“Doctor Doctor, Give Me the News…”
“Doctor doctor, give me the news I got a bad case of loving you. No pill’s gonna cure my ill I got a bad case of loving you.” Robert Palmer sang those lyrics in 1979 (Moon Martin in 1978). But, many couples today need to see “Doctor Doctor” to get a script that will remedy a major “ill” destroying their marriage. The symptoms of this major “ill” include:
- Constant nagging and criticism
- Refusal to respond to nagging because it “drives me crazy”
- Increased arguing
- The perception that my spouse “never listens to me”
- Anger that chores are left undone
- Feeling unappreciated and devalued
If that sounds familiar, I have a two-part prescription for you.
- Each morning write down one thing about your spouse for which you are thankful. It may be a character trait you have always admired, an accomplishment they recently achieved, or a simple chore they completed. Write it down in a small notebook. Keep this notebook for the next 30 days, writing some word of thanks about your spouse every day.
- Every day, verbally thank your spouse for at least one thing. It may feel awkward, but do it anyway.
That’s it. Take this prescription home and take it for the fully allotted time period. Like medicine, it does no good if you stop before you finish the bottle. Carry this prescription out for the full 30 days. Take this medication (writing some word of thanks about your spouse and verbally thank your spouse) every day—good days and bad, when you are irritated with your spouse and when you are happy with your spouse. Some days will be harder than others, but write some word of thanks every day, tell them thanks for something every day. At the end of 30 days, let me know if your marriage seems more alive and if your spouse more responsive. Maybe you’ll be singing along with Robert Palmer: “Doctor Doctor, give me the news I got a bad case of loving you. No pill’s gonna cure my ill I got a bad case of loving you!”