From The Surrendered Wife
The Best Time to Be Loving is in the Present
If you’re worried that your husband won’t feed the kids a nutritious dinner while you’re out or pay the bills on time, you’re anticipating the future. We all do it, but for the sake of intimacy, it’s especially critical to stay in the present.
Every second that you spend anticipating what’s going to happen is another second that you’re not in the relationship. Seconds turn to minutes, hours and days. You could miss your whole marriage worrying about ways that your husband will disappoint you. Some women do.
Instead of focusing on the future, take a minute to inventory this moment. Just for today, are you okay? Do you have everything that you need? Do you have more than you need?
If you find yourself saying “yes, but — ” to this question, take a deep breath and come back to this moment where everything is fine. Nothing terrible has happened yet, and it probably won’t, but while you went away you may have missed a tender moment, a funny story, or a loving caress from your husband.
Intimacy can only be found in the present.
Promote the Positive with Spouse-Fulfilling Prophecies
Every time you reinforce your husband’s faults you’re creating a Spouse-Fulfilling Prophecy. In Success Self-Programming, Lee Milteer talks about how one wife complained that her husband had a terrible temper, and every time it flared, she would say, “That’s just like you to lose your temper!”
After attending Milteer’s workshop, however, this woman realized that she was inadvertently reinforcing her husband’s behavior and she made a decision to start saying “That’s not like you to lose your temper!”
The next time he started to fly off the handle, this wise woman told her husband that it was not like him to lose his temper. He nearly fell out of his chair. Even the kids looked at her funny, but she stuck with her new affirmation.
Finally, months later, this woman was at a restaurant with her husband where he was irritated by the slow service. He started to fume about it, and then suddenly he stopped, turned to her and said, “That’s not like me to lose my temper, is it?”
This time, she nearly fell on the floor.
Having Harmony Sometimes Means Holding Your Tongue
As you already know, arguing with your husband can have a negative effect on the entire family. Even pre-verbal babies tune into their parents’ tone and react with howls of unhappiness. Certainly older children react with fear and anger when the tension is high. It’s safe to say, therefore, that the cost of engaging in a fight with your man is loss of harmony for the whole family.
If peace in your home is something you hold dear, consider the cost of your actions before you issue a complaint, criticism or sarcastic remark. Sure, you might feel some relief in the short run, but in the long run you can’t afford the luxury of starting a brawl.
As you become conscious of this switch in priorities, you can give yourself credit for producing so much harmony in your home every time you hold your tongue.
Beware of the Red Herring
When your husband is getting on your very last nerve and you’re dying to give him a piece of your mind, check to see if there’s something else that’s bothering you. Are you angry with your sister? Frustrated at work? Overtired or hungry? Perhaps the issue with your husband is a misleading “red herring.”
Often my desire to lash out at my husband is a cover for another problem. I’m tempted to blame him when I don’t want to have to blame myself or the boss or my mother.
Other times I’m just too depleted to have a reasonable perspective, and the tiniest things start to bug me more than usual. Now I know to look inward before I lash out. I may still be miserable once I find out what’s really bothering me, but at least I won’t have acted on a red herring — and alienated my number one supporter in the meantime.
True Romance Always Accentuates the Positive
When you spend a lot of time with someone, you get to know all of his faults, and they can seem quite glaring. You may think your husband has more than his share of problems, but chances are, he just has the usual number of human foibles. He also has a number of gifts, talents and strengths that impressed you at one time. If you can’t remember what those were, it’s time to shift your focus.
What was it about your husband that made him so magical when you were dating? How have his strengths been an asset in your marriage?
Build a case in favor of your husband’s good qualities, and use it to persuade yourself that you can trust and respect him. You may be tempted to make a case against him, but don’t–nothing is more damaging to intimacy. Accentuating the positive will go a long way towards re-igniting your romance.
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