Today’s “viral website life lesson that applies equally to marriage as anything else” comes to you from Tim Hoch over at Thought Catalog.
Tim is a fellow lawyer and mistake maker who provides 10 spot-on ways you’re making your life harder than it has to be.
But just like most business and life lessons, Tim’s 10 tips can help you make your marriage easier by simply asking yourself how the principles apply specifically to your marriage.
His tips are below. And my thoughts and responses to each of them follow.
So… let me know in the comments. How are you making your marriage tougher than it has to be?
1. You ascribe intent.
Does your wife squeeze the toothpaste from the middle because she hates your mom? Is your husband 20 minutes late for your family reunion because he secretly thinks he should have married his ex?
Probably not. She probably just squeezed it from the middle growing up. And he’s probably just bad with time. I bet he runs late for other things, too.
So slow down for a second. Stop trying to connect the dots. You’ll be much happier.
2. You’re the star of your own movie.
When your wife says she had a rough day do you give her a hug and ask how you can help her? Or do you say “you think that was bad, I got stuck in traffic and my boss didn’t let me grab lunch?!?!”
It’s not always about you, dude. Take a supporting role and watch the bliss happen.
3. You fast forward to apocalypse.
The world is not going to end because your wife shrunk your best shirt that they don’t make anymore. You will not end up homeless because she accidentally forgot to pay a bill on time.
Yes, perfectly avoidable things happen. Annoyances happen. Relax. At least you still have internet access… it can’t be that bad.
4. You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations.
What do you expect from your wife? If your answer sounds like “not much. As long as the kids are fed, washed, in bed by 7:30, asleep by 7:45, and oh yeah, she needs to make more money than me so I can travel the world to establish myself as the best nature photographer on the planet,” you’re probably pretty miserable.
And you are probably pretty disappointed with your wife.
On the other hand, you’re probably rockin’ it on all levels if your answer sounds like “we both expect to love and respect each other and make sure if there are any specific things we want or need to bring it up during one of our many chats.”
So which one are you closer to? I definitely went through a patch of unrealistic and uncommunicated expectations. And, well, this blog wouldn’t be called Confessions of a Terrible Husband if it worked out well….
5. You are waiting for a sign.
If you’re waiting for someone to tell you to do something nice for your wife, read all the way down to the copyright notice at the bottom of this page. You’re welcome.
6. You don’t take risks.
When’s the last time you opened up to your wife about something that scares you? How about the last time you sought out a marriage mentor? Got coaching? Saw a counselor?
Those things are risky and could result in uncomfortable conversations, hurt feelings, rejection, feeling inadequate, or feeling like a failure.
But they also could begin a conversation that leads to truly connecting with your wife.
7. You constantly compare your life to others.
You know that couple that’s always hugging, kissing, going on vacations, losing weight, climbing mountains, winning the lottery, and meeting famous people on Facebook?
Their lives aren’t perfect either. They just don’t post the crappy parts, like the bills, illnesses, loss, insecurities, or failures on Facebook. So stop comparing the highlights of their lives to your day-to-day grind, cool? Just focus on what you can do to create more meaningful moments and connections with the people closest to you and you’ll be just fine.
8. You let other people steal from you.
You wouldn’t hand your wallet to a stranger and say “go as far as it will take you,” would you? Why not?
Aside from the creep-factor and potential identity theft, it’s because you want the content of that wallet to provide for your family’s future, right?
So why do you let people steal time or energy from you that you could use to connect more meaningfully with your family?
Set up boundaries around your marriage and you’ll be well on your way to a more meaningful marriage.
9. You can’t/won’t let go.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. But here’s a hint. If you think or say “this is just like the time…,” “you always,” or “you never,” you need to let go of something.
Create a list of things that you need to forget. And move on. Please.
10. You don’t give back.
Make it a habit of making deposits into your marriage and giving back to your wife without expecting anything in return. A good rule of thumb is to make giving versus asking no less than a 3 to “stop counting jerk” ratio to achieve true happiness.
So there you have it. 10 Ways You Are Making Your Marriage Tougher Than It Has To Be.
Numbers 1, 4, 6, and 8 are my biggest issues. How about you?
How are you making your marriage tougher than it has to be?