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How to Get Along Better with Your Husband

By Susan Dunn, MA Psychology, Emotional Intellig

Nothing can get as heated as an argument between a husband and wife, unless maybe it's a parent and a teenager. Because these relationships are closely bonded and intense, we react strongly and emotions are far more "contagious than between us and friends, or even colleagues. Haven't you found this to be true?

The first step in learning to get along better with your husband is to understand this strong emotional reaction to what's going on. One word and a quick reaction from you without thinking, and the battle is on. There's a better way to handle this. Here are five tips:

1.Set you intent.

Intentionality is an Emotional Intelligence competency. It means saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Make the commitment to do what you need to to make your relationship thrive.

2. And while you're at it, develop your Emotional Intelligence.

The EQ competencies will help you relate better, solve problems better, learn how to manage anger, communicate, negotiate, and express your love (and other emotions) appropriately.

3.Remember every day why you married this man and let him know it.

As the saying goes, "There's a realm of silence beyond the grave." Someone who feels truly appreciated behaves much different than someone who is ignored, abused, belittled, or treated like a servant (i.e., "Did you take out the garbage?")

4.SAY it, don't wish it, assume it, hope for it, or wish it away.

Part of EQ is emotional expression. Know your emotions and how they work. Express yourself to your partner, and be sure and do this just as often when things are going well and you're happy, as when there are problems and you're unhappy.

Ask him questions, and tell him your needs - sexual, emotional, mental and physical. Don't assume, wish or hope.

No one can read your mind, and men are typically lower on Empathy to begin with. Don't hope it will just go away one day without mindful effort, or that he knows what you're thinking, how you're feeling or what you want.

In fact, why not make it a practice when you lie down at night to tell each other why you married them in the first place.

5.Appreciate him for who he is and what he does for you and the family.

Don't take any of this for granted. You should have many examples around you of husbands you wouldn't want to have. Don't keep it a secret that you got the best guy in town!

6. Don't compare your husband to anyone else's husband.

This doesn't work because he's unique, and so are you, and so is your relationship. He lives with you, not some other man's wife. The dynamics between the two of you are unique.

7.Learn what his triggers are, and yours, and avoid them.

Men's tempers generally are quicker to ignite, so why not go ahead and get yours on a leash? Resist ALL urges to use a weakness or vulnerability against him at a time when you're angry.

8.Have a discussion with your husband during a quiet time about anger.

Anger is especially detrimental to men's health. Contrary to popular opinion, it is NOT healthy to vent your anger, nor is it healthy to suppress it. Both of you need to work constantly on valuing being in relationship more than being right. When couples argue all the time and create a toxic environment, no one wins, and no one's "right".

9. Don't notice so much, listen FOR the love with your OWN love, and be adamantly and relentlessly forgiving.

Under the pressures of today's lifestyle, we all say things we don't mean. We get sloppy or we're in a rush and blurt something out. We forget things. We get irritable.

Catch him doing something right and praise the act. Don't spend so much time on the negatives or you'll cause them to grow. Negotiate your "must haves and "can't stands, and beyond that, be willing to overlook a lot.

If he brings you coffee in bed in the morning, you can pick up his underwear off the floor occasionally.

10.Express yourself very clearly and very often.

Don't whine, beg, hint, guess, hope for the best, or be tentative. This won't work. Say specifically what you want, or what you don't like, and nip it in the bud. The longer you wait, the more of an issue it becomes. This applies particularly to your sexual relationship. Don't leave him guessing.

One bone of contention among many couples is that if you do it once, it becomes your job for the rest of your life. So, if you're adoring him so much one Sunday afternoon you decide to wait on him while he watches the ball game - because the kids are at Grannies, you're caught up on your work and rested, you have some spare time, and you're feeling like a temporary period of doting, explain what you're doing.

Say, "I'm enjoying waiting on you this afternoon. Of course I can't do it all the time"

Make your expectations clear, "I'm enjoying waiting on you this afternoon. Please do this for me some time when you feel like it."

If he does assume this has now become the new routine - and it's only human nature to press for the advantage when you have it - deal with it the minute it comes up. Make it clear what your stand is.


Poor communication and low Emotional Intelligence lead to fighting. Fighting can slowly erode your relationship because it's all too easy to let something slip you wish you hadn't said, and can't take back. Or you fail to say something, and then the resentment builds.

Fighting is bad for your health, individually, as a couple, and as a family. Studies have shown that couples tend to get sick after a big fight, because fighting with a loved one lowers your immunity.

Did you need another reason to get along with the man you loved enough to marry?

About the Author
Susan Dunn, MA Psychology, Emotional Intelligence Coach, I help people become better communicators and develop their emotional intelligence through coaching, Internet courses and ebooks. Susan is the author of "Nonverbal Communication."

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