Monday, March 12, 2012

Who Needs to Change?

My wife and I have counseled a number of couples throughout the years; enough that I can see some definite patterns in how couples act in marriage counseling. Any counselor who has been at it for a while can just about write the script for a couple coming in, especially for their first meeting. More than anything, it’s a contest to see who can complain the most about the other. The one who talks the most, wins.

Only, I don’t let them have that contest. Oh, I let them do it for a few minutes, to hear their heart, but that’s it; I cut them off. Basically, all of them are saying the same thing, “I’m right, and my spouse needs to change.” I have yet to hear anyone say “I’ve created a problem in my marriage and need help to change.”

The reality is, both parties have committed errors and both need to change. None of use is perfect, so none of us has any true grounds to try and put the entire fault on the other. We’re all guilty.

Now, here’s the secret to bringing about change in your marriage. Change what you can change and don’t worry about what you can’t. Sounds simple, right? Okay, what can you change? If you think about it a bit, you can’t change her. There are only two things you can change, your actions and your attitude. So, that’s where you need to start.

What’s that? You think that your wife’s attitudes and actions are the ones which need changing? Well, maybe they do, but you can’t change them, so quit trying. Stick with what you can do something about, and let her deal with what she can do something about. In fact, if you want her to change, then find ways in which you can change, which will help her to change the way you want her to.

Let me give you an example. Many men complain that their wives aren’t interested in sex. Okay, that’s a given. Women don’t have the same sex drive that men do. However, we as men can have a lot to do with affecting their sexual interest. How? By the way we act towards them.

Women, by their nature, are responders. They respond to how they are treated. So, the more loving you act towards her outside the bedroom, the more willing she’s going to be to act loving towards you in the bedroom. Simple, right? Act romantic enough and she’s much more likely to respond favorably to your advances.

Complaining never has a positive impact. Changing does. Recently, I counseled a couple who were both experienced marriage counselors, he was a pastor and she was a psychologist. They were both convinced that they knew what needed to be done, and that the other one had to do it. Guess what? They were both right and they were both wrong. Yes, the other one had to change, but more importantly, they had to change themselves, their actions and their attitudes.

When you start out to change yourself, don’t try and do a major overhaul, you won’t succeed. Pick one thing and work on that. They say that it takes 40 days to form a new habit; so, work on that one thing, consistently, for the next 40 days. Then, once you have that one under your belt, start working on another. That doesn’t mean that you drop the first one, just that you add another new thing. The fist one should be habit by then.

If you can change you, it’s going to cause change in your wife. The change may not be as dramatic as you hope, it may not happen as fast as you want, but it will happen. More than that, you will become more the husband that you need to be. Believe it or not, that’s romantic.

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