One of the scariest places to be in a relationship is when you want things to get better, but your partner won’t do their part—maybe they’ve given up trying… or don’t even THINK there’s a problem to begin with.
Maybe you’re with someone who believes things are just fine as they are, and that YOU should be more grateful.
What can you do when things in your relationship are decidedly not okay with you, and you can’t bear carrying on with the status quo?
You may feel that you’re all alone working to make things better, but that no matter how much you try, you’re only half of the equation. You can’t make a dent. You feel defeated, powerless.
Are you supposed to resign yourself to a less than fulfilling relationship, or is this a sign that you need to cut your losses and try again with someone else? Or maybe you’re so fed up, you’d rather be alone.
Before you try that—and potentially let go of what could end up being a truly extraordinary relationship—let me suggest an alternative.
Because the reality—even though it may not feel that way right now—is that you have much more power than you realize to completely transform the relationship you’re in right now into a partnership that is connected, deeply fulfilling and a source of unending joy.
You probably think it takes two people to make a relationship work. And you’re right about that.
But it only takes ONE person to shift the dynamic, creating a ripple effect that will completely change your entire experience with your partner.
Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party, and you’ve prepared everything—the food, drinks, a nice mix of guests, the music.
And then something unexpected happens. The power goes out—right when you’re about to put the main course in the oven. That one unexpected incident has the potential to completely change your perfectly laid plans.
What do you do?
Will you improvise a new dish? Send out a text saying the party’s off? Or grab some candles and flashlights and turn it into a fun night of take-out by candlelight?
What you decide will completely change the outcome of the evening.
If you make the right choice, this evening could turn out even better than expected. But if you simply become angry, shut down, and call everything off you’d likely be missing out on something pretty great.
My point here is that a marriage is not all that different. You are working with many factors, some out of your control.
Think of your partner as one of those “out-of-your-control” factors.
It’s infuriating, isn’t it—you can’t make anyone do anything you want. If you’re also a parent, you know this is doubly true.
But when it comes to your kids, you kind of expect they’ll be unruly and give you some trouble.
Now, your spouse is different, right? He or she should know better than to slack off around the house, make careless comments, or prioritize things outside your relationship.
As an adult, they should OWN their part of the problem.
And again, you’re right. But that’s not going to happen by you waiting for them to change.
Like the power going out in your house, the only way to change the situation for the better—and potentially have an even better outcome than you imagined—is to change how you approach what’s happening.
This is truly the ONLY thing you have control over. And one of the ways to create actual change in your marriage—for the better—is by changing what you think about your partner.
Your thoughts alone have the power to change you, your partner, and your entire relationship.
First, negative thinking about your partner—or anything—simply feels bad to you. Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling okay, but then you remember the fight you had with your partner, and suddenly your entire mood goes down the drain?
That’s the power of negative thinking at work. Whatever motivation you had to get up out of bed, work out, or just get on with your day goes out the window.
Second, if you’re always thinking your partner is inconsiderate, or lazy, or rude, then you’re in many ways dooming them to stay that way. Because negative thoughts are actually contagious.
There’s actual research to back this up.
One study had two rows of people walking in opposite directions. One row was instructed to think negative thoughts. The researchers found that just walking past someone thinking negative thoughts was enough to negatively affect the other person.
Worse, negative thinking is a surefire way to destroy a relationship. See, it’s all too easy to let negative thinking become your habitual mode of thinking. Negative thoughts are a slippery slope.
When negativity begins to outweigh the positive aspects in your relationship, you have an even bigger problem: contempt.
And once contempt sets in, it’s very difficult to bring a couple back to a loving place.
That’s why it’s imperative to change your negative thinking NOW—and the only way to stop negative feelings is to be proactively positive.
You may think you have the right to think negatively about your relationship, because you have genuine problems—ones that need to be addressed, or you simply can’t continue as things are.
But what if the problems in your relationship are actually quite normal?
I remember one engaged couple who came to my relationship seminar. They were worried that perhaps they should call the wedding off because they weren’t getting along about certain things.
By the end of the seminar, they told me that after hearing other couples talk about their gripes, they realized their own problems weren’t all that much different than other couples!
They understood that even happy couples have issues—and many of them never fully get resolved, but that doesn’t have to be a recipe for failure.
In fact, when one issue does get fixed, often another one will pop up. Whether it’s kids, family, money, or who does what around the house, happy couples know that dealing with differences—and change—is just part of the territory.
And because of this, they don’t react to “problems” as if they are the beginning of the end.
They take a positive stance toward their partners, their relationship, and life in general.
When we understand that problems are normal, our problems don’t need to be omens for failure. They aren’t “dooming us” to unhappiness or putting us on the road to divorce.
Instead, they are just part of being a couple.
And here’s where things get good: once you start focusing on what’s RIGHT about your partner, your partner will naturally feel compelled to step up to the plate.
This will allow your CONNECTION to get stronger. And when the connection is strong, couples are MUCH more able to weather the normal ups and downs of couplehood.
Positive thinking is what separates couples who make it from those who don’t.
Even after challenges and conflict, they’re able to find the silver lining in their partners and in their relationship. This, in turn, allows the good feelings to override the negative ones.
In other words, they’re actively re-orienting their minds to what’s RIGHT in their partners. Positive thinking becomes a habit—even despite friction—and this is what makes their relationship fulfilling.
And yes, you can start doing this ALL BY YOURSELF!
If you’re willing to be the person who goes first—who decides to reorient negative thinking to positive thinking, you will be so glad you did.
The couples you’ll see in my program, Wake Up In A New Marriage, are proof. You’ll hear from couples who were struggling with serious challenges that seemed insurmountable at the time. They’ll explain exactly what happened (from each persons’ perspective) when one of them made the conscious shift to POSITIVE THINKING about their partner and relationship.
This sounds so simple—but you’ll be amazed at the profound effect this one shift can have on a relationship. It has the power to change even the most stubborn partners, heal past pain and create a deep, unshakable connection.
I know you may feel beaten down and broken by your marriage. And that it’s not easy to change long-standing habits.
In my program, I’ll take you step-by-step through finding the positive in your partner—and how to express it—so contempt does start to poison your relationship.
I’ll give you my best research-backed tools to increase the connection in your marriage so that you feel alive and in love again—even if it’s been years of disconnection and strife:Turn Your Marriage Around
Lifelong love and happiness in marriage doesn’t just happen. It requires commitment and connection skills. I don’t want you to look back years from now and wish you had tried more. You have so much more power than you think to create the relationship you deserve.
Things can be even better than you’ve ever imagined.
May you have an extraordinary day,