Are you feeling discouraged about your marriage and ready to throw in the towel?
Take a time out to consider these techniques to show you how one of you can bring the two of you together.
Let’s focus on how to use your negative emotions to guide you to a better marriage.
Do you feel chronically angry at your spouse and hopeless about your relationship’s challenges?
Are contemplating divorce?
Anger does not mean it’s time to fight. Hopelessness does not mean you should just give up on saving your marriage and get divorced.
Remember that throughout all of life, we average about 50% negative emotions/50% positive emotions, although the percentages up or down continuously shift.
Read those feelings of anger and hopelessness as flashing yellow warning lights.
It’s time to take action.
Write out a list of all the things you’re feeling angry or hopeless about
List all the issues that you have been arguing about or giving up on.
Include the issues that upset your spouse as well as the ones that irritate and frustrate you.
Keep the focus on yourself: become “self-centered”
Notice that when you feel angry, your focus will tend to be on what your husband does or doesn’t do that frustrates or annoys you.
Focusing inwardly on your own concerns and desires.
Go back to your list and ask yourself, “With regard to this issue, what do I want?”
Are you writing what you want your husband to do differently?
If you have been writing “I want him to…” you still need to shift your focus to yourself.
List only what you want your own behavior to look like, not his. Here’s an example.
- Self-centered: “I want to find a way to keep our bedroom more neat and orderly.” Thinking this way keeps the focus on you.
- Husband-centered: “I want him to stop being so messy and to clean up after himself” which trains the focus on your him.
Ditch your Manual
Even though you may have a long list of expectations and needs for happiness in your marriage, the best case scenario is that you can only make requests of your husband.
And don’t make it mean something dreadful about him or your marriage if he chooses not to comply.
We can’t control any one else’s behavior, only our own.
We have 100% control over the stories and interpretations we create and what we make them mean.
If we tie our happiness to someone else’s behavior, we have handed over all our power to create the life we want to them.
This is a recipe for disaster.