Many of us will stay stuck in a belief or habitual behavior even if we know our spouse resents it. Even if our spouse consistently expresses that resentment. We are too arrogant or stubborn to admit “a problem.” Or to simply please our spouse and CHANGE.
Why change? Because it can save your marriage.
Now I know what you’re thinking. For as long as you can remember, people have been telling you not to change yourself for the sake of a relationship. But that’s only partly true.
Yes, you shouldn’t have to change who you inherently are for someone else. If you don’t love football, you don’t have to learn to love football. Your partner who loves football should love you regardless of how you feel about football.
So, no, you don’t have to change who you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change your actions or reactions to typical situations you experience in your marriage.
For instance, let’s say you leave the room every time your spouse puts a football game on TV. That’s sending a negative message to your spouse. So instead of getting stuck in that negative loop, why not do something to change it?
You can easily sit next to your spouse as he watches football and do something completely different – while also still spending time together. You can also talk to your spouse and come up with a compromise about doing things that both of you enjoy individually and together.
While this was a pretty basic example, you have probably experienced very similar situations in your own marriage. And unfortunately, over time, these situations pile up and start to annoy your spouse, which could eventually lead to destroying your relationship if they aren’t addressed.
If what you have been doing or thinking for years isn’t working, you need to explore different approaches. Changing yourself will get you better results with your spouse and in your marriage. Remember, your relationship is often a mirror of yourself. So in order to change your relationship, you need to start with yourself.
Here are three ways to be the change in your relationship.
Be self-aware. You need to be able to look at yourself objectively and recognize when you’re acting or reacting in a negative way. And then you need to be able to look beyond your behaviors to understand why you act a certain way and resolve to change that pattern.
Break your routine. If you’re dissatisfied with your spouse and your relationship (or vice versa), try breaking your routine and doing something different. If you don’t, you’re just going to experience the same issues over and over.
Communicate. This is usually one of the easiest solutions to our problems, but also often the hardest to actually do. If you and your spouse don’t communicate about your issues, then you’ll never be able to fix things. After all, if you don’t know something is a problem, you can’t start addressing it. Even if it’s out of your comfort zone, voice your concerns when something is bothering you in a nice way. Encourage your spouse to do the same.
Change is a good thing. And sometimes it’s the most important thing you can do to save your marriage. So the next time you feel stuck as a couple, take a step back and try something different. Change your approach, and change your marriage!