Stop the Marriage Death Spiral

November 15, 2016

in the generous life

What you say impacts how you see and engage with life. This is true of words you speak out loud and those internal words that run around in your head.

This is particularly important when we are talking about marriage.

If you frequently say (or think), “he always discounts who I am,” you are framing how you see your husband. Even if there is some truth to your statement, you are locking him into that behavior in terms of how you think of him and respond to him. If he makes a change for the good, you may miss it, because you are looking through the expectation that he acts this way.

While it’s understandable that we expect certain behaviors, if the expectations are largely negative, it can start a death spiral in your marriage.

Your words and thoughts say your husband can do no good. He will never change. It’s all bad. Your expectations feed on themselves and you will see bad and dismiss or explain away any good. He will have to work harder for you to see any any changes he makes.

Stop the Marriage Death Spiral - Take control about how you talk and think about your husband.

How do you stop the marriage death spiral?

Fight for a more balanced version of the truth.

Watch out for words like “he never” or “always” does a certain thing. He may frequently do so, but there are likely exceptions.

Begin looking for the good in what he says and does. Say thank you.

Start some healthier self talk (don’t lie, be truthful). Remind yourself of the good he does. Make a journal of all the good if you tend to forget. Where there are problems, address them from the perspective of balance. Allow him to be human, a mix of strength/weakness, good behavior/bad behavior, and so forth. 

Take control of how you talk and think about your husband.

Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.  Alphonse Karr

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you praise the good your husband does and speak up graciously when there is a problem.

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The Art of Simple: Small change, small victories. Small victories add up to great changes.

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The Forgiven Wife: Politics, Disagreement, and Relationship Damage Your marriage matters more than your politics.

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