Commonly, men and women hold a distinction in their minds between themselves and their marriage. Their personal self is one thing and their marriage is another.
Perhaps this makes sense at certain levels, but when a marriage has fallen short of what it’s meant to be, this notion is problematic. It’s problematic because there’s often an unconscious concept that it’s the “marriage” that needs help rather than one’s self.
In other words, the marriage becomes a third-party entity that needs help – but a third-party entity can seem hopelessly hard to help because it involves “other” people.
The solution is to rid yourself of the mostly-unconscious notion that your marriage is an unknown third-party entity without a face and realize that your marriage is you and another person – and that means a FULL 50% of your marriage is completely and totally in your control.
And, when you personally INSIST that your 50% share of the marriage is going to be right and good, it’s highly probable that you’ll influence the remaining 50% of the marriage to be right and good too.
So, keeping in mind that it’s useful and helpful to try to “fix” one’s “self” rather than a “marriage”, here are three tips YOU can use to make your 1/2 right and good:
1. Become Happier Yourself
While you certainly want to be happy with someone you care about, it’s not another person who can make you happy. Only you can make yourself happy.If you’re looking to your spouse to “make you happy” you’re sure to be disappointed. And, the more you look to them to make you happy, the unhappier you’ll become. And that makes it even more impossible for you to be happy.
But, when you make yourself happier, oddly enough, that’s when you can be happier in your marriage TOGETHER.
That means taking personal responsibility for doing things that make you happy.
There is something you can do right now that once you’ve done it, you can’t help but feel happier – and more able to appreciate and enjoy your marriage.
Maybe it’s a dance class. Maybe it’s a workout at the gym. Maybe it’s simply flipping through some picture albums. I’m not sure what it is, but you already know.
Go ahead, scan right on past all of the CANT’S and go right to the CAN’S!Let go of what you can’t do.
Let go of what you don’t have.
Let go of what’s unavailable or out of reach for now.
Let go of what someone else should or should not have done.
Within the realm of your own personal self and the resources available to you, what can you do right now that will cause you to feel happier?What is it? Let your mind feed you the answer, right now, and then go do it.Your marriage will be the happier for it.
2. Remember To Have Fun
Any and every unpleasantness can not only be more bearable but in some cases it can even be made to be enjoyable when it’s mixed with some fun. And, all it takes to have fun is a bit of imagination.
Think of small children. Nothing more than a cardboard box and a vivid imagination can lead to an entire afternoon of amazing fun.
A husband and wife I know tell of two years in college where they were financially unable to eat out at even a cheap restaurant. But still, every Friday evening, they would scrape together enough change to buy two tacos apiece from a nearby taco vendor.
Then, as they sat at a rusted old picnic table and ate their tacos they would pretend they were eating delicacies from different countries around the world. They would describe to each other what it was they were eating and how wonderful it was. They would even get into describing the surrounding sights and sounds that accompanied their food.
As silly as this may seem, this couple was able to create powerfully happy memories in spite of it being an extremely difficult and unpleasant time in their lives. Incidentally, the time eventually came when they did in fact enjoy the delicacies, sights, and sounds that they imagined during those times when they had no money.
What about you?
What silly things can you do with your spouse that cost little to nothing but could be immensely fun – and make unpleasant circumstances more bearable?
Could you go to a nearby state or federal park and imagine you’re walking in your own private park and the people who work there are your employees whose job it is to take care of the grounds and facilities for you…
Or, could you rope off a ring in your living room and have a pillow-fight where you pretend that you and your spouse are contending for a UFC or WWF Championship? As fight contenders, what wild, wacky and weird name would each of you assign to yourselves? What kind of outrageous outfits could you each get into? Do you have one kid who can be the announcer and another who can be the referee?
Possibly, you’re feeling better already just for having let your mind imagine yourself being in these silly – yet fun-sounding – scenarios.
What makes a clown funny? It’s his or her “clowning” around, right? It’s their goofiness, silliness, absurdity, and even utter nonsense that makes them funny, is it not?
You could be goofy, silly, absurd, and nonsensical if you wanted to be, couldn’t you?
3. The Only Thing That Doesn’t Change Is Change Itself
It’s useful to remember that the way things are right now is not how they will always be.Things WILL change.
And eventually, they change for the better.
Experience has shown that no matter how unpleasant things may seem right now, sooner or later things turn around for the good.
Knowing then that better times are coming, what can you do right at this time to help prepare for – or even to receive – these better times?
What can you do at this time to PRE-ENJOY these better times?
What satisfaction can you garner from merely ANTICIPATING the coming better times?
What are the things that are good and right, now? What do you have and enjoy at this moment that if you lost it, you would really be unhappy?
One exercise that’s a real eye-opener is to write down a list of everything that if you didn’t write it down, it would be gone tomorrow morning. As a basic yet important example, on your piece of paper, you’d probably want to write down vision since your life would undoubtedly be significantly worse off if you were to lose your eyesight.
When you consider all that you have and enjoy in light of losing it if you don’t write it down, you begin to see just how much is right and good in your life.
If arrival at a desired destination is the only time and place one can be happy, then life is destined to be an unhappy affair.
And, when you set your mind to it, you can begin to notice and enjoy happiness and satisfaction during the journey to the destination too.
If you’ll free yourself to do it, you can make yourself feel better by choosing to do things that make you feel happier.
If you’ll let loose your lighter side and activate your imagination, you can make the mundane exciting and the unpleasant bearable – all while creating fond memories that you’ll look back on for the rest of your life.
If you’ll join yourself to the idea that good sooner or later prevails and that everything eventually turns to the good, and while you share your marriage with your spouse you begin to notice all that is good and right at this time, the path of life becomes so much more enjoyable.
By personally choosing to act on these three tips right away, you begin to do your part to create a happier, more fulfilling marriage.
Copyright 2018 by Calle Zorro
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This philosophy has poisoned my marriage.
My wife was unhappy with her job, not me.
Now she’s become selfish thinking only of her own gratification in a long distance relationship. Whoever came up with this idea failed to mention that this advice was never intended to be used in that situation.
Now where I was happy with her and I lived for her and we lived for each other, she looks inside for her own happiness instead of toward her sworn life mate. She finds gratification with others instead of with me. As a result it is my needs that aren’t being met now.
I do not want to force a change in the situation and find gratification in others as she has. I can do nothing, say nothing, and am drowning in silent misery and resentment toward the people that she now allows to make her happy because she will not allow me to.
Michael, to say that the philosophy in this article poisoned your marriage is a totally absurd statement.
You can say that this philosophy ruined your marriage…but saying it doesn’t make it so.
The fact is, IF you were following the philosophy of this article, your wife would NOT be making herself happy with other people.
I promise you, your wife does NOT prefer unhappy, negative people who make her feel horrible about herself, her life, and her future. NOBODY prefers that.
But, a wife WILL leave an unhappy, negative husband who makes her feel horrible about herself, her life, and her future in favor of more positive, more interesting people who can generate good feelings within her about herself, her life, and her future.
The fact is, your wife could not take being unhappy with you any more … so she had to move on before she totally lost her sanity because of you.
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