurt by their spouses.

In the free-of-conflict times, positive couples regularly interact in supportive ways. For example, they show interest in the other person (no cold shoulders), offer appreciative comments on any aspect of the other person's behavior, express their happiness for being in this relationship, plan fun outings together, show, express and receive affection, flirt, and so on. They are priming their brains to be happy so that, when conflict comes along, their thoughts and actions are geared toward respect and happiness.

Why does this work? Does it seem too simple? Think of it this way: acting positively when conflict isn't happening acts like an emotional bank account. Positive couples draw on this bank account in times of conflict. No more and no less than this simple "brain priming" is necessary to be able to face differences! By being an example for how you want to be treated, and creating an environment of respect, the positive couple can look at conflict with a constructive perspective, ready to learn from it and not using it to destroy the other.

Does it look like a completely simple, fool-proof, basic receipt for enduring happiness? Guess what: it is!

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation (by clicking here), with a plan for action to change your life with new skills included. Just click this link and get started now!

  1. Mural-gurl, 02 May, 2011

    Thanks, Neil, for a productive post on how to grow a happy relationship. So much of the information on this subject emphasizes managing bad behavior and that is just depressing. So many women end up feeling that the only way to be happy is to leave. I hope there will be more articles in this vein.

    My husband is an admitted PA who has been working on understanding the roots of his behavior and making conscious decisions about the direction of his life. I have done much work on my rescuer pattern, however we both need to reinforce the path to a healthy and happy coexistence.

    Our current struggle revolves around rekindling some passion and desire in what was a dead marriage. We are trying to break the “resigned roommate” pattern. This is extremely difficult when the PA male needs to feel safe and has difficulty taking any kind of risk. Knowing that his passive behavior is a complete turn off seems to make him even more passive. A vicious cycle that no one seems to be addressing.

  2. Nora, 02 May, 2011

    Hi Mural-gurl,
    first, many thanks for writing…here we love comments, compliments and dialogue!
    I happen to have some ideas for your “struggle” if you care to ask. Along the stories I have been involved with, I have learned how to move some stories like the one “resigned roommate” that you complain about.
    Just go here and fill the form:
    http://conflictcoach.me/services/getstartednow/

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