How Optimism can Help – or Hurt – Your Marriage

Beth and Tom were happily married for over 25 years – no small feat in today’s world. At first, their friends could not understand how their marriage succeeded, due to numerous perceived shortcomings. However, closer scrutiny of their marriage revealed that it was their thinking patterns – the ways they explained and interpreted their partner’s behavior to themselves – that strengthened, rather than weakened, their marriage. Tom’s lack of self-confidence? No problem! This only made Beth feel very caring toward him. His stubbornness and obstinacy? Again Beth explained this to herself as “I respect him for his strong beliefs and it helps me have confidence in our relationship.” Beth’s jealousy? Tom told himself: “This is a marker of how important …