I made a big deal out of it. I don’t do this now. It’s important to me that my husband spend time doing something he enjoys, and I can muster the wherewithal to be pleasant and show him support. I don’t have to complain—I can look for the silver-linings.
We all have Eeyores and George Castanzas in our lives. These are people that are chronically negative. They are the Debbie Downers that don’t see the good things right under their noses.
In today’s episode, we are going to discuss “MAGNIFYING.” This is our 2nd episode in our series “Anger in Marriage.”
What is MAGNIFYING?
Magnifying is blowing things out of proportion. A person who magnifies exaggerates the negative and provokes angry responses.
Often people who are guilty of magnifying fall into one or several camps.
- Personality Disorder (Denial)
Let’s look at depression. Depression is often marked by emotional reasoning. Emotional reasoning is a thinking habit. It’s the false belief – because something goes wrong that everything else will.
Pooh is able to take a difficult situation and see the good in it. He even find moral support along the way.
Living with anxiety is like living with a worry monster in your head. It dictates what you do, what you say, and how you behave. This can negatively impact relationships as it is self-focused and can ignore the needs of others. The anxiety can overpower a person’s ability to see how it may be affecting another person.
A perfectionist could nit-pick a spouse to death, making it difficult for the two to have cordial, productive conversations. This person could say “the car ride we took to Disney was horrible.” Which can make implications that the other spouse’s company was not appreciated.
This person often behaves dramatically to emphasize their reaction to just how “bad” others are. Essentially, this person is in a great deal of denial. Don’t misunderstand me, not all people that live in denial have personality disorders.
Oh, No! I Magnify! What Can I Do to Stop It!
Next, I would suggest catching yourself in the act. When you find yourself in the midst of magnifying, stop and ask yourself this: “Is this really that bad?” Another thing to remember to tell yourself is “I may be irritated right now, but I can deal with it.”
What Does the Bible Say?
In Colossians 3 and in Ephesians 5, Paul encourages the church to be thankful and sing songs of gratitude. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Pauls says, “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
James seems to go a step further. At the beginning of his letter (James 1:2), he says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” James encourages Christians to rejoice in trials or difficult circumstances.
What If It Is My Spouse Who Magnifies?
Boundaries will be key. Ask them, “Is it really that bad?” And empathize. Acknowledge that they are frustrated, but also help them to see that they can handle it.
We hope that today’s episode ups your communication skills game. When we’re angry, it can be really easy to use poor communication. Today’s tips can prevent you from blowing a disagreement out of proportion and can stall out unnecessary escalations.
8 thoughts on “044 Marriage: Do You Magnify the Problems in Your Marriage?”
Hahaha. Love it! I use to magnify but am working on it. As I was reading this as a recovering magnifier I kept thinking of so many people I should send this to. ????
Ha! It is a very common issue! We’re glad to see that you call yourself a “recovering” magnifier. It is a tough habit to break. It’s great to see personal growth in that area. Thanks for stopping by!
Wow! This is so challenging. It’s easy to get caught up on the negatives, but the words of Philippians 4:8 are a powerful reminder of where to place our focus in marriage! Wonderful reminder!
So glad that you enjoyed today’s topic. It is terribly challenging, one that we see frequently as marriage therapists. Hope that you found it helpful!
I can definitely relate to this! In past relationships I would definitely magnify things even if they weren’t that serious. I had a lot of my own issues that I had not yet dealt with and I allowed them to come out in this manner. I’m still working on this and hopefully will be better equipped when I marry again.
Magnification is definitely a hard habit to break. We hope that this episode is helpful to you as you continue working on overcoming it! Thank you for your feedback!
I can relate to this! I’m definitely a perfectionist, so even small things look really big to me at times (and I used to hate that my husband watched football! lol But I like it now!) . This is a great reminder for me to slow down and think before I react and really put it in perspective! Thanks for sharing this, Laura!
We’re glad that this episode was helpful to you, Kate! We totally get the football thing, by the way! ;). Ha ha! Thanks for stopping by!