“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow- this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
Marriage is what you make it. I had to learn this with every fiber of my being. I noticed whenever I felt sad or disappointed about something I was not receiving from my husband I would be really irritated. The littlest things would get under my skin and I would be mad at everyone around me. I did not like the way I felt while being stuck in this place of sadness. I did not like the way I treated others. I would often feel really bad after an encounter with someone who did not deserve my attitude. It was a classic move of taking out my frustrations on someone who did nothing to me nor deserved my meanness.
I decided enough was enough of me sitting around pouting. I was going to take control of my feelings. I then read a passage that confirmed it all. The passage stated that I have control over my own happiness and my spouse cannot give me happiness. It also said that happiness is a choice. Ding ding. What a light bulb moment that was for me. Like so many of you I believed my spouse would always fill my happiness void. Well, we know that is not true and it can never be true because that is a whole lot of pressure to put on another person outside of yourself.
Here is a list of things to do to improve your stance and see the light of hope in your marriage.
- Change the way you view your spouse and your relationship.
There are plenty of times you are focusing on the wrong thing. The wrong thing in this case is usually something negative or things your spouse does not do. You have to shift and change your perspective and focus on the things they are doing right in the relationship. When you focus on what is going right, you can see the positive and see the good. You will remember all the great reasons why you fell in love with your spouse in the first place.
You want to keep that positivity going because life can be hard. Relationships can be hard. Marriage can be hard. However, you can make it better by the things you decide to focus on. Focus on the things that you love to hear your spouse say or see them do or just why you love being in your spouse’s company. Remember those times, especially when you are having an argument or just had an argument. The good about your spouse is what is really going to come through. Focus and change your view about your spouse and your relationship will go a long way.
- Do not remain disillusioned about your spouse.
Too many people stay in the fantasy stage of the relationship or wish they could stay there. The fantasy stage of the relationship is the honeymoon stage. It is the fantasy stage because this is when you cannot see who your spouse truly is. In this stage nothing your partner does or says irritates you. Sometimes you will hear this being referred to as you wearing rose colored glasses. The rose colored glasses stage is when you cannot see anything but the beauty in your spouse. This phase goes away at some point in the relationship. To be clear the honeymoon stage can last anywhere from 3 months to 3 years and this time frame is different for everyone’s relationship. This is a part of you two growing together and the relationship maturing.
When the honeymoon phase is over you will start to see your spouse’s flaws shine through such as him never putting the toilet seat down or not being as clean as you thought they were or not handling money too well. This is when you start to see who your spouse really is. You start to focus on their flaws and mistakes a lot more than you previously did. Then the thoughts of “who is this person? Who did I marry? Was he lying to me this whole time”, start to surface.
No. This was the same person as before and they did not lie to you. It is the growth that is happening. This is a part of it and you must understand this concept. You are growing together. You are building your life together. You are becoming one together and this is not an easy task once the honeymoon stage has faded away.
- Watch who you allow into your marriage.
Watch who you share your spouse’s flaws with, including your parents, your friends, your co-workers, your siblings and anybody that is not your spouse, especially those people who have gotten over the fact that they are divorced or their ex left them. If the person you are sharing your marriage with is still bitter from their own breakup or heartbreak, this is not the person you should be sharing your relationship woes with because this person will keep you there. They will talk about all of the horrible things and ways it is to be in a marriage and why your marriage will fail. They will reiterate how much marriage sucks. They will continue to share all of the bad stuff that they could not fix in their previous marriage and before you know it, you two are headed down the road of misery together.
Do not share your information with just any one. Share it with someone you can trust: A coach, counselor, therapist, pastor, trusted friend or parent. Share your information with someone who will not take your side just because they know you or love you. This person should be able to give you constructive criticism. This person should be able to point out your flaws that you have, the mistakes you are making and you do not get upset about what is revealed to you. You take in the information and receive it as help, which is what it is intended to do. You must not let just anyone into your world. You have to give your relationship, you have to give your marriage and your spouse a fighting chance. Sometimes you just have to zip it. Sometimes you have to sit in your own pain and figure out what your next move is. Not allowing all those different and bitter people into your ear about what they would do or take. You have to get clear about what you want and need, so watch who you allow into your marriage.
- Do not be so fast to say hurtful things to your spouse especially when you are angry.
Now that you are mad at your spouse you think this is the best time to say a mouthful of hurtful words to them. You are hoping the words cut your spouse deep but you are not realizing the effects of what you are doing. The effects from this are slowly breaking down the foundation of your marriage. You are slowly cutting off the legs right from underneath you. You are slowly pushing your spouse out the door but you do not recognize the danger you are in while you do this. This usually is a slow process so you may not recognize it while it is happening until it is too late. The compounding of you doing this over and over again brings about a familiar distance in your marriage.
This familiar distance leads people to seek outside emotional attachments. Not with the person you claim to love or until death do you part, through sickness and health, through good and bad. Remember those vows?
- You are the change that you seek!
No one can change your marriage around but you. No one can shift your habits or behaviors but you. You know the things you are doing that are destructive in your marriage. You have to decide that today is the first day of my new marriage and then start walking in that direction. Start doing the things you know you need to do in order to change your marriage around.
If you do not know what you are doing that could be damaging your marriage or you do not see how you can start to turn things around in your relationship then send me a message at email@example.com or schedule your Life Changing Strategic coaching call today!
Do not forget to check out the Relationship Resource Library to find many more secrets to creating an enriching love life with your spouse. Download yours today!
All the best!
Life & Relationship Strategist