After the honeymoon period in a relationship is over, and our partner raises complaints about us, or does things we don't agree with or is somehow absent, we often start to make or draw slightly negative conclusions about them or the relationship. Typically it starts off as a thought one day, but if their actions continue to match it, we can start to think that way about the relationship or them. Negative thinking doesn't only affect you, it can kill connection, communication and passion, if the thought patterns become habitual.
So in order for you to be happy in your marriage you need to control the thoughts you have about your spouse and the relationship before it's too late! It's so important, I dedicate a whole section on this in both the "ultimate marriage connecter" and "save my marriage online program", because it's critical. Repetitive negative thought patterns can literally kill the relationship.
couple therapy and marriage counseling
1 Generalizations and Assuming the Worse of Your Partner
When you make generalizations they "ALWAYS" do this or they "NEVER" do that in a negative way you are judging, exaggerating and focusing on the negative. Which is likely to affect how warm, affection and kind you are to them. If you say to yourself time and time again
"They never make any effort"
"They ALWAYS have to be right"
"They're lazy"
"Their taking me for granted"
"They NEVER want to physically intimate"
"They're moody"
"They're selfish"

You're not alone! But can you see if you repeatedly think or say this to yourself, how it will affect what you notice and how you treat them?
What do you think it does to partner if you think the worse of them?
It feels terrible to have the worse thought of you and let's say even if your right, thinking the worst of someone is not going to inspire them to change, which is really what you want...
It's when you lift them up, trust and empower them by thinking the best of them - that they will raise their standards. If your spouse knows that you expect the best from them, they won't want to let you down, so encourage and appreciate what they do well rather than criticize what they're not doing.

2 Comparison to others
"If only they were more like Susan's husband." Or "If she looked after herself like Rachael, I wouldn't be like this."
Comparisons are pointless, degrading and unfair. Everyone of us is unique, shaped by our own unique experiences and interpretations of the world. Instead of wasting your time wishing your spouse was more like someone else, share the traits you admire in others and positively motivate your spouse to change their behaviors. When a "if only" thought comes up, switch your focus to something special you admire and love about your partner.

3 Fantasying about being with someone else
I'm not talking about idly day dreaming about what it might be like to date Brad Pitt, Jennifer Anderson or any other celebrity you're attracted too. What I'm referring to here is thinking about or longing to be with someone else. This will not only create distance between you and your partner, over time it can kill your connection and attraction, which will enviably damage the marriage.
When men and women share this with me in my marriage counseling private 1 to 1 sessions or couple therapy online program, I ask them to explore what it is they feel is missing and would like to change. Then we look at ways to make this a reality in their marriage. If this is resonating with you, use it as a tool to strengthen your relationship, start by giving whatever it is you wish to receive.

4 Expecting them to know what you want
"They should know what I want." Or "They should know what to do"
It's not only unfair to expect your partner to know what you want or what to do, it's unrealistic. Most of all thinking this way harms you. It's frustrating to think like this, it winds you up and like all of the above thinking like this doesn't change anything.
Free yourself, by expressing and explaining things calmly and affectionately, to help them help you.

5 Comparing to the beginning
Over analyzing about how great things used to be and how they have changed or asking yourself "what's happened to us?" is a sure way to make you feel down and hopeless about your marriage. Don't get me wrong, it is great to remember and share the good times, this can be marriage strengthening! What you want to avoid is making it seem in your head like that was the last of it and as though the good times are over. In couples therapy I ask those I work with to each share their happiest times and we discuss how to create more happy moments in the present and future.

As you can see thoughts are powerful, they affect how we feel and what we are motivated to do. The good thing is our thoughts can be changed with awareness and refocusing them, thereby changing our experience of the relationship and stopping divorce.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I admire you. as it takes a great deal of self-honesty to grasp that we could be causing damage to the relationship with our thoughts. As well as courage to change them.
Here is my personal tip that I apply in my own relationship, when any negative thought comes up I ask myself:
How is this helping me? Or the relationship?
Then I answer in my head," that's right it's not" and it goes away, leaving me to focus on what I want rather than what I don't want.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, please post or comment below.

Wishing you a wonderful love filled week ahead,
From my heart to yours, Nicola
Nicola Beer
Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of Save My Marriage Program

I specialize in a proven 10 step program to help couples increase the love, passion and happiness in their marriage in 30 days or less…Guaranteed!

P.S Unsure if Your Marriage Can Be Saved? Get the FREE Quiz - Can My Marriage Be Saved? To find out, it addresses 30 marriage problems and looks at whether it's possible to save your marriage and what actions to take if you can. Take the QUIZ now

PP.S OR If your marriage is in serious trouble and you need help now - Book Your FREE Save My Marriage Consultation TODAY

Author's Bio: 

Nicola Beer is an International Relationship & Divorce Coach who helps her clients find peace and create a new beginning after Marriage Breakdown and Divorce. This includes helping couples on the verge of a breakup to resolve their relationship issues once and for all, so that they can revive the love, passion, respect, and fun that's been missing.

As well as helping clients during and after Divorce to manage stress, create more income and adjust to new financial realities, redefine who they are, create a new social life, and when they are ready attract someone great. Nicola also runs 2 parenting programs that support children through and after divorce

Nicola has combined 11 years' experience helping people with emotional issues. This comprises 7 years private coaching and 4 years as a volunteer for the Samaritans where she supported callers dealing with any emotional distress. She is UK certified in Coaching, Grief Recovery for Adults and Children, NLP, Time Line Therapy, Hypnosis.

Nicola's passion to support people before, during and after divorce comes from her own childhood, where due to the stress of divorce her mother suffered a mental breakdown. As 1 of 5 children the divorce was devastating for her family and affected each of her family in different ways. More recently Nicola's older sister with 4 children is going through a difficult divorce. Having experienced and seen the pain and stress associated with divorce Nicola is focused on proving solutions. She knows divorce doesn't have to mean disaster and takes her clients and their children from surviving to thriving. She is equally passionate about saving marriages, so has a program to overcome relationship problems.

Nicola works with expats and locals, Muslims and Non-Muslims from all over the world, mainly from Dubai, London, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, either in person for a 2 day intensive package or further afield US, Australia via video conference and phone.