Life is busy. And people are often doing those things that keep them busy rather than reflecting on their life and marriage. Whether they are thinking about what happened in the past, what’s happening today, or what is likely happening tomorrow, most people don’t spend much time reflecting on the overall picture of life.
It can be helpful to take some time to reflect on your life and your marriage. Consider setting aside time to address “the state of your union” and really reflect on how things are going. This can help you determine what sort of changes you want to make and the kinds of goals you want to have. Reflect on a variety of issues about your marriage, how you are as a partner, and what you could do to make things better.
Is Your Marriage the Way You Want it to Be?
Sometimes people don’t take the time to really think about whether or not their marriage is really what they had hoped for. Often, people focus on feeling angry about something their spouse said earlier in the day or they may have some thoughts that marriage isn’t all that great all the time, but often, they don’t spend much time reflecting on the overall health of their relationship.
Take some time out and think about your relationship as a whole. How is your emotional connection? Do you communicate well? Does your spouse seem to be satisfied?
Did you and your spouse ever set goals for your lives? Perhaps you wanted to raise lots of children, retire early, or move to a new area. Reflect on your progress toward those goals and think about whether or not your goals have changed.
The demands of the daily grind in life can make their goals seem like distant, unobtainable dreams. It’s easy sometimes to put things off until “someday” without really working together as a team on accomplishing those goals.
How do You Measure up as a Partner?
If someone were to grade you on how you are as a spouse, what grade would you likely get? Imagine that the person grading you knows everything, possibly even the things your spouse doesn’t know. What grade would you likely get?
It’s important to evaluate how you are doing as a partner and to recognize areas where you could improve. And if you think you don’t need to do any improving, it’s likely a warning sign that there are definitely areas to improve. Everyone can always improve on something.
Find areas where you may be able to start being a better spouse. Perhaps that means giving more to your spouse when it comes to resolving conflict. Or maybe it means unselfishly working harder to take some of the pressure off your spouse. Or maybe you could do better at holding your tongue when you get angry. Perhaps just a little fine tuning in the communication department would be helpful. Whatever it is, take some time to honestly reflect areas where you could improve.
What Things Could You Start Doing Today to Make Changes?
Are there things you could start doing now that would make your marriage better? Sometimes it is just small things. Perhaps you could get up a few minutes earlier to put the coffee on for your spouse. Or maybe you could skip your night out with friends to go on a date with your spouse. Or maybe you could spend your lunch break picking out a special surprise for your mate.
Identify one or two small you changes that you could make that would improve your relationship. If you did just one thing every day to improve your marriage, think of how much better things would be by the end of the month. Imagine how much better they could be by the end of the year. Those small steps certainly add up.
How Motivated Are You to Make Change?
Think about how motivated you are to make changes. People often say they are motivated but when it comes to making change, their behaviors may say something differently. Honestly evaluating your motivation can be a little more difficult. Sometimes people don’t want to admit that they aren’t actually all that motivated.
Imagine that you won a million dollars. How much of that money would you be willing to spend on improving and keeping your marriage strong? If you said, “not much,” or “none,” it’s likely that your motivation to work on your marriage just isn’t there. That may be because you are satisfied with the way things are or maybe you think having all the money would resolve your problems anyway.
People usually spend their money on things that are important to them. So if improving your marriage were a top priority, it’s likely you would be willing to spend money on it. So honestly evaluate, how motivated are you to make positive changes that could improve your marriage?
Consequences of Not Changing
If you’re not all that motivated to change, ask yourself what is likely to happen if you don’t make any changes. If your marriage stays the same, are you satisfied with that? Are things likely to get any worse?
It’s important to remember that you can’t force your spouse to change. You do have the power to change your own thoughts, behaviors and feelings however. And if you make these changes within yourself, it may create some change in the marriage.