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Posts Tagged ‘choice’

“Get over it.” No one likes being told this. It’s best if you don’t hear this from your spouse; so, you can hear it here from us.

You undoubtedly have issues about the way your spouse handles some things. You have preferences that don’t get heeded, delegations that don’t get done, and ways you don’t see eye-to-eye. The list may be short or may be long. It may include things really important to you. We all have a list.

Although our lists differ greatly, one thing’s for sure: a list of what you don’t get, don’t have, and don’t get to do keeps you from seeing fully what you DO have and capitalizing on that. What you focus on grows in your awareness. And often times the beauty of the person and their company in our lives is missed because we focus on our list, and therefore not on their inherent value.

So, it’s time to get over it. Chuck the list. Or at least pick one thing this week that has really bugged you about him/her and make a choice to “get over it.”

So, they don’t enjoy the same shows or sports – get over it. So, they’re too picky about tidiness – get over it. So, they like strange music – get over it. So, she doesn’t cook like your mom – get over it. So, he leaves his socks on the floor – get over it!

Sure, there are deal-breakers in a relationship – but most of what we deal with isn’t more important by a very long shot, and we would simply do well to get over it.

Accept your spouse for who they are. Take a deep breath and let your preferences go. Let that expectation you’ve placed on him/her go. When you make a choice to focus on the value of what you have in front of you then your annoyances with them will pale in significance. The list of great things about your spouse and the myriad of ways they add quality to your life would grow, and that would be a good thing.

Pick one thing today, and get over it!

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Some people think that falling in or out of love is outside of their control. However, take a few minutes to think of it this way:

Without purposefully working on it, in a long-term relationship there’s a continuum from fascination to familiarity to falling out of love. In other words, the degree to which you are no longer fascinated by someone means you are oh-it’s-just-you familiar with them, and shortly thereafter you will find yourself falling out of the feelings of being in love.

It’s the fascination with someone who fuels your attention on them. It motivates you to meet their needs and enables you to make allowances for their shortcomings. It’s your familiarity with someone who eventually “breeds contempt” as you no longer look for what you don’t know. Instead you make assumptions about what they feel/know/do based on what you already know about them, and resign yourself to the negatives of being with them.

The slide from familiarity to falling out of love can take a long or short time depending on how many negatives are found in the relationship.

(Side note: Not every couple chooses to end a relationship after the feelings of love are gone: familiarity can also have a comfort or convenience about it that can trump a person from acting on their feelings of having fallen out of love. This is the couple that look bored by each other but no-one intends on going anywhere.)

The truth is, fascination with someone is a choice. Any person – even the one you’re with – has a bottomless amount of intrigue waiting to be discovered by you. What there is to know about a person is infinite. But to the degree to which you’ve developed familiarity you’ll need to discipline your focus and stir up fascination again over time.

So over time you can be fascinated by your partner or fall out of love with them. You can ask questions or hold assumptions. You can look closer or turn away. You can listen to or talk at. You can find the unknown places and go there or you can play it safe.

Given the choice, I know what I’m picking.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! With all the focus on today, we’d thought we’d start to look at tomorrow a bit early. In order to make today the best it can be for you and your Valentine, consider February 15th. That’s right, looking into tomorrow could help you pull out the stops on your efforts today. Consider…

Tomorrow is the day…

… when you could look at your spouse and experience pain in your shins as you kick yourself, or when you could pat yourself on the back for how your love and thoughtfulness paid off.

… when you could see other couples and think, “I bet they had more fun than we did yesterday,” or you could know, “The great times we had can’t be beat!”

… when confusion about your relationship could reign supreme when it comes to what he/she wants from you, or when you could have a sense of clarity about where you’re at and what you can do.

… you could experience a torrent of doubts and questions about your love-life and its success, or you could revel in a new-found sense of connection and security regarding your relationship.

… you will have added another unmet expectation to the pile lying on the floor of your relationship, or added another memory worth talking about for years to come.

… when your spouse could wake up to their normal life with a sigh, or with a great big smile on their face.

Good thing you still get to choose. Go have a great day, and a great tomorrow!

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One Click, One Pick

This week, over at Stupendous Marriage they’re doing a great thing. They have something there that will point you down a rich path of wisdom when it comes to enjoying your marriage more.

And, now for you, it’s one click away. We encourage you to go there and read about what’s going on.

Over at this site they’re asking you to do something quite difficult but extremely rewarding. Dabble long enough to make a choice, just as they ask you. To do this, you’ll have to get your feet wet and poke around enough to ensure your choice counts.

When you’re ready, do as you’re told and make just one pick.

As you investigate what’s going on over at Stupendous Marriage we hope you find some great concepts and things that make you laugh, like we did. Indeed, encapsulated here are possibly the brightest and most dynamic ideas regarding marriage wisdom on the web.

It’s quite important to remember, however, that just clicking changes nothing. To benefit, you’ll need to find something to apply right away. What will be challenging about this will be making just one pick. Find us over there too – one click, one pick. Enjoy!

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Chances are, you’re reading this blog, and others like it, because you want the best your relationship has to offer.

Sometimes, however, what we want and what we believe don’t quite align. This disconnect matters a great deal because what you believe about your spouse and relationship dictates how you will approach it. This approach in turn sets patterns in place that will result in outcomes mimicking your beliefs. In other words, what you are believing produces what you end up experiencing.

A great question to ask is, “Do I believe the best?”

Example: If you believe he’s often late from work because he doesn’t care about you or your schedule you’ll likely show some of your feelings when he arrives. This will cause him to feel unappreciated and distant and will deflate his motivation to be more punctual, resulting in less than the best for the two of you as the cycle of negative feelings continues.

Example: You’re convinced she doesn’t initiate sex very much because she has lost affection for you. As a result you begin to subtly look for other forms of fulfillment in your life which causes her to feel less pursued. Again, a pattern that certainly doesn’t bring out the best.

The answer to these and a myriad of similar circumstances is to infuse them with a determination to believe the best about your spouse. This means to tell a different story.

Instead of believing he doesn’t care about your plans, believe he’s working hard for the family’s provision and loses track of time. Instead of believing she’s lost affection for you, believe her schedule has just gotten busy, and she’s waiting for you to invite her into an intimacy beyond her wildest dreams.

I know what you’re thinking, “Believing naive about things like that is what causes people to get hurt. Life just doesn’t reward that.” Herein is the problem: you have more faith in a negative explanation than in one that offers hope.

The fact is, those that believe the best about their partner’s weaknesses or character flaws, show love consistently and have the best marriages.

What about the risk? Know this: to believe something positive but perhaps slightly optimistic will produce far more of the best in your relationship than believing something negative – true or not.

When it comes to the person who’s vowed to live with you forever, a belief in the “best” is usually more accurate than a belief in the “worst.” So make a list of the things that bug you, and figure out how to to believe something better. This way you’ll be uncovering the best your relationship has to offer.

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One of dating’s greatest aspects is the anticipation of something new.

The thrill of not quite knowing what’s in your immediate future and yet looking forward to it because it’s with that special someone is an amazing place to be. Anticipation creates moments of powerful connection, moments that are noticed and from which your heart drinks deeply.

Conversely, it’s the unnoticed ruts of a relationship that sap this potential. Not talking here about the comfortable routines that bring safety and familiarity (you might not want to change those ones), but rather when and where you spend time that is not consciously chosen anymore: the night squandered in front of the TV, the mundane goodnight routine, the Saturday spent in different corners of the house. The most unfortunate ruts, and easiest to change, are the ones neither of you really notices anymore.

Every couple has them, and yours are waiting for you. It’s time for some adrenaline. It’s time to harness the power of anticipation.

The first step is to find these unnoticed opportunities. Take a week and create a place on your phone, journal or on a notepad on the fridge and write down whenever you notice this kind of rut. It’ll take a few days before they start to stand out, but by the end of a week you’ll have a little list and you’ll be able to see patterns.

Step two will be to dream up ways of filling these “unnoticeable” time-slots with activities you can anticipate: a walk in the woods, a card or board game, some quality time dreaming about your future together, even a great love-making session – whatever strikes you as a great idea. Write them down.

Step three (pick the right timing for this) present your list to your spouse.  Explain that you want to begin to fill the unnoticeable time-slots with activities you can anticipate. He/she may want to modify or add to your list, but make a plan together to begin to create these changes. Perhaps make a private list you can both access for these boredom-busting opportunities. The only stipulation is that the activities inspire anticipation.

Learn to experience the power of anticipation. The components are all there: you, your spouse, moments of time, and endless possibilities. The choice is yours, and your future awaits. What future can you anticipate?

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Perhaps your love-life has issues. Maybe you just read our Warning Signs post, and are now asking, “But where did we go wrong? What do we need to do?”

Our first post of trouble-shooting tips dealt with issues of the heart, how to identify them and how to choose to improve your relationship. In this post, we’ll look at three practical ways to give traction to your choice:

1. Stop Complaining. A relationship thrives on both parties expressing happiness with the relationship. For guys, a happy spouse is a sign of success in our love-lives. For girls, it brings a feeling of acceptance to know your man is happy with you in life. The absence of this expression of happiness signals to guys, incompetence, and to girls, rejection. When we’re not happy in a relationship it’s easy to fall into complaining as a permanent tone in our interactions with each other. Our friends hear it, and our spouses cringe at it.

So express what you ARE happy about. Don’t be fooled into thinking there isn’t anything, or that your complaining is needed in order for things to change. The reverse is actually true. Look for the seeds of something beautiful in your relationship and water those with your words, then step back and watch them bloom!

2. Show Respect. A relationship thrives on both parties showing honor and esteeming each other. When there is disrespect shown in words and actions, no matter how subtle, it fosters an unsafe and defensive environment, making healthy communication almost impossible. And note that sarcasm, complaining, and the silent treatment can be big carriers of disrespect even when disrespect isn’t intended.

So show honor and respect regardless of current realities. The amazing thing about respect is that it produces a response of respect in its recipient. But someone has to start the cycle.

3. Let Go of Disappointment. A relationship thrives on both parties buying in to a mutual dream. This is what is so central to the engagement and honeymoon phases of marriage. Then “life” deals its blows, often breaking hopes and dreams of what things could and should be like in a marriage. The truth is, because you now have some experience with each other and with life in general, you are better equipped to reach the dreams of your future than when you were first married!

So buy-in again to the dream you started with. This means having conversations around where you’re going in life together, big picture. Leave the day-to-day details and problems for another time and communicate again about what’s ahead. When you put aside disappointments and arguments about how things have been, or how they are presently, and talk about where you want to go, you’ll likely find yourselves in complete agreement.

When you see the serenity and happiness of a good marriage, you don’t see its history, or the work that went into it. However, if that relationship had been at one time the very opposite, know this: the transformation would have been characterized by the disciplined replacement of complaining by an expression of satisfaction, disrespect by showing honor, and disappointment, by dreaming together again.

As we stated in our first trouble-shooting post, if you’re reading this post and your relationship has seen better days, what you need to do NEXT is the item above that creates the most resistance in you. Focus your efforts, your courage and your willpower there.

It takes a tremendous amount of determination to serve your spouse, especially when you’re feeling that they don’t deserve it, or if you’re doing this marriage improvement gig alone. However, it is being done already in every healthy relationship, and you can choose to do it, too. Your marriage is worth it!

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