How often do we find ourselves frustrated with our marriage; specifically with our partner? “I swear, if she does that one more time, I’m going to scream”, or “He won’t get his lazy butt off the couch, I could really use some help”. We complain to our friends, our coworkers or anyone else that will listen. With each passing month, our aggravation grows. It leads to resentment. If left unchecked, these feelings will turn toxic until there’s nothing that a spouse can do that is right…
There’s a Chinese Proverb that says “Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome.” This concept applies perfectly to marriage. We spend so much emotional energy finding the flaws in our spouse that we completely ignore our own routine actions and behaviors. The reality is that we can’t change our spouse, but we can change ourselves.
A healthy marriage is like an ecosystem. Central to the ecosystem concept is the idea that living organisms interact with every other element in their local environment. A change to any given organism will change all other organisms within the system. Ask yourself this, could it be possible that the behavior you loathe in your spouse is a direct reflection of your own behavior? There’s an easy way to test this out. Change things up. Change your own routines, move out of your comfort zone. You might not see radical change in your spouse overnight, but give it some time. One of two things might happen. Your spouse will react positively to your change and change themselves, or you might find that your own attitude adjusts so that their behavior doesn’t bother you as much.
The bottom line to all of this is “If you want to have a better marriage, become a better spouse”. And that requires change.