5 Ways Worrying About Yourself and Not Your Spouse Can Improve Your Marriage

BY: - 21 May '15 | Communication

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A few years ago, I started on a self-discovery journey that has led to some amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have dreamed possible. When I think about how year after year, my marriage continues to thrive, I know it’s because my husband and I have continued to work on ourselves individually. We understand now that as much as we have to work on our marriage as a unit, the individual pieces to the marriage need to be strong as well.

When I started to put more focus on myself, and take care of my wants and needs, it forced me to face the things that I claimed were holding me back. Here are 5 tips to living your life so your marriage can thrive.

1. Push through the fear & take action

At a conference I attended, the speaker asked attendees to identify one thing that we wanted to do but hadn’t done yet. The one thing that I wrote down was hosting my own live workshops specifically for moms. Up until that point, I just hadn’t done it due to so many excuses that I won’t even bore you with here.

So about a week or two after getting home from the conference, I went online and reserved a room at the library to host my workshop. I had no title or theme, no agenda, and no idea on how I would plan it all out. I had no idea what I would be teaching or who would even attend the workshop. And I gave myself only 4-5 weeks to plan everything. Setting the date was the scariest part because it meant I had to take action. And so I did. Was I scared? Of course! Did I panic? A few times. But if I hadn’t taken that first step in booking the space, I would probably still be talking about wanting to host and facilitate live workshops.

Question: What one thing has fear kept you from doing? Chances are, that one thing, will lead to many great things. If it scares you, do it faster.

2. Perfection is often the enemy of progress

What I learned from setting a date for a workshop that I hadn’t even yet created, was that striving for perfection will keep you stuck and stagnant. We all have great ideas, hopes, wishes, and dreams that we think about. But how often do we actually take a step back to figure out a plan, and to actually take action to get things done?

There were so many things that I wish I would’ve thought to do for my first workshop, or for when I first launched my blog. But there are also things I wish I would’ve done during my most recent workshop I taught, and blog posts I’ve written. The thing is, I’ve learned different lessons from when I started, up until now. I’ve grown a lot through the process and that is exciting. But I wouldn’t be able to improve or get better if I had never gotten started.

I know I’ve become a better person, not just because I’m doing the work, but because my husband has confirmed it with me.

3. Your journey is not about you.

One thing people may not know about me is, that I’m very much an introvert. When I tell you that just three years ago I wanted nothing to do with public speaking, I chuckle knowing that is a major part of what I do now. Three years ago, I made the decision to get out of my own way because I realized that I had a voice that needed to be heard. I realized that I had to help other moms change the way they view self-care, so that they could be a better person for their family. I realized that it’s not okay and shouldn’t be an option for moms to not put themselves first. It’s not an option because it’s a detriment to their survial when they don’t.

This was my journey. And knowing what I know now, I made it my mission to help others realize that being a great mom and being a business owner or executive can go hand-in-hand (it doesn’t have to be one or the other). When I decided to pursue my purpose, I went from overwhelmed to overjoyed, and from frustrated to fulfilled. But I had to get over myself in order to take this first scary step.

Just like your journey isn’t about you, marriage isn’t about you either.

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About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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One Simple Yet Effective Way to Improve Communication in Your Marriage

BY: - 21 May '15 | Communication

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Unfortunately, there is usually so much room for error and misinterpretation with relationship communication. Half listening, talking while the other partner is speaking, making up our own false conclusions, and misinterpreting the words our partners say, are just a few of those bad communication behaviors we need to remove.

We constantly say it’s the most important aspect of any committed partnership, yet so many couples still struggle with actually getting it right. The reason most couples get it wrong is because their definitions of effective communication isn’t all that effective. What they think it should be, isn’t what it is. Some think it’s only about discussing what’s bothering you. We tend to forget that listening, validation and acknowledging are also key parts of a successful relationship dialogue. Being  satisfied with simply sharing your woes won’t work for a marriage whose goal is love, joy and peace.

Once a set of relationship goals are established, couples must put forth every effort to achieve them. Love success is within our reach. It just first begins with how we talk to one another. I am really big on sharing your truth with a delivery that’s loving and thoughtful. Especially when you are discussing a particularly heated topic. Controlling your tongue and expressing yourself clearly are both great beginnings and the most easiest to get a handle on.

In addition, there is one more key ingredient to successful love communication and that is, sharing your why.

Even when we are being vulnerable and sharing what’s hurting us, it’s also important to discuss the why. If our spouse’s were provided a little more insight into our world and understand all those little triggers we carry with us, we’d notice an improvement.

The majority of our frustration comes from us feeling as though our mates just don’t get us. We come to the conclusion that they are either insensitive or we just simply don’t matter enough to them. However, if they knew our why, more often, we’d definitely have better outcomes. Why certain topics are emotional for us, why a behavior causes us to respond negatively and why we struggle in certain situations, are all useful pieces of information our mate should know.

Sharing the “why” during communication with your partner, will assist you in arriving at a solution much quicker and help your spouse better understand you and the reason you’re reacting the way you are. Misinterpretations and poor communication are less likely whenever there is clarity around the “why”.

BMWK, how often do you share your “why” when communicating with your spouse?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 630 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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