Delight in Thy Husband
My husband is the most wonderful man in the world.
And I’m not just saying that. He loves playing with our new baby girl, he helps out with the dishes, and he takes time to show me love every day. Can it get any better than that?
But even with the most wonderful man in the world as my husband, it can be all too easy to become dissatisfied. Recently, I found myself focusing a little too much on my husband’s weaknesses instead of enjoying his many, many strengths.
One day during my personal scripture study, the Lord gave me a little talking to. (See D&C 25:14.)
Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride.
Let me tell you, fault-finding and criticizing your spouse, whether in your head or out loud, are definitely not the picture of “the spirit of meekness.”
The Lord continues:
Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the glory which shall come upon him.
Because I was so caught up in “Why doesn’t he do ___ anymore?”, I wasn’t letting my soul delight in my husband. And he truly is delightful!
So the big question is, when we start to see our marriages through a more negative lens, what can we do to fix it? How can we delight in our marriages and make our lives just a little more joyful?
Here are a couple of ideas.
1. Look for the positive
As Dr. Rob from Family Good Things points out in his article, everyone married an imperfect person. (And don’t forget, your spouse married an imperfect person too!) So when things don’t go quite the way we hoped, what can we do?
Instead of focusing on the negative, look for the positive! Throughout the day, take inventory of all the good things going on in your marriage. Consider keeping a gratitude journal focused specifically on things you appreciate about your spouse.
Additionally, marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman teaches that nurturing fondness and admiration of your spouse is key to a healthy marriage. He suggests listing their positive characteristics, expressing appreciation, and remembering why you fell in love in the first place.
(Want to find out how you’re doing in this area? Check out this quiz from the Gottman Institute to assess your current fondness/admiration levels.)
2. Overlook the negative
Dr. Gottman also explains the importance of what he calls “positive sentiment override,” which is essentially viewing your marriage through a positive filter.
When your spouse does something a little less than perfect, it may be natural to assume the worst (“He/she doesn’t love me!” or “He/she obviously doesn’t care.”).
But when imperfections show up, try taking a step back. Take a deep breath, and give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.
Now of course, there are certainly issues in a marriage that should be addressed. (In fact, that’s why Dr. Gottman suggests having a regular “state of the union” meeting to counsel together as a couple.) But much of the time, we zoom in on little flaws or situations and seem to forget all the good things going on in our marriage.
Find Joy in the Journey
If you’re starting to see your marriage through a negative filter, maybe you need to read D&C 25:14 again. 😉 Marriage should be a delight! As President Thomas S. Monson said, “Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family.”
So instead of zooming in on the bad, take time to focus on the positive! Overlook those little negatives. You’ll be just a little more joyful, and so will your marriage.