If you stop focusing on what you WANT, you will notice what your partner NEEDS.
It is important to have a specific goal even in a marriage relationship. Otherwise, we could wander aimlessly and never know when we are off the path and headed for destruction or when we are progressing accordingly and heading for a victorious finish. A good simple goal could start simply with just: to have a good, strong healthy marriage where fights are fought together for a better relationship, words are spoken that build each other up and you both feel that you are spending a life with a best friend.
There are always some obstacles in getting to those goals. Speaking negative words of gossip can be a real relationship killer. It is slanderous no matter how innocent your intentions or how normal it seems according to your surroundings. Do you tell your girlfriends all the things you think your husband does wrong? “He never helps out with the kids or the chores and he’s only interested in himself.” Do you complain to a co-worker “My wife is always breathing down my neck and I can’t ever do anything right according to her.” Do you frequently mentally recite to yourself all the examples of how you were done wrong by your partner? “I can’t believe they did that again, they don’t even care.” You have begun to build a case against your spouse.
How can you defame your spouse to others or in your mind and then come home and enjoy your relationship? You are certainly allowed to have a voice and confide in other helpful sources. But the words, tone, and attitude should be one that sounds like it is working toward having a harmonious relationship as opposed to building a case to present to the jury in your divorce proceedings. For example: “I get so frustrated when my husband doesn’t come home at a normal time. I’m hoping we can find a better work/life balance with each other.” Or “My wife seems really unhappy lately and is nitpicking, I think I need to talk to her to see if something is going on that I can help change.” In the first version, you have convicted your spouse and are merely building a case against the person. You have just become adversaries. Two complainants with lawyers sitting on opposite sides of the table with facts and examples of how you were done wrong and what you are owed. In the second version you are upset, but prepared and committed to address and resolve the issue beneficially for the marriage. You must choose to believe that your spouse is not maliciously out to get you. Your language must change into words that always build a positive case for your spouse and the relationship. You will then come to see yourselves sitting on the same side of the table, even with two different perspectives, but still committed and willing to work together to resolve the issue harmoniously for the success of the relationship. You have the choice of which kind of case you build. Do you want to build a case for or against your loved one? Your case is being built moment by moment in your thoughts and words.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. – Philippians 4:8
THE THOUGHT LIFE
Our minds are constantly receiving and processing input from many sources. We are receiving input from external sources such as television shows/movies, music, friends, families, and co-workers. A note of caution: pay close attention to what you are allowing to enter your mind through these sources. Sometimes these sources can be producing negative influences or even dysfunctional issues, especially in relationships. Would you want your spouse present to view or hear what you are observing? Does it better you, your spouse or your relationship?
Where do thoughts come from?