When You Get Married

W

When you get married…

  • You try to be the person you think a wife or husband should be.
  • Your spouse tries to be the person he or she thinks a wife or husband should be.
  • They seldom match up with what the other expected.
  • Neither of you keeps trying quite so hard without positive feedback.
  • Each of you may resort to nagging to get what you expect or withdrawal to avoid the pain of not getting it.

A much better approach is to aim to enjoy being married to your spouse. This means you…

  • Let go of your expectations of what you will get from the marriage other than love.
  • Take care of the things you don’t much like doing and hoped a spouse would do for you, so you never bury that love under resentment.
  • Pay close attention to all the love you get, and express gratitude for it or return it amplified.
  • Get to know your wife’s or husband’s character strengths and even create opportunities for her or him to use these strengths around you.
  • Let your spouse know how much you respect and value these strengths, especially the ones you are still mastering.
  • Remember people do not change all that quickly, so what upsets you a month or year or decade after the wedding may well be just a different way of loving you.
  • Recognize differences are normal but seldom as either-or as they look, so try for a Third Alternative that satisfies you both even more before you debate or fight about them or settle on a compromise.

A happy spouse is irresistible.

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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By Patty Newbold

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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