Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Choices in Marriage

There are days you wish you could hit a rewind button and start the day over; when these days hit you have a choice:  let everything else irriatate me or go where it takes you.  Easier said then done, but the more I practice this the easier it has become.  I used to let things like election results, traffic, rainy days, bad tempered kids, etc effect my attitude towards everything else. . . including my marriage.  But as I've grown older and been married longer I've learned that I can't change the outcome of those things, so I might as well go along with it (and laugh along the way about it).

This can apply to marriage too!  You cannot change your spouse or things they might do, but you can make a choice to let it irritate you or to go with it.  Letting it irritate you only puts you in a bad mood and that can effect everything else going on around you.  Usually your spouse doesn't even know why you are irritated or if they do it doesn't bother them.  So in other words you are upset all on your own, when you could go with it and have an enjoyable time with your spouse.

I would often go "pout" or feel sorry for myself after getting upset with my spouse.  But he wouldn't notice or even understand why I was upset; afterall it was my reaction to something he did.  I can control my reactions, I cannot control my spouse.  If something really bothered me I decided to wait and bring it up when things were good so there weren't skewed emotions already.  So I learned to not let things bother me and life has been much happier and easy.  I got rid of my selfishness of how I felt to focus on what was more important-- our relationship.

This takes practice, BELIEVE me!!  But the outcome is worth it!

p.s. Using "I" statements helps a lot too.  You are telling how it makes you feel-- which isn't right or wrong, it keeps the focus on you not your spouse.  Instead of saying "Why can't you clean up your dishes after dinner?", try "I feel like I get stuck doing all the cleaning after dinner, it would be nice to have help getting the dishes done."  You are still communicating your thoughts and feelings, but in a much more pleasant way.  Many times it is HOW we say something, not the actual message that causes problems.

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