Today I learned something that I think could help so many couples. This one small change could drastically improve not only your relationship, but your entire life. I'd love to share what I've learned with you.
As we all know, relationships can be an amazing source of love and support. Some would say that their relationship with their spouse is their most significant relationship. And while relationships can be incredible, they can also be difficult to navigate. As much as we set out to love our partner, sometimes we can end up feeling like they are our enemy.
It's like you love them, but ...
You love him, but he is not the most supportive partner. You love her, but she is always late no matter how many times you've told her how important punctuality is to you. You love him, but he never takes you out or plans date night. And frankly, you're tired of having to always plan everything.
The "buts" probably start out really small and petty, but over time they begin to add up. Maybe her snoring was cute at first, but now it's the reason you were tired all day at work. Every time you struggle to keep your eyes open you think about how she's going to expect you to come home and listen to her complain about her toxic work environment that she refuses to leave. She won't want you to say the obvious, which is that if she's that unhappy there maybe she should find another job. She'll just want to keep going over the same set of details over and over. And now it's pretty easy for that one "but" to occupy your mind all day long.
If any of this sounds remotely familiar you're probably wondering what is this one change you can make that's going to drastically and quickly improve your relationship. Well, I can't wait to tell you.
I love you, because ...
What if, when you thought about the snoring that kept you up all night you didn't spiral into all of the other annoyances that have been adding up over time.
What if you changed your "I love you, buts ... " to "I love you, becauses."
Here's an example to help you understand a little more. I love you because when my mom was sick, you took care of her like she was your own mother. I don't think I could have gotten through that without you. In fact, I also love you because in every hard situation in my life, you have always been right by my side being supportive and positive when I needed it the most. And once I really think about it, I love you because no one on this planet can make me laugh the way you do and I really love to laugh. I love your sense of humor.
Do you see how that one change has now prevented you from spiraling into resentment and anger. Now you've spiraled towards love.
Now, this one small change is easier said than done. Especially once you're already trending towards resentment and anger it may be difficult to recall why exactly you love your spouse. And for this reason, I want to include some simple steps to help set you up for success.
Before I get to those steps, I want to give you quite possibly the best news yet about this one simple change. The best news is, this is bound to change your relationship in a drastic way without you ever discussing it with your spouse if you don't want to. There are times when a relationship is so strained that it seems that only one person is willing to work on things. It is often our habit in this situation to beg the other person to "work on it" with us. But that is not necessary with this method. With this method, it's an inside job really. You must make the decision to give it a try and watch how it changes the dynamic of your relationship.
Set yourself up for success ...
Like I said, even though this seems like one small change, it can really be difficult to break the habit of "I love you, but". So, after reading this article, please follow the steps below to help set yourself up for success.
- Take your time to make a list of 3 reasons you love your spouse. Make sure to compile your list when it's easy to recall the reasons you love them. Take your time and make sure the things on the list are meaningful to you. For instance, "I love you because you're pretty" probably isn't very helpful, but "I love you because you always take your time to look beautiful when we go out and it makes me feel good that you still go out of your way to look good for me" could be really meaningful.
- Keep your list near you at all times. Maybe get in the habit of carrying in your wallet, pocket, etc.
- Whenever you feel angry or annoyed with your partner, excuse yourself to a quiet place. Take that list out and read each of your 3 reasons. After you read each one take a minute or so to remember and feel what that reason really means to you.
- Repeat every time you catch yourself focusing on your spouse's faults.
I cannot wait for you all to try this method. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.
Until next time.