Working On Myself To Help My Marriage

There have been lots of  internal issues subconsciously surfacing into my relationship with Derek. We have been having some connection problems the past few months and I decided that the best way to handle a problem is to start within yourself. For quite a few weeks we have been playing the pointing fingers game. It's getting old quickly. No one wins. Especially my friends and family who sit awkwardly in the middle of a bickering match.  It isn't fair and it certainly isn't cool. If we continue on this path not much good can come from it. 
 So I will take matters into my own hands. I can't change Derek, I can only hope he fulfills the promises he made to me. And I need to be able to do the same for him. What I can do is work on myself. And I sure have a lot of work to be done. So today I picked up the dusty paper my doctor handed me two months ago after my agoraphobic episode and dialed the number to the therapist she recommended I see. I had been putting that off due to my pigheadedness. I will also be looking for a new doctor in order to get second opinions on other things going on with my physically. This includes insomnia and anxiety still lurking on a daily basis. I need to help myself to help my marriage. The rest will have to work itself out.
That's what it's all about, right? 
  I found this awesome article from ImprovingYourWorld.com on working on yourself to improve your marriage. I will be using these tips asap. 
Working on yourself can greatly improve your marriage. When you can change the way you think and interact, your marriage can be more rewarding for you and your spouse. Everyone is prone to making mistakes and marriage is not easy for anyone. Selfishness can easily find its way into a marriage and can lead to severe problems. The best way to improve your marriage is work on yourself and make some changes. Here are some easy steps to follow if you want to work on your marriage.
  Step # 1 - Be kind to your spouse.
While this step sounds easy, it is actually harder than you might think. After being with someone for awhile, it can be easy to settle into a routine. You can quickly forget to do things for your spouse that make them happy. Your conversations can become boring and you may respond to questions with quick answers. Criticism often happens in marriage and one spouse is left feeling hurt, betrayed, and angry. It is easy to be rude to your spouse when you are in a bad mood. People often say that you need to leave your personal problems at home when you come to the office. This same rule applies to marriage. If you had a lousy day, don't take it out on your spouse. It is not their fault that things did not go as you had planned. Be kind to them, treat them how you want to be treated. Don't belittle your spouse or call them names. Avoid saying things that you will regret later. Look for ways you can serve your spouse. If you notice they are upset, ask them what is bothering them. It can be easy to think your spouse is upset with you when in fact they just had a rough day or they are stressed about something. Too often we overlook the good things in marriage and in ourselves and only focus on the bad.
Step # 2 - Self esteem.
One of the biggest factors that contributes to your marriage is your individual self esteem. If you have a stronger personality, do not use it to control or manipulate your spouse. You need to accept your spouse for who they are and find ways to boost their self esteem. If you constantly criticize them and cut them down, eventually they will lose their individual worth and they will become depressed and hopeless. You also need to look at your self esteem and find ways to be confident. Trust yourself and your ability to make decisions. Do not belittle yourself for not doing better with things. If you didn't get that promotion at work, encourage yourself to find ways to work harder. Don't stew on the reasons why you were unable to get the job. If you find yourself having struggles with your self esteem, ask your spouse for support and advice. They will be there to lift you up. Your spouse loves you no matter what. You are their best friend. Evaluate the positive aspects of yourself and remind yourself of them each day. Having confidence in yourself will radiate to your spouse and you will have a happier marriage because of it. 
  Step # 3 - Be logical.
It is a natural reaction to be emotional when confronted about something. When something is upsetting, it is easy to quickly react with an emotional response. Instead of just reacting, give yourself some time to think. Reacting purely out of emotion is not the best method to resolve problems and work with your spouse. If your spouse says something that you think is stupid, ask yourself if it is really worth picking a fight over. While it is good to be honest, you don't always have to say everything you are thinking. For example, say your wife has slaved away trying to make a gourmet meal for you, but she added too much salt or pepper to the dish, instead of criticizing her cooking, let her know how much you appreciate her doing something nice for you. If she asks what you didn't like, let her know that you prefer less salt. Don't rudely tell her that she used too much salt, politely request less salt or ask to add your own salt next time. Avoid making an issue out of something that doesn't need to be addressed. It may be easier to just eat the food and drink more water or milk instead of embarrassing your wife's ability to cook. Always consider the impact your words and actions can have on your spouse. It is much easier to be proactive with your responses than react with emotions alone. Far too often we say things to our spouse that we regret later on. There is always a better way to handle a situation. Look over your past disagreements and evaluate what you have learned from them. Strive to be a better person by being more logical and less emotional with your reactions.  
Step # 4 - Listen to your spouse.
Everyone says that a good marriage is built upon communication. Communication means more than just talking or listening to your spouse. When you are listening to your spouse, really listen to what they are saying. One way to show your spouse you care about what they are saying is to repeat a few of the things they have stated. Give them eye contact when they are talking and use non-verbal cues like nodding or smiling to show your spouse they have your full attention. Turn off the things that distract you and pay attention to your spouse. Women like to talk and they often think their husbands aren't listening because they look away or they have the television on while they are talking. Men need to give their wives time to talk about the things that are on their mind. They don't need to offer their opinion unless their wife asks for it. A simple way to give her time to talk is to eat dinner together, let her gab about her day. Then, when she is satisfied, you can go and enjoy some alone time to yourself to unwind from your day. If you truly listen to your partner, they will listen to you and it will be much easier to have an open relationship. 
 Step # 5 - Forgive and Forget.
It is important to recognize that no one is perfect in marriage. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs to be forgiven. If your spouse does something to upset you, practice forgiveness. Sadly some people don't say anything to their spouses and they let the mistake turn into something bigger than it really is. It is impossible to control every thought you have, but it is possible to talk to your partner. If you have wronged your partner, ask for their forgiveness. Once you have both resolved the situation, leave it in the past. Never bring it up again, as this only shows you are unable to forgive and forget. You will not help your marriage progress and the two of you will wind up fighting about the same things over and over again.  
Step # 6 - Intimacy.
Human beings respond to emotional and physical needs. By nature, we need to feel love and be accepted by our spouse. Intimacy is an important aspect of marriage. Over time it can be easy to let intimacy fade because of the daily pressures and stresses. Never forget the needs of your spouse. Touch them often by stroking their back, neck, arms. Hold their hand, put your arm around them, kiss them, and hug them. Physical affection for your spouse does not always lead to sex. A touch from you will show your spouse that you care about them. Non-sexual intimacy is an important part of marriage. Men tend to have stronger desires for physical intimacy than women. Over time, women can forgot those needs of their husband and they get caught up in other things. They expect their husband to be loyal and faithful to them. Women need to realize that a man will be faithful, but he needs to feel love from his spouse in a physical manner. There is no reason why you should ever stop being intimate with your spouse. It is easy to give them a hug and a kiss when they return home from work. Grab their hand when you are driving in the car. Stroke their hair when you are laying in bed. Your spouse will feel your love and they will return their love to you.

Happy marriages are built upon being faithful and loving toward your partner. By working on yourself, you can greatly improve your marriage. You can be a better person by overcoming selfish desires and putting your spouse first in your life. Following the above tips will help you be a better husband or wife and it will make you be a better person. You will be happier in your marriage and happier in life in general.

Kelly has some work to do.....


3 comments:

Rhiannon said...

Good on you Kelly, I am sure taking that first step to see a therapist must be hard, but surely it can only lead to positive things.Rhi xxx

Pega Pallo said...

I don't know if you've read my mind or anything, but my oh my you hit mine and my husbands issues right on the spot.

We're completely changed since having our daughter, and I'm really going to follow these steps, because we were just talking today about a marriage counselor. Awesome.
Good luck to you!

Heather said...

Thank you. I read through lots of blogs and they're mostly posative and happy all the time. While this is fun to read, a dose of reality is fantastic. My husband and I hit quite a rough patch this summer. And it's been tough, but we're working through it. Reassuring to see (even though I already knew it) that we aren't the only ones not feeding each other grapes every night.

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