Have you ever wondered why your marriage isn't happier? If so, you're not alone. Numerous spouses are struggling with the same question.
At least part of the answer may lie in the words you use in your self-talk and in what you say to your spouse. And what you believe, the lies you tell to yourself or to your spouse, and what you deny or rationalize will all affect your marriage intimacy and happiness.
Read the following ten statements and see if you recognize yourself in any of them. If so, it's never too late to make positive changes.
1. It doesn't matter if I don't tell the complete truth once in awhile as long as not knowing doesn't hurt him in any way. (You're lying to yourself.)
2. I'm not going to tell him how much our daughter's prom dress really cost because it would only upset him. (Lying never solves the real problem.)
3. She'd come unglued if she knew my old girlfriend called me today, so I just won't mention it. (And when she finds out later, you'll have some major trust issues to work through.)
4. The only reason I'm telling you that you're getting fat and need to lose weight is for your own good. (But that's not the only reason you're bringing this up, and your spouse knows it.)
5. It doesn't matter if we don't have sex very often now that we've been married for five years. (You're only fooling yourself.)
6. I deserve to be treated better, and I'm going to find a way to get even. (The game of getting even always has two losers.)
7. It doesn't matter what I look like and how I dress now that we're married. (Neatness and cleanliness always count, and dressing up for a "date" with your spouse can add excitement to your relationship.)
8. We'd be happier if you were more like Jackie's husband. (You're implying that you'd like him better if he changed. Your spouse will resent you for the comparison and be even more resistant to changing.)
9. We're going to do something special together just as soon as the car is paid off (our son graduates from college, the house is paid for, we build up our savings, etc.). (Even on a low-cost budget, you can find special things to do to have fun and build memories now.)
10. I'll really be happy when I retire in fifteen years. (Focusing on future contentment is a set up for missing opportunities to be happy now in the present moment-happy with yourself, your spouse, your marriage, and your life.)
Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" This is available as an e-book at http://www.KeepYourMarriage.com ,where you can also sign up for the free Keep Your Marriage Internet Magazine. Nancy can be contacted at Nancy@KeepYourMarriage.com.