1. Focus on Today
Many times we argue about the past. We begin by talking about something that bothers us now and then we go back in time. We recall incidents that occurred and thought had been laid to rest but now, suddenly, they are revived.
You’re upset about your spouse missing your son’s PTA meeting. Instead of talking about her not making it tonight, you remember all the past PTA’s she missed. And then you remember the party she came late to, and your sister’s Thanksgiving dinner five years ago. The argument escalates. Now you are arguing about all the past hurts and you’ve lost focus on the present.
You’re angry that your wife ran up a large credit card bill this month. You begin the discussion by telling her that she can never stick to a budget and her parents spoiled her. You tell her that she has no appreciation of money and she grew up never knowing what it means to value a dollar. By the time you are ready to talk about the bill, you’ve lost her.
This is an unhealthy way of discussing issues and will never lead to resolution.
The first thing you need to do is recognize your role in this negative pattern and try to make a change. Perhaps your spouse makes this same mistake but why should you add poison to the atmosphere? At least on your end there will be a decrease in the negativity-and this can only add to your relationship.
2. Change Yourself & Stop Trying to Change Your Spouse
We spend too much time thinking about how to fix the person we live with and not enough time contemplating how to make ourselves feel stronger. It’s time for a new approach.
While you cannot change your spouse’s actions, you can change your reaction.
We cannot blame our spouse for our unhappiness forever. If we decide to stay in a marriage then we cannot spend our days complaining. Often we call up friends and family and speak badly about our partner. There is no positive outcome from dissing your spouse. We need to stop putting down and start pulling ourselves up.
When your spouse comes home moody, don’t fall into the trap of becoming moody yourself. I know this is easier said than done, but you are the only one who can decide how to feel inside your head and heart. Take back control of your emotions. Put on music, go for a run, listen to an enjoyable TV show, find something that you can do to keep your mood positive and happy.
When your wife is snappy, don’t respond in kind. You will be caught in a whirlpool of emotions and find your relationship going down the drain. Change the way you respond. Figure out how you can answer calmly without losing your dignity. You will set a new tone and be happy with the results.
This may not make the problem go away but it will help you feel more in control, stronger and as a result, you will feel more confident and happier with who you are.
Instead of grumbling, zero in on what we can solve.
If your spouse is not good at spending time with the children in the evening, maybe emornings would be better.
You feel that your wife brings up the same issue 100 times. Maybe if you would reassure her that you hear her concerns and voice back her emotions, she would finally feel that you are listening.
You need to remember why you fell in love in the first place. What are the qualities that attracted you to this person? Everyone has something good we can focus on, sometimes because of all our anger and hurts we simply cannot see.
Though it would of course be best if both husband and wife share working on their relationship together, this does not mean that we do not have power to make positive change on our own. We will become happier because we will not look toward others for make us happy.
This post was adapted from a post written by Slovie Jungries-Wolff. You can find the original post here: http://www.aish.com/f/m/3_Ways_to_Improve_Your_Marriage_on_Your_Own.html