An Experiment With Positivity
A woman, Jean, who was struggling with her marriage and seriously considering a divorce was reading one of the local advice columns in the morning paper. The problem involved a father and a teen-age son. The son was described as lazy, unmotivated, messy, etc. and the dad described himself as being on “his last nerve” with the boy. He had tried lecture, grounding, taking away privileges and nothing was working. The advice columnist suggested that the father “do a 180,” a complete turn-around in how he was handling the problem, and only talk with his son about things that were going well. The father noted a remarkable difference very quickly after making this change.
Jean, in her struggling marriage, decided to try the very same thing. Instead of her frequent requests and complaints (which her husband described as nagging), she was either quiet and said nothing or found something to compliment him on. This was very difficult for her to do in the early stages of the experiment; however, she noted that within a few weeks, some of the things that she had asked for were now being done spontaneously. Jean further reported that by the end of the month, her husband was doing things around the house … and for her, that she had never requested. It was also about this time that Jean noticed that she had started liking her husband again. She was truly surprised at this turn in her feelings as she had felt very few warm feelings for him over the past year … but thinking about, and talking about his positive efforts and qualities … as well as believing that she could trust these changes that he was making brought about this difference.
Jean noted several months later that things were going very well in her home. Love-making came back into the marriage. Her husband was “courting” her again with dates, notes, phone calls and texts … and she was also initiating flirting and promoting humor and fun.
Do you have any stories of success to share with us?