Emphasize Good Times, Rather Than Fix Problems, to Improve Relationships is one of several articles I’ve seen recently discussing our backwards approach to improving relationships.
We usually focus on reducing the bad; eliminating the problems. We think less bad will make for a better marriage. In reality, we can usually do far more good for the marriage by adding more good. Of course there are thing we need to fix. However some things will never be fixed and some will take a good while. Adding new good things is always possible, and it helps move the balance from the bad to the good.
Along these lines the book The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work says new research “suggests that how we support people during good times, more than bad times, affects the quality of a relationship. Again, that’s not how most of us think it is. We think being there at the bad times is far more important. I’m all about supporting our spouses during the bad times, but if we succeed at that will failing to enjoy the good times together our marriage will be on shaky ground.
One great way to build good is doing new things together. Sharing something new together builds intimacy and gives us good things to remember. It’s a powerful way to grow your marriage. If you overlook or downplay doing new and fun things together, you will have to work twice as hard for far less benefit by working on the negative stuff.