While you're chucking clothes you no longer wear and dusting the nooks and crannies no one will ever see, why not take a moment to give your relationship a spring clean too? By tossing out these six destructive habits—recommended by a marriage therapist—you can make your marriage as sparkling as your freshly bleached counter tops and make more room for Marie Kondo's No. 1 principle: joy.
"Although venting is important, constantly dwelling on the negative is exhausting and tiresome for our loved ones," explains Alisa Ruby Bash, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Of course, you should be able to speak with partners about problems, but if you don't seem to be gaining closure or moving through those emotions with their help or listening ear, it's best to "call your therapist, and leave your partner out of it," Bash advocates.
Toss: Bringing Work Problems Home
"We all have bad days at work," says Bash. "But when you are constantly carrying work stress home, it will certainly interfere with the sanctity of your home life—which is supposed to be there to nourish and recharge you from the stress of work life."
Toss: Making Promises Lightly
"When you commit to anything with your spouse or your children, follow through," Bash says. "Aside from emergencies, make sure that they know that your word means something and that they can depend on you."
Toss: Being Messy
"Act with the same amount of consideration that you would for your best friend or your boss," suggests Bash. "Clean up after yourself—don't leave a huge mess for your partner to clean."
Toss: Being Unsupportive
"We all want to be accepted and encouraged by our partner," Bash says. "So try to always be their biggest fan. If you disagree with something they want to try, find your words carefully. Focus on their strengths and what made you fall in love with them."
Toss: Ignoring Your Needs
General acts of self-care can help you feel happy, healthy, and strong—however that may be in your life. It's like those airplane oxygen mask instructions: You have to help yourself before you can help your loved ones.
"If you want to be adored, cherished, and feel desired, then do your part to take care of yourself," says Bash. "It doesn't have to cost a lot or take too much time...take care of yourself the way you did when you were first together. There are always excuses we can make about why we are too tired, too busy, too old, or too far-gone. But at the end of the day, they are just excuses."