It’s not a secret that communication in a marriage is very important. You need to be able to speak kindly and honestly. And you need to be able to tackle issues as they arise and work through them. But, there’s another aspect of making a marriage work that is VERY important, and it’s called self-talk. The way you talk to yourself – what you affirm to yourself – can make or break your marriage. The truth is that the most important person you talk to you in your marriage is yourself. The right messages to yourself can help you find a way to compromise, see things differently, or even appreciate your spouse and your marriage. If your marriage is going downhill, and you want to save your marriage, then affirming the following things to yourself is a must, not a maybe.
1. Working On My Marriage Is Top Priority
You must consistently affirm to yourself that working on your marriage is a priority in your life. If not, you will put it on the back-burner where failed marriages go.
The truth is that even when you are not trying to save your marriage, it will still take work and should still be a big priority in your life. You need to maintain healthy marriage habits, such as spending quality time together. And if you don’t make your marriage a priority, your marriage habits will go down the drain… along with your marriage.
2. I Only Deal With The Facts In My Marriage
When your marriage goes bad, it can be easy to get caught up in your head and imagination. That’s when you start reacting off fiction instead of fact, and that’s not going to help your marriage at all.
Deal with the facts.
- What’s causing your marriage to go downhill?
- What part do you play?
- What part does your spouse play?
- How can you fix it?
Don’t accuse your spouse of things that may not be happening. Don’t exaggerate or make up stuff. Just deal with the facts.
3. I Pick My Battles Wisely
When a marriage starts to go bad, everything can become a battle. A lack of respect, admiration, and trust can cause you to nitpick the smallest of things. Of course, that only makes things worse. The more you argue over little things, the harder it is to communicate with each other effectively.
If your spouse screws up a recipe, that may not be something you need to get into an argument over.
If something small happens – or something that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, affirm to yourself that you pick your battles wisely. That will help you avoid the small arguments that add more negativity to the marriage you are trying to save.
4. I’m Not Always Right
This affirmation is an important one! It will help you avoid some big conflicts that don’t need to be taken on.
It’s very important to remember that even though you live together and work together as a unit when it comes to big issues, you are two separate people with different beliefs, habits, expectations, goals, and dreams. Because of that, you may have conflicting viewpoints on things based on different views of the world.
If you always feel the need to be right, then you are always telling your spouse that their viewpoint on things is wrong. That’s not going to make them feel very good about themselves or you. That’s not going to help you save your marriage.
5. I Take Responsibility For My Own Emotions
The way you talk to yourself determines your emotions. Your spouse is not responsible for your happiness or unhappiness. You are the only person who has the power to make yourself feel good or bad.
When you blame your partner for how you feel, you are putting a lot of stress on them. They feel responsible for your emotions, so they try to do or say what they think you want to see or hear, but they are not being true to themselves, which makes them unhappy.
Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy. They can boost your happiness or your unhappiness, but ultimately you are responsible for how you feel.
6. I Have Realistic Expectations In My Marriage
If you expect your spouse to be perfect, then your marriage is doomed. Nobody is perfect so your expectation is never going to be realized.
If you met your spouse and they loved playing heavy metal on guitar, and now you expect them to stop playing guitar and start putting more time into something else, then your expectations are not realistic. You know who they are and what they love, so you are expecting them to go against all of that and be who you want them to be.
When you affirm to yourself that you have realistic expectations and start abiding by that truth, you will find your marriage will quickly start to improve as the pressure diminishes on them to be someone they are not, and you stop getting upset that they are not someone you expect them to be.
7. I Work On My Own Issues Consistently
You are contributing to the problems in your marriage. For instance, maybe you are not speaking up enough or maybe you are speaking up too much. Either way, you play a part in the problem.
It’s important to acknowledge that you are contributing to the problem and then work on what you can.
I once went to a seminar where I heard someone say that often just one person working on their issues can help save a marriage. As they become a better spouse, their spouse feels better in the marriage and naturally wants to become a better spouse too. This advice has stuck with me and has proven to work over and over again in my marriage.
8. I Enjoy [Fill In The Blank] About My Spouse
When your marriage is suffering, it’s easy to get caught up in what you don’t like about your spouse. But, if you want to save your marriage, then you need to remember what you like about your spouse.
- What do they do to make you feel good?
- What are they great at?
- What have they done for you in the past?
- Why did you fall in love with them?
Affirm to yourself as many things as you can about what you enjoy about your spouse so that your desire to save your marriage stays strong.
9. I Move Forwards Not Backwards In The Relationship
Not every issue in the marriage can be fixed. For instance, if you want kids, but one of you is infertile, then that’s not something that can be worked on. But, it can still cause a problem in the marriage if one person cannot let go of it.
It’s important to let go of those issues that cannot be fixed and focus on fixing what can be fixed.
In other words, what’s done is done, and what can’t be changed needs to be accepted.
10. I Do Not Play Games In My Marriage
Have you ever watched those shows where one spouse sets up another spouse to test them in some way? This is a dangerous game to play because the chances are that no matter what happens, one or both people are going to end up pissed.
You should never play games when your marriage is going well, but when you are trying to save your marriage, and both of you are feeling down about each other or thinking about ending the marriage, a game is going to end things quickly.
Bad choices are much easier to make when hurt feelings are involved.
Seeing things in a negative light when they really are not negative is always easier when hurt feelings are involved.
And, being pissed off that your partner doesn’t trust you enough to be straight and honest could be a deal-breaker for the person being played with.
Be honest and upfront. Don’t test your partner. Work on saving your marriage instead.
11. I Make A Point To Continually Get To Know My Spouse
I find a lot of marriages suffer because one person complains that the other person has changed. But, it’s unrealistic to think that your spouse shouldn’t change. You and your spouse will change over the course of your marriage. Because of new experiences, new beliefs and dreams will come into play.
The person you married is going to become someone different as they grow and age. You need to make it a point to get to know your spouse on a continuous basis so that you can keep up with who they are.
For instance, your spouse may have been a meat-eater when you got together. But, now, they are starting to question their diet and leaning more towards being a vegetarian or vegan. Trying to make them stay exactly as they were when you met them is unrealistic. Instead, learn why your spouse is changing their diet preferences and respect them for who they are, just like you did when you first met. Then, you won’t expect them to eat meat. You will expect them to do to what is in line with their new beliefs. And there will be a lot less conflict!
You will be amazed at how this affirmation will help you improve your marriage. Everyone wants to be validated, and by making it a point to continue getting to know your spouse, you will be validating them.