Building Your Sound Relationship House: Part 4- Create a Positive Perspective

The next step in building your own sound relationship house is learning to create a positive perspective or positive sentiment override instead of a negative sentiment override.  Many couples experience positive sentiment override at the start of a relationship.  This is when couples feel that spark, and everything about the other person seems exciting and special.  When we have this feeling, the little things don’t seem to bother us as much and we are much more tolerant and accepting of our partner.  This feeling creates a bubble over the relationship that helps keep outside stress from impacting us, buffers against irritability with our partner, and makes our repair attempts and attempts to connect more successful.  Basically, positive sentiment override creates a barrier that protects the relationship from becoming negative and keeps us at our best selves.

Over time, as the newness sometimes wears off, we can start to lose this special feeling.  This results in a loss of positive sentiment override and can lead to negative sentiment override.  This is when we pay more attention to what our partner doesn’t do, instead of what they do contribute.  When we get into this state, we focus on the few things we do not like about our partner, and do not manage to see all the wonderful things we fell in love with.  When this state occurs, it taints everything in the relationship and creates a cold and sometimes hostile environment.  If this continues to develop in the relationship without intervention, it can lead to failed attempts to connect and potentially break-up or divorce.  Luckily, there are ways to create more positive sentiment override and bring out the strengths in your relationship through Gottman’s couples therapy with a trained mental health counselor.

If you and your partner would like to learn more about enhancing your relationship through scientifically based Gottman’s couples therapy or you would like to build a stronger sound relationship house, call Life Enhancement Counseling Services at 407-443-8862 to set up an appointment with a counselor.


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