One of the methods used by therapists and psychologists to help couples save a marriage is a tool called behavior therapy.
Behavior therapy works when a couple does more positives acts for one another than negative acts.
Some psychologists revert to math. They may turn around and say for every one negative interaction you should have 5 positive interactions.
On the face of it this seems logical advice.
No doubt, having more positive interactions than negative means you moving in a positive healthy direction.
But the challenge is that this, is temporary solution.
We are all creatures of habit.
When we have a problem we can start to apologize and say 5 positive things to overcome the one negative thing you have done, and in theory this should work.
But this does not last long. We go back to our old habits and start all over again.
Math does not work when it comes to solving severe marriage problems.
Let’s assume that your spouse cheated on you.
I’m pretty sure it’s going to take more than 5 loving words, gestures, moments of kindness and apologies for you to forgive him.
What if he is controlling or violated your trust in another way?
Blindly following math advice or one specific method or approach to fixing your marriage problems is a danger signal.
A better way is to understand and reframe your thoughts and beliefs about a problem, work on your emotions and finally start to recognize the behavior changes that the both of you need to make to overcome your problems.
It’s not math but a combination of thoughts, emotional and behavioral changes that can turn around a problematic marriage fast.