Q&A: Thinking positively about your wife

Q: My wife and I don’t argue often, but when we do, I sometimes find myself spiralling into negative thoughts about her. Is there a practical way to keep myself from going there?

A: The late Gary Smalley, was a renowned relationship expert whose insights have helped millions. But he and his wife, Norma, still had their occasional “moments.”

One day, Gary and Norma got into a huge argument. They were both so frustrated that they each retreated to different parts of the house. After a few minutes, their son, Greg, followed Dad to his study and found him at his computer. Greg was surprised to see him reading a document entitled “Why Norma is so Valuable.”

When Greg asked Dad about it, Dad said “Years ago I started a list of why your mum is valuable. So when I’m upset with her or when we’ve had a fight, I’ve learned that instead of sitting here thinking about how hurt or frustrated I am, I make myself read through this list.” This amazing document contained hundreds of words and phrases describing his wife’s value.

This is the best idea we’ve ever heard of for cherishing your spouse. Think about why she is so valuable to you and simply begin to write. For example, you might list character traits, gender differences, talents, personal values, parenting skills, personality characteristics, physical traits, the roles she plays that you appreciate, honourable ways in which she treats you, and so on.

Be sure to keep this list handy so you can periodically add to it and revise it when you need to remember your spouse’s value. When the tense moments come and you need to re-focus, stop and read the list. Also, don’t keep it to yourself — share it with your wife.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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