I’m presenting 10 mature mindsets that generate an inviting atmosphere for Magic Moments to occur in your Marriage.
This article speaks about the second characteristic of a mature mindset: awareness of your spouse or partner. The first characteristic: respect for self.
Awareness of your spouse calls attention to the depth of your knowledge about your spouse. Do you truly know your spouse? Let me assure you that you know your spouse only to a degree. There is ALWAYS more to know, much more.
Most marriages bring with them games, secrets, hidden agendas, pretenses and life lived fairly close to the surface. Your marriage may survive with these characteristics, but it certainly will not thrive and magic moments will be few and far between.
Marriages with these characteristics are also susceptible to break downs and have difficulty managing crises.
Being more fully aware of your spouse enables you to move beyond the above characteristics, to free yourself from your demanding personal need system and to cope more effectively with destructive triggers.
(A trigger is what s/he says or does that triggers your negative thought, feeling and behavior, which in turn triggers his/her negative thought, feeling and behavior. This negative cycle can be frequent and difficult to stop.)
As well, once you become more fully aware of your spouse, an attitude of acceptance, compassion and understanding follows. Warmth and smiles begin to permeate your marriage and ways of relating.
You will develop a curiosity about your spouse that breaks the chains of judgment and criticism that eventually erode the core of a marriage.
The two of you become a better team and mange life (your children, your finance, your vacations, your hobbies, your relatives, your social life, your free time, etc.) with greater efficiency, less effort and conflict.
You see where your spouse’s strengths and preferences compliment your strengths and preferences. You begin to utilize his/her strengths when appropriate and needed. You defer to your spouse when you encounter arenas in which s/he has special knowledge or skills. And, you defer with gratitude and trust the outcome.
One target of your awareness becomes his/her patterns of thinking and acting. You become aware of the flow of his/her life. You learn more fully how s/he typically copes with problems, with relationships and with his/her needs and desires.
You begin to see and acknowledge the predictability of how s/he responds and creates.
You become aware of his/her personal need system and the motives that fuel that need system.
You become aware of what drives him/her, the gaps in his/her emotional life, the empty spots that s/he is attempting to fill. You gain a full knowledge of his/her idiosyncrasies and habits that form who s/he is.
And, you begin to feel better about him/her with the increased realization that s/he is like everyone else, trying to find the way through this life we are given.
Here are 10 characteristics of an aware spouse. Acquire these characteristics and the Magic Moments will begin showing up.
- I know what is extremely important to my spouse.
- I understand my spouse’s long- and short-term goals and support them.
- I understand the difference between what I want/need from the marriage and what my spouse wants/needs.
- I give to my spouse based on his/her wants and needs, not based on mine.
- I frequently ask my spouse what I can do to be more supportive.
- I have a vision for my life which inspires me and includes my spouse.
- I am satisfied with the way we manage our finances, separately and together.
- I know how my spouse feels about having children and/or parenting and our intentions are compatible.
- I choose to be honest, committed and faithful to my spouse.
- I know I can count on my spouse’s commitment to our relationship, even in times of discord.
Now, here’s what I want you to do.
Copy this list. Print it out and take it with you. Spend two days reading it periodically. Paste it on your fridge. Make it desktop on your computer. Tape it to your mirror. Keep it in front of you, just for two days. Think about the list. Reflect on the list. Allow the list to sink deeply in to you.
Then, put it aside for a week.
Come back to the list a week later and see what sifts have taken place in your mind or in your relationship. Describe how the list has impacted you and your marriage. What did you do differently? What new attitudes do you now possess? What mental breakthroughs did you make, if any?
If you are separated, divorced and/or single, feel free to use this exercise targeting any relationship of significant emotional investment.