Today’s question has the potential to impact both the day-to-day moments in your marriage, and the long-term trajectory of your marriage.
The Tension: We ask ourselves “Is this marriage working for me?”
Many of us bring this question into marriage, and we never change it. But this has huge ramifications on our marriage and can be very damaging.
We call this the Me Mindset, and when we’re asking this question it’s because the answer is “no”. And it can take us down some scary paths!
This is a dangerous question to be asking because the mindset can have a huge impact.
So is there a better question to be asking?
Truth: There’s a better question. Try asking, “What am I doing to make this work?”
Think about someone in your life who operates this way with you – someone who is constantly asking, “What can I do to help”? We’re so drawn to those people!
If you want to be that attractive to your spouse, you put them ahead of you. You strive to be the more selfless one in the relationship. And great things can happen!
CJ: An example is when I go to visit Teri’s family; it can be overwhelming to me as an introvert. Though I love them, I’m always tempted to get in the car on the way home and complain about my lack of alone time. Instead I could be focusing on how great a time Teri had.
Your one simple thing for this week: Ask yourself the question “What am I doing to make this marriage work when it comes to ________”
Whether it’s finances, the in-laws, chores around the house… what is the thing that you’re doing to make it work in that area? Just try it out and see what happens!
Sometimes it can feel like only big moves matter, but it’s really as simple as making an intentional decision to change your mindset about a situation.
Afton: For me, it’s going into family dinners with a better posture – not going into it with dread, thinking it’s going to be terrible but having a better mindset about it.
Ted: In our marriage, my wife is very introverted but she’s great on stage. When we first got married, we were performing in skits at youth and marriage events. When she would get offstage, she would become very introverted again. I used to spend time ‘encouraging’ her to be more extroverted after the event, instead of embracing her personality. Things improved when I started looking at that aspect of her personality through this lens.
CJ: Maybe you’re like me and you’re struggling to come up with what to put in this blank – and that’s ok! See this as a filter for the hard moments. Keep it in your back pocket for when you catch yourself asking “is this marriage working for me?”
Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.
Finally – join us next week when we ask the question “What’s the difference between expectations and desires?”