(KUTV) Salt Lake City - Can you make your marriage amazing with just 5 minutes a day? Emil Harker, marriage & family therapist, says it's possible.
Emil Harker writes:
"We all want a better marriage but we may not know how to start. Sure, we know what our spouse complains about but how do you actually begin to change. A common question I get is “How do I actually get better at communicating? It’s not like I can practice?” Another common thing I get is “We haven’t been able to use our strategies and tools you’ve taught us because we haven’t been fighting lately.” To that I reply, peace does not equal closeness. Just because there is a lull between arguments doesn’t mean that anything of substance has changed and so, within a short period of time they are right back into their old patterns. So.. what can we do to improve your marriage in only 5 minutes a day. Here are two simple suggestion.
Think about 1 thing your spouse does that really gets at you. Then think about how you want to respond when that thing happens. Take a second and write it out on your phone in your notes. Then that week, each day imagine that thing happening and then imagine responding the way you have written down. If the outcome doesn’t quite come out the way you want it to, then go back to the drawing board and come up with something else.
Think about something you do that your spouse complains about. Then brainstorm ideas of what you can do to change. If your spouse complains that you don’t talk with him/her very often. Decide to share your highs and lows of the day. If your spouse complains that you raise your voice too often, think of a situation where you would normally raise your voice and come up with a more quiet alternative, like asking questions.
If you are really brave, engage in a 5 minute conversation just exploring what your spouse would like to experience more from you to make them feel like you really care. Then each day after that take 5 minutes and focus some energy in that area of your relationship.
Spend 5 minutes a day reading and discussing what you are learning from a relationship book.
These are just a few things you can do in only 5 minutes a day. The simple effort of devoting time to improving your marriage will actually improve your marriage. Then the small things you do over time will accumulate into mountains of evidence that supports and strengthens your marriage."
Emil Harker is the author of the book "You Can Turn Conflict Into Closeness". You can get a free sample of the book by going to EmilHarker.com.