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Love is easy when you’re on vacation or going out for a nice dinner. And I’m sure your hearts merge when watching your kid win the big game or give an amazing performance on stage! But when your spouse spews vitriol you need every ounce of patience to listen without retaliating. After all, if he loved you he wouldn’t treat you this way.
Love & Hate Aren’t Opposites
People automatically think the opposite of love is hate. But as I’ve written previously, the opposite of love is indifference. Rebuilding a marriage infected with apathy is much harder than when the “pots and pans are flying.” But long before divorce becomes a consideration a lot of bitter words can be exchanged. When this happens the tendency is for one or both partners to withdraw from the relationship. The seeds of permanent disinterest have been sown.
Ideally, such arguments won’t happen. But a conflict-free marriage is very rare and may not be desirable. Even if you are naturally inclined to an even temperament, the stresses of life can take their toll. Of course, it would be better if your partner didn’t let off steam in the marriage. Nonetheless, since it’s going to happen better be prepared.
Disengage to Preserve Love
Rather than battling it out, the best way to maintain lifelong love is to withdraw when you’re attacked. You don’t have to physically leave, although that might work. Instead of thinking about your next verbal volley, intensely focus on anything other than the person. Especially if your partner’s rant has no basis, engaging will only make it worse.
The ultimate test of love is your willingness to endure someone temporarily hating you. By being indifferent during the argument, you can minimize the long-term damage. When the episode has passed you won’t be wrapped up in negativity. You’ll be better prepared to repair whatever harm has been done.
By using such planned bouts of short-term apathy, you can prevent the more permanent kind from taking root. And, you’ll keep the bond of love in your relationship alive.
How do you minimize the negative effect of arguments on your marriage? Please comment below.
© , Kevin S. Bemel, All Rights Reserved
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