The First Step Toward A Happy Marriage
Instead of falling victim to negative patterns in your marriage, you can do something different. You can use the daily give and take between you and your partner, especially the difficult moments, as opportunities to deliberately stretch past your selfish self to be more caring. Right now your job is to get very clear about how much you actually want to change your relationship. A half-hearted effort will accomplish very little. In fact getting yourself strongly determined to “show up” differently rather than repeat the same old tit for tat arguments is one of the most important things you can do toward creating the soul mate kind of love you want.
Your present pattern of holding onto hurts and angers is coloring how you see and react to one another. It brings negative emotions into every next moment as it unfolds between you. This pattern has to be interrupted. You must at least be able to get yourself to a neutral mode where you are not dwelling on past upsets and where you are not immediately ready to counter attack every perceived slight, be they real or imagined.
This is a mental and emotional change in your basic operating posture toward one another. It won’t happen overnight, but you must make a start at seeing your partner in a new way so that something different has a possibility of happening between you.
A good beginning is to put yourself into your partner’s skin and feel what the relationship is like from that perspective. It’s easy to act as if you are sure your view of things is right; the challenge is to give merit and value to the way your partner sees things. This requires seeing with his or her eyes, hearing with his or her ears, feeling what he or she feels in the very same moments and situations that you personally find challenging.
Can you convincingly describe what makes your partner feel unhappy in your relationship? Not your opinion about it, but what it is that she/he actually thinks and feels, what her/his full subjective experience is living with you from day to day? Then and only then can you begin to act less self-assured and justified about your own hurt and anger. And from this place of less self-righteousness and less blame, perhaps you can begin to empathize with one another and drop old attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that sour feelings of love.