Once you have recognized that you alone can change your behavior ( and not the behavior of others), you become a change candidate through an intimate relationship with God. You will begin to correct your own behavior. You will engage your spouse in a conscious effort to correct past hurts or pains,and you will find ways to create an atmosphere of change in your relationships.
Here are ways you can achieve these changes:
Set Up Positive Exchanges
Remember,change occurs more often in the presence of positive exchanges. When you praise a child for doing things you like and want to build,you are increasing the likelihood that the child will make those changes Adults are no different. If you praise even small movement in the right direction,you will get change. Praise is powerful.It prepares the atmosphere for change.
Work On Yourself
Spend less time blaming and criticizing and more time working on conforming your life to what’s positive. You need to identify your flaws and correct them,or you have no credibility telling your partner what to do. Often,partners say, ” He wants me to change,but he is so messed up himself.” or “She pints out my faults but won’t talk about hers.”
Again,this unwillingness to see yourself as a work in progress creates resentment and resistance to change. Take responsibility for yourself first,then watch your partner follow suit.
A predictor of divorce is the inability to resolve conflicts. If you re somewhat uncomfortable with conflict,that’s okay.It usually relate to your family experience.Conflict resolution is a skill that gets better and easier with practice.
Don’t let things build up.This is unhealthy, physically,spiritually,and relationally.Agree with your partner to have regular checkups when it comes to disagreements and conflicts. Ask, “How are we doing? Anything been bothering you that we haven’t talked about lately? Do this everyday,or at least once a week,until you raise issues with regularity.
Conflict is part of every relationship. Your ability to resolve it makes the difference and fosters change.
Become More Empathetic
Willingness to change is encouraged when a person feels heard and understood. Spouses are famous for stubbornly resisting change when they feel misunderstood. Your effort to intellectually identify and vicariously experience your spouse’s thoughts,feelings,and attitudes is called empathy.
How much empathy do you show? People are far less defensive and far more willing to consider options when they are understood. When you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand what they are going through, they are more willing to share from the heart.
Practice listening and then repeat what your partner has said. Ask if you got it right and if you accurately reported what the person was feeling or experiencing. This won’t be easy(you are learning a new skill),but it’s worth the time.Emphathy empowers change.
Lessen Your Dependence On The Other Person
No one can meet all your needs all the time,only God can,and since you don’t physically live with him yet,you are still dependent on others.
It’s healthy to have friends to talk with,share activities with,and support. It’s great when you can depend on friends,but balance is the key. When friends replace couple intimacy needs,it ‘s not healthy. When others are your only source of support,the same is true. Balance your intimacy needs between your partner and friends. In the same way that you don’t expect one of your friends to meet all your friendship needs,don’t expect your husband or wife to meet all the other needs. Sexual, spiritual,deepest intimate needs are the preserve of God and your spouse alone.Friends can support and add to your intimate convenant relationships,but they should not replace them.
Take Care Of Yourself
Self-care is vital.Again,consider balance. Attending to your own physical, spiritual, and emotional health creates an atmosphere for change.When you value you,others will too.When you take care of yourself, the burden of worry is lifted from the other.
When you spend yourself beyond reasonable limits,guilt often results. Most women don’t know how to say no or take time for themselves. Most men don’t nurture themselves spiritually or physically because they are overly busy trying to succeed in life. Now,there is a difference between indulgence and self care.Self-care is simply saying , “I need to be responsible for replenishing myself and I will see to it that it happens.” While indulgence is giving in or satisfying a desire or need. When you practice self-care,you are more centered and better equipped to deal with change in your life.