Whether a person seems fat or not can be based solely on who he or she is standing beside in line. Someone who is considered healthy and fit may look large next to a group of junior gymnasts’ whereas, someone who has a body mass index of 40 and racked with health problems may seem small standing in a crowd of people trying out for The Biggest Loser. Perspective is powerful.
Earlier in our marriage, I had some concerns about our relationship. According to my ideal image of what every healthy marriage should look like, I felt Eric and I were lacking in some areas and it deeply concerned me.
Eric ordered a book that had a relationship test inside and we decided to go through it. Much to my surprise, we scored very high (which was good/healthy). As he went through a lot of the questions, I realized that I had no idea what it was like to have a difficult marriage. It became clear after asking ourselves questions from that book that we have a tremendously good marriage, even if it’s not perfect. What I needed was a shift in my perspective to open my eyes to all the wonderful things we have in our relationship and to stop focusing on the few negative things we endure.
When you enter into marriage, some outcomes won’t be the way you expected them to be when you were dreaming as a young girl or picking out an engagement ring as a nervous and excited groom-to-be. There will be some pleasant surprises, some disappointments, and some aggravations.
Since you cannot fully understand marriage from the inside until you’ve experienced it, you cannot plan for everything and some things will be different than you and your spouse expected. You can handle this reality check one of two ways:
- You can become disillusioned and angry when your spouse does not give you the life you expected.
- You can choose to enjoy your marriage for what it is and make the best of it.
If you find yourself wishing you had a different life, you likely won’t have to look far to find other people who are wishing they could have your life.
As you prepare for your future marriage relationship, it may be helpful for you to begin telling yourself to be more flexible when it comes to your expectations (note: I’m not talking about moral expectations – on those you should stand firm). And this task will be easier for some than others.
Becoming one with someone else isn’t an easy process and can seem far less romantic after the honeymoon than it did before the wedding. Don’t waste your time trying to force your spouse to change to fit your mold. Appreciate his or her personalities and find something you can learn from your differences.
Eric and I are on opposite ends of the personality type spectrum, but I have grown so much from his strengths (and he has grown from mine). You can spend your time fighting your spouse’s strengths or you can spend your time growing from them. If you spend your time focusing on what you adore about your spouse instead of focusing on his or her faults, you will both lead a much happier life!
Have you ever been in a relationship where the other person was continuously trying to change you? What expectations do you have in getting married? Do you need a shift in perspective?