In the seventies there were a lot of fads. One of them was mood rings. They hung around about as long as the 8-track player.
I didn’t wear a mood ring. My girlfriend back then did. I wore puka shells for a while. I bought them on a class trip to Hawaii. They were pretty cool, especially with a nice tan.
The whole idea around a mood ring was that it could indicate your emotional state, or mood by the temperature of your body. Guys, who often don’t have a clue about understanding females would rely on the ring to try and gauge the mood of their girlfriends, for a variety of reasons.
As I said, the mood ring was a passing fade. It hangs around now more as retro fashion.
Knowing one’s mood is not as important as managing it. We have the ability to change our moods fairly easily. It just takes a couple of things: awareness
. That simple. Once I am aware I am in a bad mood, I can take action and do something to change it.
Moods don’t only exist inside a person, but they also manifest within a relationship. Lately, I have been fascinated by learning how mood functions in relationships. A couple’s mood can make or break a great evening together. Maintaining a positive mood has several benefits for a marriage.
Every couple can keep a positive mood in their marriage by keeping these 5 commitments.
End The Evening With A Clean Slate
Going to bed with unresolved conflicts is about as bad as having awful pizza. You’re not going to sleep well! If you want to keep a positive mood in the marriage, agree not to go to sleep before you end an argument. If you are having trouble resolving a dispute, I recommend you read two of my previous posts: 5 Ways to Disarm an Argument
and 5 Key Steps to Repair an Offense
. The key here is making a commitment to work together at bringing arguments to a mutually beneficial end.
Begin The Morning With a Good Attitude
When you wake up in the morning greet each other first before anyone (kids) or anything (media devices) else. Say something positive and give a little affection. Let your partner know you are happy to wake up next to him/her. A good attitude sets a positive mood.
My wife Marian and I share a common faith. A verse we try to emulate says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.”
We make it a goal to greet each other in the morning the way our God does.
If you clean the slate at night, you are more likely to begin the morning in a good mood. Work together on this. When your partner says or does something nice to you, reciprocate.
If you need a cup of coffee to crank up the mood level, by all means have one! It might also be nice to make a cup for your spouse and enjoy a few moments together before the start of the day.
Find Moments in the Day to Connect
Most of us live busy lives. We hit the ground running and end the day exhausted at the finish line. Technology has made us more accessible to one another. This can be good and bad. What is good for a marriage is the ability to take a moment and connect.
Think about the many ways you can find a moment to connect during the day. It’s as easy as a text that says (examples)…
“I’m thinking about you right now.” “You’re on my mind in a good way.” “Thank you for…” “I love you.” “What you did for me this morning made my day.”
A quick phone call, some FaceTime or Skype, or if possible, meeting for lunch or coffee are ways to stay connected during the day. If you know your spouse/partner has a challenging day, you can check in with him/her and ask how it is going. Staying connected in little ways throughout the day, keeps the channels of connection open.
Speak Each Other’s Love Language
Marian is from Switzerland. Her family’s native language is Swiss-German. When I am with the family, they will often speak to one another in this language. I enjoy learning phrases that I practice on my wife and relatives. When I speak the language I get such a positive reaction from the family. My mother-in-law especially enjoys teaching me new words and sentences.
Gary Chapman, in his groundbreaking book, “Love Languages”
describes 5 types of love languages people speak. The key is knowing your own AND your spouse’s language. The problem many couples have is expecting their spouse to be fluent in their love language. While your language may be “words of affirmation”, your spouse’s language may be “acts of service”.
The key to love language is to learn the language of your partner. However, don’t expect him/her to speak yours fluently. Give them time to learn it while also remembering you have to learn theirs too. Neither of you should expect the other to speak yours fluently. Remember it is not their primary language.
Develop Code Language
One of the best decisions in our marriage was to develop code language to get us through rough spots during the day. We noticed there were times when one of us were unsettled about something that the other was unaware. For example, being in a social situation where one was feeling left out or interrupted in conversation. Early in our relationship, we would have conflicts over this.
Over time we developed code language to prevent this from repeating. If one was feeling uncomfortable, a positive signal was given to the other to alert me/her of the distress. Usually it was a hand squeeze, a rub of the knee under the table, or something that would politely request to tune in. The other would adjust accordingly with a positive attitude to correct the problem. It has been tremendously successful for us and has made social events much more pleasant. This is one example of code language that has served us well.
Code language is co-created. In other words, you make it up together. The success is in following the code. If one sends the signal and the other ignores or rejects it, then the mood in marriage is negatively affected.
Now it’s Your Turn
I suggest you have your spouse read this article if he/she has not done so already. Many of my subscribers are couples who both receive the blog in their email box. If not, you can sign up online: www.donolund.com
Once you have read the article, I recommend you set a time to discuss these five commitments and decide how you can work as a team to put them into play. Next blog I will share the benefits of a positive mood in your marriage.
I want to learn from you
What do you do that keeps a positive mood in your marriage? Ideas that work? I would love to hear from you. Place your comment below.