'Thank you' may pacify warring couples

Feb. 13, 2012 at 11:36 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Couples should use Valentine's Day to spend more time focusing on the positive aspects of their relationship and not complaints, two U.S. psychiatrists said.

"Valentine's Day is not a day for arguing with your spouse or significant other. In fact, no day is good for that," Dr. Philip Lee and his wife, Dr. Diane Rudolph, both of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and co-heads of the Marital and Family Therapy program, said in a statement. "Although most couples believe it is healthy to clear the air and not keep anger 'bottled up,' constant arguing usually leaves both partners feeling bad about the relationship."

Instead of screaming and throwing a tantrum about things that make you upset, praise your partner for doing the things that are helpful to you, the psychiatrists said.

"Remember the good old days. Almost everyone remembers the 'early days' of the relationship as more fun than the present," Lee said in a statement. "Say 'thank you.' Show your appreciation for all of the things that your partner does no matter how small or how you may really feel. Something as simple as a 'thank you' can make a dramatic difference in your relationship in a matter of weeks."

Most of the time a spouse just wants a partner to listen and calmly empathize without saying anything more. Even if it seems pointless, that's often all a person needs, the psychiatrists said.

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