If by chance you are reading this and you are married and not happy, and if you could go back in time you would not chose your spouse, can I just say that there is hope. Because you chose him/her the first time for a reason (I am sure you are foggy on that reason at this point ... but there was a reason you walked the isle).
Here are just a few life lessons I have learned and have really aided in my ever-growing love for my wife, and her ever-growing love for me.
1) Stop focusing on all the things you hate about your mate!
2) Start focusing on all the good things (the things that once attracted you to them. I know, this can be tough when all you have focused on for the last 5 years is the bad irritating stuff.)
3) Share with your spouse the things that really bother you about them (I am so surprised when I counsel with a couple and she/he will bring up something that bothers them and their spouse is totally unaware of it. And they usually say, "why haven't you told me before ... I would have stopped." This comes back to all the all to common, but not practiced, COMMUNICATION! Your spouse can not read minds, even with a crystal ball!
There have been times Jana is mopping around and I'll ask her what is wrong ... and she just needed a hug ... and I am like, "honey, all you have to do is ask ... or tell me, and I am all about it."
Maybe you are like me and have got your underwear in knots over something, and then quietly I get more and more upset over something that my spouse has no clue of? Come on, I am not alone here! And what makes us even madder is that they just go on being happy like nothing is wrong, while we suffer. Why? Because we haven't COMMUNICATED!
4) Speak well of your spouse to others (the rule applies; if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all)
I have never, and I mean never, spoke ill of Jana in 15 years to anyone! That kind of crap doesn't serve anyone well. It just gets you thinking more and more about what you don't like, and then it fuels the hatred, and also fans the flame in your friends and gives them a sour view of your spouse. I could talk more about this, but it would need to be it's own blog entry ... just trust me and don't do it!
And NEVER EVER talk bad to your parents about your spouse. "Oh but Timmy, my mom is my best friend and I tell her everything." I don't care, don't do it! Your parents should think your spouse hung the moon.
Disclaimer: I am talking about normal situations ... if he is abusive then tell someone, tell your parents, hello! Tell the police, a counselor! Get help and pack your stuff and leave!
5) Make positive confessions about your spouse (this goes hand in hand with the previous point. And I am telling you this works, try it! I have never read this anywhere, but came up with it myself.
Here is my story that may be helpful:
When I first married Jana 15 years ago it was tough for me ... the thought of this being it ... no more dating ... one girl for the rest of my life. I had dated a lot through my years and liked dating around, loved meeting new people, having new experiences. And that was to change as it related to women now, I was married ... forever committed to ONE WOMEN. (this is often times a fear in may guys who are getting ready to get married) But I didn't want to feel this way, I wanted to be crazy happy to be with Jana, my one and only. So I started saying OUT LOUD what I wanted to be true for me. And here are the confessions I made for about the first 6 months of our marriage that changed my life, and our marriage.
"I only love(insert spouses name)"
"(insert spouses name)is the only women/man for me"
"No one can turn me on like (insert spouses name)"
"I only want (insert spouses name)"
"(insert spouses name)is beautiful/handsome"
"(insert spouses name)is so hot/sexy"
"I am crazy in-love with (insert spouses name)"
"I will always be faithful to (insert spouses name)"
"I love being with (insert spouses name)"
Say those everyday for 30 days and see what it does to your relationship!