Repair Your Relationship

Step 3: Ask for what you want

Pick up your pen and answer the following questions:

  • When is my spouse least likely to be conciliatory, patient or pay attention to my requests?
  • When is my spouse most likely to be conciliatory, patient or pay attention to my requests? (Think back to a time when you got a positive reaction from your partner when you asked for something. Identify what was going on then.)
  • Now, write down when in the next few days you will tell your partner what you want to improve about your marriage and commit to that date.

Asking for what you want can make all the difference in the world

You may be pleasantly surprised to find that setting solution-oriented goals and then asking for what you want in a more constructive way (even if that simply means asking at a more appropriate time) are extremely productive activities. But even though you've moved in a positive direction, you are only beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to keeping your marriage on track. In the meantime, let your spouse know how much you appreciate him -- and keep reading.

When asking doesn't make any difference

Sometimes, no matter how well you make or time a request, your partner may not respond the way you had hoped. There are lots of reasons this might be so. There may be so much tension between you that your partner is not about to do anything you ask. Or, your spouse may be so uncertain about staying married, he may not be receptive to requests for change right now. You may have talked so much about your marriage that everything you say at this point is going in one ear and out the other.

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