If you have been married longer than a day, you have probably found yourself blaming your spouse from some issue in your marriage. It is easy to get into the trap of thinking,“If only he would________, then I would __________.” You can fill in the blanks with any issue or problem, and the formula will yield the same result: no result. The “if only” mindset leaves you focused on the issue and what you believe are the problems in your spouse and keep you stuck in a cycle of frustration and stagnation.
However, there is hope! You just need a new formula. Instead of “if only he would_____________, then I would_____________,” formula, try “I will _____________.” The truth is change starts with you! If you will begin to focus on your behavior and take responsibility for what you are responsible for, you can begin to create change in yourself, which can lead to change in your marriage. Try thinking of one thing that you can do different today. Maybe you can stop rolling your eyes, or pick up your mess without commenting on his. No matter how small the behavioral change, focus on you. Change starts with you!
If you or your spouse are interested in learning more skills to help improve the quality of your marriage, consider coming to the 7 Principles That Make Marriage Work workshop on February 13th from 9 to 12 in the Compass Center. For more info on the event, see the Workshop tab on our website.