Want to know the secrets of how to have an amazing marriage? In this episode, we discuss the 4 things you need to do to create the marriage you’ve always wanted. (spoiler: it doesn’t involve the other person changing at all!)
In my opinion there are 4 things you need to do to have an amazing marriage. These four things aren’t easy, but they are so worth it and totally possible.
Step 1: Commit to Love
You have to make the decision to love the person you are married to.
This means choosing to love him no matter what.
Even when he is behaving badly. Even when he’s grumpy. Even when he forgets to do what you asked him to do. Even when you really don’t feel like. You choose to love him.
You can’t feel anger, frustration, disappointment, or resentment and feel love at the same time. You just can’t. But when you commit to loving the person you are with in every moment, in every situation, you are choosing to feel love over any other feeling.
When you choose to love, you will naturally feel the emotion of love. It’s a choice. You can choose it no matter what the other person says, does, thinks, or feels. It’s a choice you make for yourself.
I love this quote by Brooke Castillo. She said “All love does is love.”
That’s it. Love begets love. Love is always the best choice.
By choosing love, you are doing the loving thing for yourself. Not the other person. Love is an emotion you experience all by yourself. It doesn’t jump for your body into theirs.
You choose love because love feels totally amazing and you get to experience that. Love is always an option and is always available to you.
Step 2: Give Up the Need to Be Right
The need to be right ruins marriages.
We fight for our opinions. We feel justified in how we feel.
This is our human brain believing that our survival depends on us being right. Our brain would rather be right than to grow or change. It’s human nature.
But we aren’t fighting for our survival anymore. Our survival doesn’t depend on us being right. In fact, the survival of our marriage depends on us NOT being right. NOT fighting to make the other person see our side of things.
So many times our need to be right and prove our spouse wrong destroys the relationship. When you fight for the need to be right you are pushing and pulling and add tension to the relationship.
But when you release your need to be right the tension dissipates.
Think about a tug of war. Each person pulling as hard as they can for their side. The rope is taut. Eventually someone loses strength and is pulled to the ground. But if one side just lets go, there is not more tug of war.
I’m not suggestion that you commit to being wrong all the time. You don’t need to be the martyr or the sacrificial lamb. But you also don’t need to be right. There’s no benefit to being right all the time.
Don’t go into a conversation expecting to convince the other person that you are right and they are wrong. That never works. It’s more important that you come to a conversation being open and truly being empathetic and listening to the other person.
Step 3: Stop Trying to Control the Other Person
We all do it. Life would be so much easier if we could control our spouse and what they think, feel, say, and do, right?
But how is that working for you? It probably isn’t. In fact, it’s probably working against you. No one likes to be controlled.
We do it so innocently, often without even recognizing that we are doing it.
We want them to be in a good mood.
We want them to say nice things.
We want them to help with the kids.
We want them to help around the house.
We want them to be the strong spiritual leader in our home.
But the truth is, adults get to behave however they want.
We often try to control others by manipulating them (but we usually don’t even realize that we are doing it.) We try to control others by getting mad at them and causing them to change their behavior to avoid us getting upset causes so many problems in relationships.
When you “successfully” control someone else’s behavior, they may be doing what you want, but they aren’t doing it because they want to. They are just doing it to avoid dealing with your wrath or other consequences of not acting how you want.
This is manipulation!
So what should you do?
Simply let them be who they are.
You need to let go of the small things and work on yourself not get upset by people being who they are.
Trying to control people with your expectations of how they should be acting is setting yourself up for a miserable if not a failed relationship. It doesn’t work.
Instead, when someone doesn’t act the way you would like them do, learn to control yourself instead of them.
Manage your own thoughts and emotions around their behavior.
May you need to set boundaries for yourself. They are allowed to be whoever they want to be, but if they do certain things you respond in a certain way.
Say your husband has an affair. He’s totally allowed to do that. But you can say “If you have an affair, I will not stay married to you.” You don’t have to get mad about it. You don’t have to try and control him or the situation. You just leave.
If your husband is saying rude things to you, you can say “You know, I really don’t want to listen to this, so I’m going to leave the house for a few hours.”
This isn’t trying to control him. He’s allowed to do and say whatever he wants. This is you taking control of you. It doesn’t need to come from anger, or frustration, or resentment. What he says and does is about him…it’s not about you. But you can decide that you are “committed to love” and that includes loving yourself and decide what you want to do for you.
Step 4: Take 100% Responsibility
If you want to fix your relationship, the way to do so is to take 100% responsibility for yourself and how you feel.
You might think this isn’t fair. You’re right—it’s not fair. But being fair won’t fix your relationship.
I’m not suggesting that you take responsibility for their behavior or how they feel. Quite the opposite: I’m suggesting you take responsibility for how you feel.
This can be hard for many people. But, I’ll tell you what—it’s always worth it. When you take 100% responsibility for how you feel, you get your power back, and you can fix your relationship.
If you go into a relationship taking full responsibility for how you feel—if you come from a place of love, let go of trying to control the other person, and give up the need to be right—you are going to have a magical relationship.
When we become disempowered in relationships, it’s often because we blame other people for how we feel.
Remember, your thoughts create your feelings. If your spouse has done something you don’t like, it’s your thoughts about what he has done that are causing you to feel the way you feel—not what he actually did.
When you use these four steps, you will be more respected and loved. You will have more intimacy than you’ve ever had in your relationships. You will create an amazing marriage.