How to Embrace Your Marriage…Warts and All
As I life coach, I often get questions about positive thinking.
People ask, “So do you just teach people to think positively and then things will feel better?” It’s a valid question.
That is only part of what I teach.
I teach my clients in my 1:1 coaching program that the way we think, our thoughts, are very powerful. Our thoughts create our feelings which drive all our actions. Our actions create our current results.
The other side of this is learning to accept negative emotion instead of resisting it or constantly trying to change it.
For example, maybe your husband chews with his mouth open and it Drives. You. Crazy.
No matter how many times you mention it or point it out to him how annoying it is, he just keeps doing it. It’s absolutely infuriating, right?
So, despite your numerous attempts to change the way your husband chews, he still does it. Now what?
The truth is, the way your husband chews is totally outside of your control. He gets to decide if he wants to change it, and right now, as an adult, he is deciding to not change. So what do you do?
In my coaching program, I work with my clients to help them embrace their marriage exactly as it is right now. We try different ways of thinking about the circumstance that are going to produce feelings and actions that are going to create a stronger and happier marriage.
This process takes some practice. That is why it is so helpful to have a coach by your side while you go through the process until it becomes more natural.
In the above example, you’re probably thinking something like, “He is being so rude.” When you think this you might be feeling frustration, indignation or even disgust. Those feelings are going to drive you toward actions like nagging, rolling your eyes, making snide remarks, or silently fuming at every meal. These actions lead to the result of you being rude to him and not connecting with him in a meaningful way.
And sometimes, you are just going to feel negative about somethings. Maybe we work to find a new thought that you believe and that feels better and nothing feels right.
This is where we begin the work of accepting negative emotion as an essential part of the marital experience. It’s totally normal. It only becomes a problem when we heap more negative emotion on top of it by resisting it, thinking something has gone terribly wrong in your relationship, and try to nag coerce and manipulate the situation so he decides to change.
No marriage is perfect and learning to embrace your marriage, warts and all, is essentially the process of creating new thoughts where we can, and accepting the negative emotions as part of the experience of being married.
Are you suddenly going to stop being annoyed with your husband’s chewing? Maybe. It really is just caused by a thought and if you choose a different thought about it, your emotion will change too.
But maybe, you just want to spend a minute being annoyed and then move on. Rather than fight against it, and try to change it, we just accept that he can chew however he wants to, and that you love him anyway.
Nothing has gone wrong. It’s totally normal to be annoyed with your husband sometimes. It’s part of the refining and strengthening process of being married.
We learn how to lean into the discomfort rather than fight or change it. In accepting it, it starts to lose much of its power and sting.
If there is something about your marriage or husband that you just can’t seem to get passed and accept, join me on a free coaching call and I will help you get started. Click below to schedule the call and we will set up a plan to get you feeling better.