When I married my husband thirteen years ago, my mother offered this advice: Never speak negatively about your spouse to anyone. For while you will surely be quick to forgive and move on from your disagreements, those you’ve told, will struggle to forget his faults. This is good, tried and true advice, but about seven years ago, I read an article that tweaked this rule to a much higher level, and it came from a woman who initially found herself trapped in a miserable marriage.
One day, after another fight, in a string of many, she walked the streets in the freezing cold. Unhappy, unfulfilled, she contemplated divorce, but the idea revolted her. Yet, staying in a loveless marriage didn’t sound very appealing either. Were these her only two options? Suddenly inspired, she internally felt the words ‘Fix yourself.’ Angered by this answer, she listed off all of her husband’s faults, when she felt the words again, ‘Fix yourself.’
After weeks of struggling with this answer, she decided what needed to change was her focus. Everyday, she mentally listed ten things she liked about her husband. At first, she had to use things like ‘his pants looked nice today’ to finish her list. But with time, this exercise of looking for the positives in her spouse, helped her rediscovered the goodness in the man she married.
It showed me the importance of not only speaking positively about my spouse, but always thinking positively as well. It’s amazing how minimal your spouse’s faults will be when you only actively seek for the good in them.
I love this article so much, I’ve also added the link below. I realize it’s published in a magazine representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but even if you don’t share their faith, or have no faith at all, this article is worth the read. Paraphrasing the story like I did, really doesn’t do it justice.