3 Tips to Build a Great Marriage by Yourself
Dr. Abby Medcalf shares tips on how to be happily married, even if your partner won’t do a thing
Great marriages aren’t made overnight. In fact, a great marriage is typically the product of continuous effort on both sides. Abby Medcalf compares building great relationships to going on a diet. If you really want to get serious about getting in shape, you must stick to your diet all day, everyday. You cannot just eat healthy once a week and see positive results. And, according to Dr. Medcalf, relationships are the same way. In order to build a great relationship, you need to work on building that relationship daily.
Let Go of Your Anger
Almost everyone has a pet peeve; it’s typically something small that inexplicably drives them to the depths of insanity. Perhaps you just can’t take it when your spouse leaves the ketchup out, or forgets to put the cap on the toothpaste. For some couples, building a great marriage may mean that you choose to love your spouse more than you hate seeing the ketchup left out. It may take a lot of work to figure out why you’re getting so upset over small things. You may further discover that letting go of the anger is a difficult process. However, your marriage will be much stronger for it. Similarly, if you know your spouse can’t stand seeing the cap off the toothpaste, you need to put effort into putting the cap on. Even though your spouses’ pet peeves might not make total sense to you, you need to respect your spouse enough to figure out ways to not irritate them.
Do Everything under the Influence of Love
Viewing relationships in a transactional manner can poison even the most promising marriages. A lot of problems can stem from dividing up resources like time and money. This is because the relationship becomes conditional. A common theme in transactional relationships is “I will do X, if you do Y.” In these relationships, each person is trying to get what they want instead of thinking of ways to serve the other person. If you’re working on repairing your marriage, you cannot make changes just so the other person makes changes. Instead, you need to make changes because you love your spouse or because you’ve decided to fix yourself or take on more responsibility for the household. Otherwise, the changes may not stick.
Get on the Same Team
The number one reason marriages fail is because of competition, not communication. When two spouses are competing against each other, they are putting themselves on opposing teams. In order to be on the same team, you need to begin to see your marriage as a shared resource. If you notice your spouse is stressed, you may want to find ways to lessen the stress your spouse is going through instead of comparing their issues to yours. If you’re both too stressed, you may need to look at what you can do to eliminate some of the stress.
Take It One Day at a Time
Building a great marriage even when your spouse does nothing can involve painful amounts of personal growth. During this process, you may find yourself working through a lot of difficult issues. In Jill’s podcast, Abby Medcalf discusses the importance of working through your issues before getting a divorce. When you work through the issues that have held you back from building a strong marriage, you will ensure that you don’t end up in the same problematic relationship with someone else. Working through these issues can be difficult, especially if you’re working through them alone. However, working through your own issues is an important part of building up a marriage, and it’s a crucial first step in your journey to becoming the best version of yourself.