Jul 302019 0 Responses

Act, Don’t Think, Your Way to a Better Marriage

Change your mind and you will change your marriage. It’s true. Kind of.

There is no question that our thoughts greatly impact our relationships. How you think about your spouse, what you think about marriage, the things upon which your mind focuses on will greatly impact your marriage. If you can think fondly about your spouse, think highly about marriage, and continually focus on the positive elements of your relationship, your marriage will likely thrive.

However, you can’t just will your way to a different mind. Simply choosing to think better will not cause you to consistently think better. It might change your mind for a moment, but over time, your thoughts will quickly return to whatever they were before your determination to change your mind. (See: Step One in Marriage)

Change Your Mind and Your Marriage Stays the Same

You can’t do it. No matter how hard you try, you can’t just think your way to a better marriage. It sounds possible. We recognize our desire for a better marriage so we decide to use our willpower to think our way to the marriage we desire. We know our thoughts are important.

Yet we don’t just change our brains by changing our thoughts. It might work for a day, but far faster than we desire, our thoughts will return to where they originated and our marriage will look no different than before.

The truth is that our minds need to change in order for our marriages to improve, but our minds don’t change with a simple choice to think better. We can’t just will our minds to better thoughts.

Trying to think our way to a better marriage won’t work.

Change Your Actions

Yet we aren’t hopeless. Our marriages can change and the change does occur as our thinking transforms. But we don’t change our minds with our minds. We change our thinking by changing our actions. As we change our actions, we change our minds. (See: Three Words to Transform Any Relationship)

Thoughts come and go, yet our lives are shaped by habits. Those habits aren’t the byproducts of conscious choices but are the result of unconscious actions. We repeatedly do things which create the patterns and interactions of our lives. If we will change our actions, our habits will change as well.

Consider–you don’t think your way into better shape. Instead, you start different actions. You eat better food. You find a consistent work-out routine. As you eat better and work-out more, you get in better shape. But something else happens as well…your mind begins to change. In the first few days or weeks of a new routine, you still have all the old cravings and thoughts as before. Yet if you find a way to push through those old thought patterns, over time the food cravings diminish. After enough time, you actually stop dreading the workout and start looking forward to it (or at least looking forward to having done it).

As your actions change, so does your mind.

Too Much Hope, Not Enough Help

Too many couples resign themselves to a second-rate marriage or filter through relationships searching for the right one. They want more. They hope for a better relationship. Yet that is just it…they only hope. We can hope all day that things will get better but until we do something about it, nothing will change.

Keep hoping, but wed a good amount of help to that hope. Do something.

Seek help by:

  • calling a marriage counselor
  • reading a book
  • recruiting a mentor couple
  • asking a friend to hold you accountable
  • praying for your spouse every day
  • attending a marriage conference
  • making intentional time for your relationship
  • listening to one another
  • going on vacation together
  • for more ideas, see:  5 Quick Marriage Hacks

None of these actions done in isolation will dramatically change your marriage, yet taking a simple step can get you headed in the right direction. Continuing in the right direction over a long period of time can (and will) have a dramatic influence on the state of your relationship.

Don’t Know Where to Start?

If you want a different relationship, but you don’t know where to start, start here:

Order my book, Friends, Partners & Lovers. In the next two weeks, commit as a couple to read one chapter a day. You can read it at different times or each get your own copy of the book or agree to read it every night in bed while naked. However, you wish to do it, just do it. At the end of each chapter are some questions. Read the chapters, highlight sentences or sections that are meaningful to you, and then discuss.

If you cannot have a productive discussion, call a marriage counselor. (See: 13 Questions to Gauge If You Need Marriage Counseling)

If you can have a productive discussion, follow that format for two weeks and see if you can tell any difference in the quality of your marriage.

I guarantee you the process will be helpful. Why? Because our minds change as our actions change. We act our way to a better marriage.




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