One of the biggest steps you can make to elevate your marriage or relationship to higher levels of fulfillment, harmony and happiness is, to take responsibility. To take responsibility to do the right thing for your marriage, just because it is the right thing to do.
We are going to give you the Dr’s and the Rabbi’s take on this.
Recently I have been reading Dr Laura’s book, the Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage, and she gives three behaviors that summarize this concept of doing it because it is the right.
- Treat your spouse as if you loved them with your last breath – no matter how contrary to that you might feel at any one moment.
- Think hard everyday about how you can make their life worth living.
- Be the kind of person you would want to love, hug, come home to, and sacrifice for.
Now the Rabbi, Rabbi Pliskin in his book, Marriage. He summarizes the idea in just five words, “Don’t cause pain, give pleasure.”
To us these two ways of describing the proper attitude to marriage are very similar. They are both telling us that, first we need to make a list of all the things they are doing wrong that cause pain to our partner, the type of things that stop you from being loveable and huggable.
Cursing, leaving your coffee cup on the table, name calling, not refilling the water pitcher, embarrassing them in public, using too much perfume/aftershave, driving too fast, invalidating, making light of serious issues, nagging ….. to name just a few.
Next, make another list of all the things that you know you should be doing.
Call from work everyday, put your socks in the laundry basket, smile, compliment, greet them with a positive tone, spend more time together, say please and thank you, cut the grass, call your in-laws, come home on time …. to name just a few.
We know what we are doing wrong, and we know what we need to do right, but we get caught in cycle of thinking to ourselves, “We would be so much happy if only s/he were making an effort.” You be the one to break out of the circle, you be the one to make the effort do the right thing because you are choosing to move closer together. Most importantly, you have to do it especially when you don’t feel like it.