S1 E7: Keeping Your Relationship Strong Under Pressure

Episode: 7: Keeping Your Relationship Strong Under Pressure

Within this episode, Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot shares many skills to help strengthen your relationship.

Episode Resources

  • Gottman, John (2015). Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Harmony Books, NY.
  • There are many podcasts and television shows where John and Julie Gottman are interviewed and share skills.
  • There are weekend Gottman workshops in many communities  and most have Gottman trained therapists to work with.
Episode Transcript

CASAT Podcast Network

Alright, here we are today, talking about keeping your relationship strong under pressure.

I’m really excited for this one.

And to hear about all of your wisdom that you have for us Trudy, what makes some couples able to overcome difficulties while others end up getting divorced.

So there’s a pretty good amount of research on couples.

And probably my favorite source is a professor actually, actually a professor emeritus at University of Washington named john Gottman.

He has been researching couples for over four decades.

He actually began at the University of Washington.

The thing he called the love lab and what he would do is he would have couples check into the love lab and he would do a quite a few tests, questionnaires ahead of time and he would also um take note of things like their heart rate, their sweat, all this different stuff.

He was using all of this different data and he was able to as a result of this research determine which couples will end up very happy and in the long term happy relationship and which ones are going to tend to split up or show really deep unhappiness in the relationship.

And what the research basically showed is that many of us are missing skills.

And the interesting thing about missing skills is that most of us don’t even think about like maybe I have this problem because I am missing a skill.

You know, most of us just keep throwing what we already know how to do at it and then we’re really confused that it isn’t getting better.

So we don’t even consider that.

And the main reason for this in couples is that if you were raised in a really, really, really healthy family, like your parents were super happy.

They were, it was a very, very, very healthy relationship you would have if they were healthy, have only have seen the tip of the iceberg of what it took to be a couple.

You would have seen some affection, you would have seen shared humor, you would have seen, you would have seen sort of their little, those little looks that they made at each other.

You might have seen been observing some rituals of connection between the couple, but you have only seen the tip of the iceberg because the rest of the iceberg, all of the other stuff that it really takes to be a couple, they would have done behind closed doors.

That would have been the very difficult conversations, problem solving, decision making.

Um even repair conversations, which are super important for couples, you would have never seen those.

So you would not have known how to do them then contrasting that was the very, very, very miserable couple that your parents and so you would have actually seen a lot of the iceberg I suppose, but all done poorly.

So it really either way, most of us go into marriage missing some skills because their skills that are very, they’re very central to a marriage.

Um so, and a lot of people also just one big takeaway he found from the research is that people make a lot of mistakes thinking that great marriages come from grand gestures when actually we find that the very, very, very happy couples are focused more on the small day to day behaviors, those very, very tiny actions are what actually makes for a really happy marriage.

And there are some predictable, predictable skills that are most likely to lead to divorce.

So these are things you’re doing that are going to be more likely to lead divorce.

One is what’s called a harsh startup.

So a harsh startup is a way that many people start a conversation.

Unfortunately this leans more towards the female end.

So more women use a harsh startup than men do and it sets the conversation up to fail.

We harsh startup usually starts with you statements as opposed to i statements very strong emotion, blame and attack.

Um The next one he found in his research is, but he calls the four horsemen of the apocalypse apocalypse, which is really cute, but he talks about these four and its criticism is the first one.

And criticism is basically you make complaints that focus on um on negative emotions.

You make use statements you blame or you focus on the other person’s character or personality as opposed to just focusing on behaviors like the the I’m I’m upset because the kitchen is a mess is you you are such a slob.

That’s that’s different, contempt is the second horseman and it as a sense of superiority to criticism.

So not only are you a slob but I’m super neat and wonderful.

And so you’re just really grinding the person’s face in that um The next is the next horseman is defensiveness.

And usually when someone comes at us with criticism, unfortunately we will start getting in this pattern of you criticize, I defend myself.

And so then we just end up in this cycle, criticism defend.

Um And it’s and I basically we’re trying to find a way to deflect or redirect the problem back onto them or by not taking any personal responsibility.

And the force horsemen is stonewalling and what this means is one partner in the relationship shuts down altogether and they tune out, they disengage in actuality, they’re pretty activated even during that what looks like a disengagement, but it is they are just shut down.

Another predictable issue that leads to divorce is one called flooding.

And so that’s when you become so emotionally dis regulated that you’re beginning to enter fight or flight sometimes freeze to and when there’s higher levels of criticism and contempt in a relationship, couples tend to get more and more hyper vigilant, I.

E more sensitive and for so even a very small amount of negativity leads them to start walking on eggshells and then they get more and more disengaged and then they’re more easily flooded.

Um Some of the other little ones are things like body language.

So some people are very prone to making facial expressions like eye rolling or kind of this like lifting of your of your lip, which is a facial expression, that’s that’s contemptuous facial expression, that sort of thing.

And uh and also sometimes the actual physical look of disgust, so we have to be very careful about that.

Another one that is, it is more predictive of divorce is one called failed repair attempts after we have been in an argument with somebody, we are very prone to trying to do something to fix it.

We’re going to either have a really good conversation about it afterwards and we’re even going to try to make up.

It’s interesting even with my Children when they’re very young, if they thought somehow that they, I was upset, they would always try to do some really sweet thing for me and I realized, wow, even even little Children are hardwired for repair.

And what will happen in really, really unhappy couples is either they failed to try to repair it all or that if someone does try to repair it, the other person will not lean into the repair, they won’t accept the repair, they will reject the repair in some way or another.

And also with couples that are very unhappy.

The interesting thing is they actually change the narrative of their relationship.

So you will actually hear a completely different story about their relationship, There’s a lot of negativity in, in this telling of the story.

Um they will overly focus on negative aspects of their history.

So if you ask them, so like tell me his, you know, tell me a story about, you know, you as a couple, they will pick a really miserable story as opposed to most couples who are really happy, interestingly enough, they will pick a maybe a story of challenge, but it’s a story of challenge and they tell about how they overcame and how amazing they are and that’s really they find that to be a really cool story to tell.

And absolutely interestingly enough, that’s what happy couples do is they like to tell those stories of look how strong we are, look how resilient we are, look how amazing we are.

Whereas the unhappy couples will tell stories that are just pain filled or that they will over focus like on things like, like instead of like that was a great vacation we just had, they were, they will, they will only focus on that.

They were on a little like ants at the picnic, that kind of thing.

So they will over focus on just that aspect which is unfortunate.

Those are awesome.

Just such so much information.

I’m just trying to like contemplate it and comprehend it all because there is such a good stuff and I keep thinking of, I don’t know if this is a good example of a harsh startup.

I feel like my wife starts a conversation a lot of times with you’re not even paying attention to me, are you?

And it’s usually, which I think is a weird way to start a conversation because it’s usually when I’m daydreaming, I’m just joking faces just like, oh, wow.

But in that, in that place of kind of that lack of warmth or where there’s missing connection with a couple, where some places are, where should they begin to work on that?

So it’s really important that as couples, which is just really brain training if you will, is that we work on noticing what our spouse is doing right rather than what they’re doing wrong, what we know, even from the research of even pretty unhappy couples, they’re both doing more right than wrong still.

Now the really happy couples are doing a lot right?

Because it’s so encouraged.

There’s so much comment on it.

Um and so making sure that you’re you’re noticing even those little things that somebody does, right, and that you’re showing your appreciation.

You’re commenting on that thing that they did um that they really know how much you cherish them.

I was at my parents house probably this was three years ago, I would say pretty easily and I was there.

I don’t think I was with any of my other Children.

I think I was just there largely by myself and my mom served dinner.

And so here we are at the dinner table and my dad, she had, I can’t remember what she made.

And my dad just goes on and on about this dinner.

Oh my gosh!

I think that was the best one yet.

I don’t know if he was just going on and on and I just thought, Oh, this is so sweet.

But then I’m not thinking about it afterwards.

You know, my dad, they’ve been married for 50 something years.

I have something along and I was like my dad has probably had that dinner 1000 times at this point in time, but he acts like it’s the first time he ever had that dinner.

And I just thought about, I thought about that many times since then and that is the secret.

It’s yes, I’m I do the dishes but to be thanked for doing the dishes every once in a while and yes, you know, he takes out the garbage, but to be able to say like, thanks so much for taking out the garbage.

I completely forgot about it, even though I never take it out.

But I mean, it’s just one of those things that yes, we need to make sure that we’re thanking our spouse for those little tiny things or even to say like, I’m so I’m so proud of you that you’re such a hard worker and I hope your bosses as appreciative of you as as he should be or whatever.

So those little things that we give those regular reminders to them I think and for us to be focused on the goodness in them.

Also another one that’s important.

Um it’s kind of funny based on Daniel’s even commented that we really have to notice when our spouse is bidding for our attention.

So it’s one of those things.

So we bid for a whole bunch of different reasons.

We bid for attention.

We bid for affection, we bid for um for connection, we bid for a lot of different reasons.

So we’re doing it regularly often all of the time.

So we we know that really happy couples are actually catching most bids.

So we’re noticing when someone is trying to connect with us in some way.

Um it’s so and we have some things we can do when we’re when somebody bids for us, we can we can turn towards them, which is what we want to be doing.

We want when somebody bids for whatever from us, we want to be turning towards most of them.

Um We can also ignore some which is just sort of like some zero.

So I neither did anything good nor anything bad I guess you could say.

And then there’s a turn away which is when it’s really, really, really unhealthy to completely like actively reject a bid and that would be if you’ve ever had seen a couple who like the maybe the man will come and like put his arm on her shoulder and she’ll bat it away.

That’s a that’s a that’s a turn away, like don’t touch me kind of thing versus if somebody comes and puts their hand on your shoulder and you kind of lean into it, see that’s a turn towards um so approximately You want to get to that, believe it or not, 80%.

If you are noticing 80% of the bids um we don’t have to, we don’t have to notice every single one of them.

But really happy couples are noticing about 80%.

And what will happen is we know is that if we aren’t really noticing these bids and we aren’t leaning into enough of these bids just naturally and they may not even know why they’re doing it, but people will bid less and less and less and then that ends up kind of creating this decrease in warmth overall in the relationship.

And a bid can be as simple as like can you believe the wind?

I know.

Isn’t it awful?

That’s a that was a bid and an answer that was leaning into the bed.

It is a giant giant giant thing.

So bids are teeny tiny lots and lots and lots of them.

And uh and also it’s important as couples, we need to deposit frequently into what john Gottman calls the emotional bank account of the other person and so it’s doing things together, it’s making sure that we start dating again, if we have gotten out of the habit.

Um revisit activities, topics, traditions, whatever it used to be, that those things that used to be connecting or that we know are really, really connecting for us, so we need to be making sure that we’re doing that regularly and then part of that is certainly having really emotionally connecting conversations.

Um one example of that specific example is what’s called a stress reducing conversation and this is usually when we are sharing with our spouse a about something outside of our relationship.

So it might be a work issue or something going on with like a friend of ours or something like that and it’s our job when we are on the receiving end of that person sharing that is we have to be really, really good listeners and we have to really avoid giving advice because usually they’re wanting, they’re wanting just our presence in that and just our ability to listen in it and we want to show that we really understood what they’re talking about and and in this case you always want to take your partner’s side.

And that was one of the other findings that he found john Gottman and his research is that a lot of times these unhappy couples, they weren’t taking each other’s sides.

And even if you think, yes, I think you’re a jerk too.

So I know I understand why the boss did that to you in that moment in that conversation is like, no, I’m gonna take my spouse’s side.

It’s like, I can’t believe he said that to you.

So we’re just gonna, we’re just going to, we’re just going to do that because we’re gonna want to show that compassion and that empathy.

Um, and we want to keep some of that other like any other sort of like problem solving or our opinion about what actually just happened.

Or even sometimes unfortunately some couples will actually take like in this case the boss’s side, which is not not going to be the thing that the person wants to hear.

So we really want to work on work on having those really good um connecting conversations and one of these new things we do from time to time when there isn’t a baseball game on during dinner is we or a hockey game or any other game of some sort on the, on the television is we will we have a series of questions we ask each other and so we’ll we’ll just have these little questions that I have a little stack of questions on the dinner table and we’ll just have those as kind of just a little conversation to have at dinner time.

That’s a fun idea.

It really, it makes me think, you know, so much of what we’ve talked about here is um, I mean clearly communication, but noticing the good in people and noticing the good that’s happening in the world so that we’re, we’re priming our brains to look for more of it rather than the negative is all marital conflict bad and how can we tell if we’re handling conflict well?

So no, not all conflict is bad actually, How we handle conflict can be bad.

But having the conflict itself is actually not not unusual and not anyway, like connected to like, oh yeah, you’re, if you are having more problems or if you’re having what some people would call an argument or a heated discussion about something that boy, you’re doomed.

The biggest problem usually with, with arguments is what’s called gridlock.

And this is really when the couple just can’t have even a little bit of headway in regards to a problem there.

So we were not able to actually even talk about the problem itself in a way that is open or curious or like, hey, let’s maybe we should try this.

So there’s no affection or humor in these conversations.

There’s more frustration and hurt and a lot of elevated other emotions and you’ll have a tendency to put each other down or become contemptuous or critic critical during a conversation and then sometimes end up disengaged.

So even in, in marital conflict, if we can stay out of gridlock, if we can just keep trying to talk about whatever that is like just even getting a little bit of headway just in some small way, then that, that’s hopeful.

So in talking about kind of handling conflict, what are some healthy ways to solve problems.

So first for that it’s really important to know that there are two main types of problems according to the research on couples.

One is called perpetual problems and the others are solvable problems.

And each of these basically use different skill sets and these are some of those ones that for most of us when we get married, we’re missing these.

So most of us know how to solve problems.

We follow some basic steps of identifying the problem, brainstorming solutions, deciding on an option than trying it out.

Um, but perpetual problems necessitate problem management conversations.

So in other words a perpetual problem.

I’m not going to solve it.

It’s going to be there again and again and again.

So I have to learn some different skills and management as opposed to solving.

So first we have to work through any gridlock about the problem.

We may need to learn to have some kind of a conversation about how to work on just one part of the issue.

So it may not, it may be that I can’t, we can’t work on the whole thing.

It may be just one thing.

Um you know, and that is going to mean that we’re going to have to learn to listen to our spouse.

Um we’re gonna have to listen to how they feel about it, whether it’s good emotions, bad emotions, whatever that ends up being and that accepting that no one’s right or wrong.

And so we worked really hard on acceptance and and also have warmth and ad admiration with each other during the difficult conversation.

So another piece of that is we end up having to learn how to have some other subsets conversations.

Like one for example is what’s called a compromise conversation.

So it might be that what we end up having to do is really identifying maybe just for each of us, just one or two super important pieces of this, like I really need this and this and then being able to in contrast list all of the areas that I’m not as attached to and then in a sense, then we can kind of come to each other and then say these are just the two pieces of this that are super important to me and the rest of it is all really negotiable and then the same thing for the other person and then we can just talk about those little pieces that and to see if they actually get along with one another and then how we can have these kinds of conversations.

Another important one here is for a lot of couples.

The reason why they get so stuck in a conversation is underlying it is actually some kind of hope, wish or dream.

So there’s actually, the reason we can’t talk about it is because we aren’t really talking about the right thing.

We’re talking about a vehicle which is the problem itself but may be underlying it is something that has more to do with some kind of really deep dream that a person has and so they may need to share about that and really have their spouse be there for them to really explore it.

Because sometimes even then it’s like, oh now I know why I’ve been so stuck in this and that I haven’t been able to get any movement in it or move forward with you in talking about this stuck problem because underlying it was this thing that I couldn’t let go and now I can now we can have this other piece of the conversation.

So there are some really specific ways that we end up having to learn, learn to work on it.

Obviously a couple others that are important with solving problems and in marital conflict is if a couple does tend to get really flooded, we have to have as one of our problem solving and this is actually one that can be solved.

If you will is we have to put some rules in place about what to do when one of us feels dis regulated and that would usually involve a form of time out.

Happy couples, all happy couples have somehow or another stumbled upon time out the equivalent time out because when were flooded we will say and do things that we will regret later which then will give us an opportunity to practice repair, but most of the time we don’t want to have to like go into a conversation knowing I’d better think ahead of time how I’m going to repair this because I know I’m gonna cross the line so we want to learn how to set up between the couple.

What are the words we’re going to use with each other?

What are the signals were going to use with each other in order to time out and we’re going to and usually it’s it’s a pretty, it’s a pretty simple process we’re going to say, I know I’m whatever words you want to use, like I need a time out, I’ll be back in a half hour.

We usually suggest a couple’s minimally a half hour because if you’re partially flooded or the other person’s flooded, you may be the one timing out, but you may not be the one flooded.

You maybe timing out for the other person because they may not have the ability to do it and vice versa.

Um so you know, I need to have a time out, I’ll be back in a half hour and then at the end of that half hour you are promptly back ready to start that conversation or you’re telling the person, I need a little bit of time, your job during time out is to get yourself centered.

I also am a really big fan of, this is one for a couple that is really important that you do want to do in front of your Children, not with each other but with them.

So I’m a really big fan of parents timing out from their Children.

So instead of sending your child into time out, send yourself.

And so what that does is that is a skill that a child could learn that they could use in their marriage.

That really would be a very good one.

So let’s say like, you know what I’m feeling really like I’m about to lose it and so I’m going to take a time out in my bedroom, I would do this with my kids all the time and I’ll be back in a half hour and I will check in with you and see if I’m ready to talk again.

So I would come back and I would say, okay, I think I’m ready to talk.

So my Children knew how to do it because I modeled it for them.

It wasn’t like I was showing telling them go away, you’re bugging me.

I was saying I’m I’m not doing well, so that’s one that we can model for our kids, which is important, but we want to come up with that rule system within our relationship so that if so that we have a way of disengaging to me honestly, Time out is probably one of the most loving acts you can ever do within the context of a relationship because what you’re saying is by that action, I love you so much that I do not want to do any harm to you, whether it’s verbally or or sarcastically or any other method that I could use, I love you that much and so I’m going to take a time out.

Uh now some people, it does take them longer to get them settled down so you know, get themselves centered, you’re going to want to learn how to self soothe some people once they do this long enough, they’re actually able to self soothe in the context of a relationship.

I mean not relationship, hopefully in the relationship but in the context of a difficult conversation.

So you’re actually able to calm yourself down right in that and that’s when you really have got this down because that self soothing structure that you need to learn in time out is vital for you.

And and obviously gridlock itself, which is one of the big issues with that conflict.

And then also with problem solving, it’s caused by not understanding the other person’s perspective.

And so it is really important how to listen to the underlying issues that that person is what what are the values underlining?

What’s the beliefs underlying it, what is, what do they believe about that about that particular problem?

And again those hopes and wishes and dreams and sometimes once you’re at that deeper level, it can create some opportunities to move forward and because all of a sudden the problem becomes clearer.

We’ve been trying all this time to solve the wrong one or to manage the wrong one.

Actually, once we get talking, oh my gosh, we end up with a completely different clarity and we can get right in there and it’s now possible.

Trudy, what are some skills to build in order to increase the shared meaning in our relationships?

Okay, so the rituals of connection are really important in relationship.

Those are those structured events or habits that couples practice that bring them closer together.

And it also speaks to the various connections we have.

So, an example of that with couples and it’s a simple example is a departure ritual.

Most of us actually have a, when we leave the house, we have a departure ritual and we don’t necessarily realize that’s a ritual of connection.

I’m acknowledging, I’m about to leave you for several hours and I’m acknowledging that that in a formal way.

And then same thing with with reunion rituals.

So in other words, when you come back home, do you actually, do you have like a hug and a kiss when you come back home?

Is there some kind of ritual along those lines?

So they don’t have to be these gigantic like elaborate date night kinds of things.

So we want to have those sort of, and it may be that always at lunch every time you take your lunch that you send a text to your spouse saying like, You know, on a scale of 1-10, my my day is a five or whatever it ends up being, so that your, you have some kind of nice little ritual of connecting even throughout the day.

Some people, I know some people will make phone calls on their way home, like they always check in via the phone, like they can’t wait to get home, so they’re going to talk to them the whole way they’re driving home, which I think is just a really sweet ritual too.

So we have to keep working on those reversals of connection and we do sometimes need to refresh them because we do want to realize that our brain loves habits, absolutely loves them, but habits also have a tendency to get lazy, so we want to refresh them regularly so that we don’t end up getting in that sort of that lazy trap where it’s just literally I’m crossing something off of my to do list and I have no emotion around it whatsoever, and we don’t want to do that, and also we want to really get good at supporting each other’s roles, each of the roles that the person has, you know, obviously, you know, I’m a daughter, um you know, I’m a worker, I’m a friend, I’m a spouse, I’m a parent, so we have all these different roles that we have in our life and that we want to be able to provide support for our spouse in all of their roles and vice versa.

So some of those are obviously easier for some of us than others, but then we would want to find ways to work on those.

Another is the idea of shared goals.

So we want to have some things that we’re trying to achieve as a couple, whatever those look like.

It might be things like externally like owning a home, but it also might be something more deeply internal, like creating a peaceful home life that those are goals that we have and that we’re able to actually have those conversations around.

How are we doing on that goal so that we have things that we feel like we are moving forward or that we have some actual action steps that we’re taking and the last one in this area would be to work on what we call shared values and symbols and values and beliefs are important to have some agreement on or at least understand each other’s views around it.

So, so an example in this category is what does home mean to you and for a lot of people that’s a conversation we’ve never had, what does it mean versus what is it?

Which is yes, it’s four walls and its furniture.

Um you know, things like that, but what does home mean to you?

Same thing with like what does family mean to you or what do, what, what does a holiday mean to you so that we can actually have these deeper conversations because then we can sort of get at the underlying values and then sometimes those are also clarifying because that’s when we realized, wow, that’s why We have had that one problem conversation again and again, you know, because like and and all of us are going to have some of these that are going to differ like what like let’s say for what does friend mean to you compared to what friend means to your spouse might be entirely different.

Um Some people a friend means somebody to do something with for some other people, a friend means someone who is there for me emotionally and our is one wrong and one right?

No, they’re just different meanings.

And so so those are all important.

Those are so good.

I love how everything you’re talking about comes from almost like a team perspective, right?

Obviously we know what we’ve talked about when it’s negative, it’s you versus me, but I found even even if you’re trying to be helpful for the person, it sometimes I think back to when I was in my master’s program with counseling and especially my motivational interviewing class and you just start like accidentally like bringing people into counseling sessions when they don’t know it because you just start doing the things you know, and I was and I was so focused on helping my wife without even telling her, you know, like I was going to help.

So we would get in these sessions and finally she was like stop you can’t do the counseling stuff with me.

And I think it’s even that even though trying to be helpful, it was still a me versus you almost right.

And I think this team perspective of how can we tackle this problem, how can we solve this problem instead of you know, just going into some of those things where it does put us even again, even if it’s not the negative, it still puts us kind of that opposites and all this stuff is so good.

What are, what are some other resources that if people are interested in looking at more of these things or some other resources that could help people develop some of these skills you’ve talked about.

So I would refer them to any book by John Gottman, he’s written I think over 25, but one an easy one to start with would be seven principles for making marriage work.

It’s really nice because he has a bunch of questionnaires in it.

And so you can actually evaluate yourself as individuals, but also as a couple to determine if you’re in some of these different, having some of these different specific problems in your relationship.

But he also shares a lot of the anecdotes to the problems.

Also there’s a lot of podcasts and television shows, even where john and julie Gottman and julie Gottman is also a PhD and she and they came up with this specific type of therapy based on all of his research and they have a lot of them that they’ve they’ve interviewed on and um so those and they share a lot of the skills openly.

It’s very, very cool.

And there’s also a weekend Gottman workshops and a lot of communities, some people will go to the whole weekend long one just to get this to get some of the skills and and actually most communities have Gottman trained therapists to work with.

So if you went on the Got men’s website, you’d be able to see people who are actually cert certified or who are trained Gottman therapists in that in their community.

So it’s a, it’s it’s one type of therapy, there are a lot of other effective ones for for couples two and so, you know, certainly, you know, you can try on the different ones and be able to gain the skills you need to actually really enhance your relationship.

Well, I’m so glad that you’ve been here with us today, really normalizing conflict in marriage and that it happens and giving us some of the skills that we can all go try on in our own relationships, so so helpful.

What action steps would you recommend that we take to keep our relationship strong under pressure.

So I think if you read any relationship book, I think that can be really useful and so it can help you understand maybe some of the missing skills you could work on.

I think that’s a good thing, A lot of people don’t like to sit down to read a book, but but a lot of these are actually, most of these are available as as audible books or audiobooks and so you can just Listen to 15 minutes in the car and a lot of them are pretty dense and so even the 15 minutes you’re going to get some stuff out of it and then it’s something you can practice and then I would say pick a skill with your partner and work on improving the skill over time because it’s just like any other thing, you can be a good communicator and you could get better at it.

You can be.

And even noticing things like this, the some of the little things like being noticing the more positive things versus the negative things, there’s so many different little ones that we can work on that will just give overall such a big impact on our relationship.

And also what’s interesting is Children notice these things.

So when moms and dads are happier with each other and their relationship is strong, it does have a tendency to trickle down to because if I’m practicing being positive with my spouse, I’m probably also going to be more positive with my own Children, I’m gonna notice more of what they’re doing, right?

So it’s just a huge benefit.

Yeah, thank you and I love what you started with saying, you know when we think back to our parents we were only seeing the tips of the iceberg and I that’s seems so true.

It’s it’s such an interesting concept I think to think about parenting, you know, and marriages and and all these things because we come in with feeling like we know what we don’t want to do or maybe what we do want in our marriage and it’s so easy.

I heard a phrase the other day um the for someone for parents to stop using the phrase that you’re raising your kids because it’s not because it has this level like you’re bringing your kids up to your level, but reality, like we’re growing with our kids and so we’re teaching them but there’s a lot of growth that happened so we can be easy on ourselves in the beginning and the same with relationships, I think it’s we have to be more open to growth and mistakes and I love the idea of of focusing on the positive, such a good podcast today, Trudy thank you so much for as always bringing such good information.

I know we’re going to have to do some other series on this somehow on family parenting, I think we’re all on board so thank you so much.

Thank you Trudy, You’re very welcome.

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