The Most Important Decision of your Life.

The Most Important Decision of your Life.

Personally, I feel this is the most important decision of your life. The ripple effects are immense, to say the least. Your future DNA, your legacy, and your heritage are dictated by this decision. That is, if you choose to have children – but for purposes of this article, let’s just say you do.

Your offspring is just one aspect of why choosing your partner is important. How about the fact that you will be looking at this person every single day until death do you part? This is the person that you will be sitting across from the dinner table hearing them chew their food. This is the person who will likely be chosen as your emergency contact or health proxy. Let’s face it, this person may be wiping your butt when you no longer can. In summary, this person (hopefully) has your back for life.

Yet, sometimes these decisions are made so quickly. Or, heaven forbid, they are made for us.

Most of us do our due diligence to make the best choice at the time, with what we know. It’s like using the same reasoning as we do when we are trying to forgive our parents for screwing us up the way they did. We like to think they didn’t intentionally mess up our minds… did they?

Anyway, back to couples deciding to marry, or remarry, how can they possibly feel more confident about their choices? Well, as a therapist and coach who has helped hundreds of couples reconnect or disconnect, and who has heard the most common reasons for conflict in a marriage, I decided to do some reverse engineering and bring these topics up prior to marriage so that we can do damage prevention after tying the knot.

These topics are:

  • Why are we together anyway?
  • I use a questionnaire I created to review your standards and values and how this measures up to your partners’ standards and values—a review of the non-negotiables in a relationship.
  • What types of conversations must you have daily (connection, curiosity, and conflict)?
  • What does balance in a partnership mean to you?
  • How okay are you with conflict?
  • What does independence mean to you?
  • What does intimacy mean to you?
  • What does commitment mean to you?
  • Finance!! Oh boy, let us talk about money honies…
  • Drop the expectations, period. Be crystal clear that your partner is not changing for you.

I am not sure about you, but when I married in my late 20s, I was convinced I would change my husband. His flaws were quite apparent to me and in some delusional way, I felt that surely, after being around my presence for long enough he would just miraculously see my brilliance and start changing his behavior to mirror my own.

I don’t think I need to explain to you what transformed – he is the same person today as he was 26 years ago, more or less.

This is why we need to get crystal clear on what our expectations are in the marriage prior to the marriage, but also, get deep on topics that we might otherwise not speak about.

Unstable Relationships

Unstable Relationships

When asked to describe your relationship, would you be inclined to say “When we are good, we are really, really, good. When we are bad, we are really, really bad.”?

When I hear this from my clients, I know their relationship needs serious repair.

I suspect you are thinking a lot about your relationship rather than ‘being’ in your relationship. Rather than acting lovingly towards your partner, you are waiting to see evidence before showing your love for your partner. Love without evidence is what makes a partnership. Faith, trust, and belief in your partner will bring you everlasting love.

To engineer change, it needs to begin with your behaviour and mindset. Not your partner’s behaviour. Begin by becoming aware of the thoughts entering your mind throughout the day. Are they thoughts of gratitude, love and joy? Or perhaps they are anger, frustration, bitterness, etc. If you stay in the gratitude and emit your joy, happiness will come right back to you. You are now in control of your relationship.

My client constantly complained about her marriage until I pointed out some key aspects as to why she might not be happy.

By making changes in her daily routines, such as establishing a daily practice of mindfulness, self-talk, visualizations, and gratitude, both her relationship with herself and her partner improved. I guided her through these incremental changes. I taught her to become uncomfortable, and by holding that discomfort, she gave herself room to grow. The changes she made were small, but the results in her relationship were both meaningful and measurable. Her partner took notice and could not help to reciprocate her joy.

Controlling your mindset is an exercise we do in pillar 2 of my program. It is a 3-month program where we identify the thought patterns that are detrimental to your relationship and replace old patterns with thoughts that spark connectivity and life into your relationship. We do this by creating micro-goals towards the ultimate goal of relationship satisfaction.

Hope this entry helps you in someway and if it did, please let me know.