Maybe she put the pots back where the pans go, or maybe (in my case) he put another dent in the car by hitting a pole in the parking garage.
Maybe she’s talking too loudly… or he has not stopped talking all morning.
Maybe he's sitting down watching his tenth “very important” baseball game of the week, while you are making dinner and taking care of the kids.
Whatever it may be, chances are your partner has been doing the same thing before you got married, so why does it annoy you so much now?
I asked myself the very same question a couple of weeks ago. With my background in psychotherapy and as a marriage Expert, I went through some possible solutions, such as changing our communication style, spending more time with one another, changing some of our habits, having more sex, and so on.
Finally, it hit me. It realized that being annoyed was my feeling, not my husband's. He cannot make me feel annoyed. I am the only one with control over my feelings. My husband did not need to change; I needed to change my thoughts about my husband.
I realized that I had stopped appreciating all that my husband is and does. Instead, I was only noticing the things he was doing “wrong.” This was not fair to him, our marriage or me.
As soon as I had this insight, I knew exactly what to do: create a relationship mantra.
I needed to remember and appreciate all the good things about my husband, and I needed to rewire my brain in order to renew the extraordinary love our marriage holds. To this end, I created a "happy marriage mantra" that speaks the truth and provides gratitude and appreciation to my marriage and my husband.
Honestly, this mantra has been a game changer. Writing down and repeating my mantra every day reminds me of how amazing my husband is, and of my love for him. When I get annoyed or angry with him, I repeat the mantra and often the feelings disappear or decrease significantly.
As an added bonus, my husband told me that he has felt closer to me since in the last couple of weeks, and he did not know about my mantra (at the time). When we put positive thoughts, gratitude and appreciation into the universe, people around us also feel the positivity.
Here are three simple steps you can use to create your relationship mantra today:
1. Answer the following three questions: What do I love the most about my spouse? How does my partner show me love? How can I appreciate my partner today for who he or she is without trying to change behavior?
2. Create and write down your mantra. Here are some examples:
I appreciate my partner because…
My partner helps me to be successful because…
He often shows me his love by…
I love my partner for everything that she is and will not try to change her. I will let my partner be herself, allow her to grow through my support and will look to my own thoughts and actions before passing on blame or criticism.
I will show my partner love, appreciation and gratitude today by…
3. Keep your marriage mantra close, and read it aloud at least once a day — or whenever you're feeling distant, annoyed or angry. Visualize yourself showing gratitude and appreciation to your partner through actions, touch, emotions or words.
This is all it takes to create a better relationship quickly!
This is a powerful exercise, because when we start to change our thoughts, we start to change our emotions and behaviors. Yes, she will probably still put dishes away in the wrong place, or he will keep hitting poles in the parking garage. But now you know how to quickly forgive these mistakes... and appreciate each other and your marriage.
Get ready to start feeling calmer, less annoyed and more loved.
Take time to create your marriage mantra now, and see how your perspective changes and your marriage is enhanced over the next couple of weeks.
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