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My unpopular view on marriage

I know by now you must think this is some salacious article but it really isn't. I have the unpopular opinion that one person can completely change a marriage, that one person can "create change." Now the truth is, the change isn't always what we hope for but none the less one person can change a marriage. You see when one person really takes the time to take a birds eye view of their marriage they can start to take ownership for their part in the breakdown of the marriage. So often we spend so much time focusing on how our spouse doesn't meet our needs, how they are failing and what they are doing wrong. We spend countless moments, hours, weeks focusing on that, that we can't see our shortcomings. We become great detectives finding every flaw and judging our spouses every wrong move and assigning horrible intentions to their behavior. Gottman discusses research on marriage and what causes the pitfalls of marriage and the anatomy of a good marriage.

Often when we watch videos we fall into the trap of being reminded of how our spouse does the things they shouldn't or doesn't do the things they should. However, this is a trap because no matter how many fits we throw, how many times we send them the link to the video or give them the book, manipulate or threaten to leave we cannot make our spouse change. In fact changing ourselves is often difficult itself! So, I propose you re-watch the video and really take an honest look on how you contribute to the environment of your home and marriage. The change starts with you. Own your part, work on your traumas or triggers so you can be the best version of yourself. Focus day to day on building your marriage by focusing on what is in your power to change and that is YOU! Divorce isn't the easier option, in fact it take just as much work if not more. Turn your attention to finding happiness in yourself and finding the good things in your spouse you can lean into. This is an expression I use for your my clients often.

One final thought is that building our own happiness and identity seems counterintuitive to making a marriage work but its not. When we learn the habit of happiness its easier to transfer it to other areas of your life. Build yourself, know what you love, do what you love. Invite your spouse to do things you love with you. Explore new habits, new hobbies and new friends, grow to be the best version of yourself.

So to summarize: Turn inwards to create change, lean into your spouses good and build your best self..

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