Check out podcast episode 83 “How To Have A Positive Marriage In A Negative World”, or by clicking on the picture below.
Many of us go into marriage with expectations of how things will be, we imagine the perfect fairytale marriage. We all wish for a wonderful career and family, and often think things are going to be perfect for us. We quickly realize it is much more difficult that we ever imagined nor do things go as we expected. If your marriage isn’t everything you expected it to be, that’s ok.. and you are totally normal.
What are the odds of that happening? Now I am not saying that things can’t be good as they certainly can but it takes a lot of work, and a lot of growth. The point is, we are all going to experience trials, hardships and each of our paths and journey in life are going to be different, so how can we learn to enjoy the journey together in the crazy world?
Focus on the positive, not the negative in each other (and in your life)
Think about it. Two people fall in love. They had different up bringings, different experiences, different goals, and different politics. They have religious beliefs, and then they are suppose to get married and everything is suppose to be perfect.
Now we are not saying you don’t address the negative things in your life and in your marriage, but sometimes we focus too much on the negative things. Doing that can overtake all the good and positive things.
Your perception truly becomes your reality – We have all seen the people that find the negative in everything! They nit pick all the little things in their spouse and forget about all the amazing things their spouse offers and does, or they look at all the negative things in their life or around and they miss all the amazing good things in life. This is all “perception”.
Two co workers are driving down the road to work meeting an hour away. One of them is looking out the window at all the beautiful mountains, canyons, river and trees. The scenery is amazing, the sunshine is warm and there is not a cloud in the sky! He’s thinking to himself, what an amazing drive this is. He is excited for the hour drive as he wants to use the time to have a good conversation to get to know his co-worker better.
The other co worker is complaining about the hour drive they have, the gas he is using, how much he hates work meetings. To make things worse, there is construction causing them to have to drive slower, and the car ahead of them is driving too slow and won’t let them go around which is also driving him crazy. He spends the whole time complaining about everything so they don’t get a chance to visit.
Now the road and journey is the exact same for both of them, however both of their experiences are completely different based upon their perception of things. The negative person is missing everything beautiful along the way and it has been a miserable experience for him while the positive person just had an amazing experience.
What is our perception of things in our life? What about our perception of our marriage?
There are so many things to be grateful for in your life and marriage. When people focus on the positive, it is amazing how their perception changes and they start looking and noticing “the good” in everything including their spouse. For the negative people, they only notice the negative in their life and miss out on all the good and positive things.
This is a sad way to live life as nothing will ever be good enough or fulfill their expectations. Your happiness is not based upon your circumstances, but your perception of things. Try making a list and write down all the things you are grateful with your spouse, and in your life and you will be amazed at how good your life really is 🙂
Remember that your in it for the long haul!
We live in a society where couples no longer believe in “forever.” When things get difficult (which they will), they tend to withdraw or run away and think the grass will be greener on the other side.. only to find out it isn’t. I am astonished at all the young people we hear getting divorced after a short period of time being married because things were too difficult, or they couldn’t get along so they just call it quits.
In our relationship, we have personally been through some HUGE trials and struggles that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. We made a commitment when we got married that we were in this “forever” and we would never say the word “divorce” in our marriage and we believe that has helped us get through the difficult times and focus on where we want to get to, and not where we currently are.
These trials have made me (Nick) fall more in love with Amy and “in my opinion” made our marriage stronger.
You can get help along the way “if needed”
Often we feel like if we need outside assistance or help, then something is wrong with us, or our marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all go get routine maintenance on our cars to keep them running smoothly, or we go to the dentist and get our teeth cleaned to keep us from having issues down the road. This is called “preventative maintenance.”
So why would we not do the same thing for our marriages? Well statistics show that many couples that have a good marriages do get help as needed to keep things from “breaking down” later in life or when times get hard.
If we need some help or advice on how to navigate some of the roadblocks or issues we are going to deal with through life, there are friends, family and experts out there than can help!
Handle the Take-offs and Landings Carefully
I heard a great comparison from an article I read comparing marriage to flying. They stated that the two most dangerous times of any airline flight are the take off and the landing. This is the case in marriage. How well you get started… and how well you finish are the two most crucial steps in a marriage, as well. You are going to have a ton of “turbulence” along the way that make things scary or uncomfortable, and you can’t just leave the airplane or get off. There are also beautiful times where everything is smooth as you look out into the distance (or future).
Regardless of what the flight (or journey) is like, you have to wait until the plane has landed and get through those bumpy times. The beautiful thing about marriage is that every day can be a fresh start. It doesn’t matter if you have been married one year, or 50 years. Let every day be a new take off and landing and enjoy the your flight (journey) through life.
Enjoy the journey together (the good and the bad)
Marriage isn’t just about the final destination – It’s about the journey to get there. Along the way there will be roadblocks, bumps, detours, and many other unexpected obstacles that will cause you to have your own journey through life. ALL marriages deal with this and there are many different roads that in the end, arrive at the same destination.
We understand this is much easier said than done. When we are going through tough times or challenges, it is so hard to look at the positive in our lives or understand why we have to go through the things we do. Here are some things that can help when you are going through difficult times and help you enjoy the journey together.
- Focus on things you can control and let go of the things you can’t control
- Accept change (sometimes change opens new doors and opportunites)
- Prioritize your relationships (and move on from the toxic ones in your life)
- Don’t withdraw from each other during tough times
- Try to avoid negative people in your life
- Exercise regularly
- Learn from the things you are going through and find the positive
- Find meaning and purpose in your life and journey
- Find healthy outlets that you enjoy
- Looking ahead (focus on future goals and how to get there)
Check out the AMAZING Ultimate Intimacy App to take your marriage and intimacy to another level! Find out what over 400,000 couples have already discovered. Best of all, it’s free to download! Just click on the picture below to learn more and to download today.