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.