If you read the headline, this may seem like it’s going to be another trendy list-based piece, but allow me to bury that notion right off. The five words we’re talking about are not damaging because they are individual units, but because of the way they can be used together. To end the suspense, I’ll go ahead and tell you what they are right now.
‘My way or the highway.’
Marriages are supposed to be 50/50 partnerships. You are supposed to respect your spouse, and they are supposed to reciprocate. But when marital tension enters into the equation, this is the type of marriage-killing attitude that can rear its ugly head. What is it that causes us to revolt and disrespect our significant others? Is it years of sameness until we eventually start taking each other for granted, and then, at last, we begin to resent one another for wasting the best years of our lives? While the cause is important, the vital thing is that you recognize that you’re doing it and take steps to correct. Here are some tips for doing just that.
Remember why you fell in love with your partner.
Sometimes reminders are all that we need to rekindle the respect that we once had. Take some time to talk about the past and how you came to be. Find areas of appreciation that you can express to one another when you’re alone and the kids are in bed.
Find something in the present that you appreciate about each other.
Take turns sharing your thanks for one thing that they bring to the marriage. If you can start with just one, you’ll find it easier to expand from there. If you’re having trouble knowing what that is, then consider making a list and switching places for a week. Seeing firsthand what the other person brings to the table can make a world of difference.
Realize who the ‘losers’ are in a ‘My way or the highway’ relationship.
This is especially true when you have children and you’re driven to do what is best for them. The “My way or the highway” attitude may make it seem like you’re getting your way, but all it really breeds is resentment. When this is how you behave within a marriage — especially a marriage with children — you are modeling a poor example of what relationships are supposed to be. As a result, your kids lose out, your spouse loses out, and ultimately you lose out when it gets to be too much for them. You don’t want your loved ones to fear or resent you, and that’s exactly what will end up happening.
Do you come from a marriage with a “My way or the highway” spouse? Are you still in it? Share your experiences in our comments section.