If You Give Up On Your Marriage You’ll Never Know What Might Have Been
I once heard a couple of psychologists tell me that their marriage was perfect.
“Can this really be true?” I wondered.
To answer that question, several years ago, I set out on a quest to interview 50 couples about what they thought made their marriage successful. What I learned was one simple eye-opening gift. I’ll first share a personal story, then the results of that special gift.
My husband and I were pulling into the driveway of our home one sunny afternoon and I couldn’t wait til the car came to a complete stop so I could get out and get as far away from him as possible. I was deeply hurt by some of the choices he’d made and I honestly didn’t know if I could be with him anymore.
We’d been together since we were teenagers. We went together like “Peanut Butter and Jelly” our friends would say. The “Perfect Couple” others would say. I never felt that way but there were two things that were absolutely true about us;
1. we loved each other deeply
2. we lived very different lifestyles.
While he was strongly devoted to the military, and to the mentality of ‘its my way or the highway’, I was the other extreme, very passive. I learned everything he wanted me to learn, played every game he wanted me to play. I even became everything he wanted me to become, which made our marriage nearly perfect in his mind.
Being passive however, and living with the pressure of being perfect, wasn’t the kind of life I wanted for me or for our kids. Yet at the same time, I didn’t have any clue how to do it any differently. I at least gave him credit for having chosen a lifestyle, which was more than I’d done.
I was young and naive so every day of being Mrs. Jon Frazier became a new discovery. I believed with all my heart that there were better ways to spend money than what we were doing. Better ways to discipline and love your children they way were doing. Certainly better ways to be romantic, to live a supportive life, to have similar goals and to serve our community together. I wanted to throw back the curtains on our life and see what we could uncover together.
While I chose consistent new growth, and going on quests to see and be all I could, he became a bit fearful, sulky and silently rebel against changes. He wanted to keep life as it was and who could blame him really? He had trained me well, loving everything he loved, and change after all, wasn’t what he asked for.
There were lots of “Quit trying to change me” conversations, and although I knew I wasn’t out to change him the way all the text books would have you believe – I was out to change ME! Many of our friends and family began to talk. What was I trying to do? Who was I trying to be?
I decided it didn’t matter how much gossip was going to fly about, God knew my heart and I didn’t set out to hurt him or anyone, but I simply knew life could be MUCH MUCH more prosperous than either of us ever knew. “If only we could be more unified.” I use to say.
I wanted the freedom to live in prosperity, to contribute and create, not to consume and live inside a selfish world that only served us.
One question still haunted me…
“Can there be a happy marriage if two people make two different lifestyle choices?”
Well my 50 couples thought so!
When one partner chooses a more health-conscious lifestyle, but the other partner doesn’t want anything to do with it, there will be rocky times ahead. Its just the way life goes.
Conscious living means that you choose to create every single day with a plan. You prepare what you need because you are in control. You get to choose what you want to co-create. You get to decide how you’re going to take every thought captive in a more disciplined way.
Unconscious living produces pain, depression, anxiety, fear and even suicidal thoughts on occasion. Unconscious living means life happens to you, not for you, and you ‘survive’ or try to keep your head above water. You also say “God’s in control” quite often, which means you’re not, therefore no responsibility is needed. I get it – I use to say it to until I realized God wanted me to be in control of my thoughts and actions that are examples to others.
So I studied, researched and interviewed more than 50 couples over a 3 year period back in 2004 … and by the way, that research including the physiologists I mentioned earlier.
What I found out was that the success of any marriage can be measured by sharing this one simple feeling====> GRATITUDE!
Gratitude is what I needed to remind myself of that day I was hurt and couldn’t wait to get out of the car.
Gratitude can help you get through times when you’re not feeling very lovable.
I put this little video together as a reminder to myself to never again grumble or take life for granted.
Marriages can thrive, businesses can thrive, and LIFE can thrive when you ask yourself what you have to be grateful for! Gratitude allows you to stay present. Its an energy that helps you get things done to achieve your dreams and helps you look forward to tomorrow with excitement. Every marriage has ups and downs, its simply a fact of life. With gratitude you can get past anything because you see what you have as being a BLESSING rather than a curse.
My husband and I love each other dearly after 30+ years and we’ve learned to share the attributes we feel blesses our lives as a couple, and accept those things that are as individual as we are. He see’s conscious living is better than unconscious and I see that perseverance is a muscle you have to strengthen. If you don’t have it in you to persevere then build your GRATITUDE muscle just like you would your bicep. It’s vital to your marriage and vital to any type of success you want to achieve.
Please comment and share this post if you found it helpful. If you want help with finding gratitude in your marriage, start by signing up for the 1 hour video on Marriage Success Tips by 11 lovely experts you see to the right. We believe it’ll help your heart tremendously.