Marriage is not easy. Sure, there will be plenty of good times, but there will also be trials and challenges. Sometimes bad times will last longer than the good times. And sometimes the difficult period will seem to last for so long that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to have good times. You find yourself being unhappy. Your spouse is not everything that you’d hoped he would be. You feel neglected. You don’t feel appreciated or loved enough. You feel like you deserve better. You want to be happy.

But how many times do we ask ourselves “Am I the best person I can be for my spouse”? It is so easy to focus on all the good things we do and all the negative things that our spouse does. We conveniently forget that we’re not perfect either and that we are sometimes very hard to deal with. We also fail to see all the good that we receive from our spouse because it’s easier to just see the bad. I am certainly guilty of that.

marriageRecently I found myself thinking about all my expectations and being so disappointed as they were not met. I even made a list of things which only made me feel like everything is wrong. I complained about it, kept thinking about it and became consumed with it. I was sinking deeper and deeper into disappointment, resent, frustration, and depression. I didn’t even see that it was starting to change me. I didn’t see that I was becoming this bitter person and not very easy to live with.

I thought I was trying my best, but somewhere along the road I became too focused on the negative and what’s worse, I didn’t even see the negative side of me. I still saw me as the caring, loving person as I was before. I was still doing the things as before, but my attitude was so much worse. Difficult to say now which one of us deserved better!

Brett’s message about marriage really hit home. I read April Cassidy’s blog about The Peaceful Wife and it made me realize that it’s not my husband who needs to change and try better – it’s me. Maybe he’s not perfect and not meeting my expectations (which, to be honest, I’m sure they are way too high anyway), but then again, neither am I meeting his.

I tried so hard to do it all because I thought that was what was expected of me. I ended up too tired for everything other than work and too resentful because my husband didn’t help me as much as I thought he should. I “forgot” that every time he did offer help in the past, I shouted at him and accused him of doing everything the wrong way. And when he was not willing to do what I asked that very second, I assumed that meant he wasn’t willing to do it at all. Of course, I failed to see that part. I was becoming more and more exhausted, so much that I was seriously worried about my health. I thought my husband simply didn’t care.

It was hard to realize that it wasn’t my husband’s fault for not helping me. The problem was, I wasn’t willing to accept the help. I wanted things to be done either my way or no way. I came to the point where I couldn’t do it anymore as I was just too exhausted. I had to accept help and I had to accept it to be done in a different way. Not an easy thing for me to do!

Living with another person can be a challenge. You both have your own ways and it can be difficult to compromise. There’s always going to be disappointments and expectations that won’t be met. But there are also many good things. It’s what you choose to focus on that will make a difference. When you think about all the bad things, you can end up being overwhelmed by all the negative. I hope to be able to mostly look at the positive and make the best out of that.

– Tina

If you haven’t had a chance to catch Brett’s marriage series the last couple of weeks, check them out here (Marriage Basics 101 and Marriage 201 – Resilient Marriages).

What changes can you make to help your marriage more positive for your spouse?

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