Quit Brooding!

Part 2 of It Takes One to Tango

You are dissatisfied with your marriage.

Your spouse may or may not share your disillusionment.

Your spouse may or may not be willing to work with you towards a more loving, intimate connection.

But without him/her, there’s not a lot you can do to improve your situation, right?

Actually there’s plenty you can do!

The first step is to quit brooding. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and going over in your mind how justified you are in being upset, resentful, disappointed. It might be a natural reaction but it gets you nowhere. At least nowhere you want to go.

Brooding only amplifies the problem. It leads you to redefine and recast everything positive in your relationship in a negative light. All of a sudden, it’s not just about his dirty socks on the floor, it’s about EVERY. MINUTE. WAY. that he fails to live up to your housekeeping standards. It’s not just about her overspending on the groceries this week, it’s her TOTAL. INDIFFERENCE. to your financial burden.

Brooding makes your soul heavy. Like a black hole it sucks up precious energy and turns your attention towards supporting your right to be angry. It rarely inspires change in your spouse: if anything, it often reinforces the offensive behaviour.

Moreover, there is nothing attractive about someone caught up in their own self-pity.

So quit the self-pity and start thinking self-restraint. When brooding starts to infringe on your consciousness, interrupt your thoughts. Reset them to something more life-giving for yourself and for your marriage. Make a deliberate choice to focus on the positives in your spouse; dwell on positive memories, appreciate the virtuous qualities in your spouse.

And if you find the pull of gravity into the blackness of self-pity too compelling, pick up a pen and make a list of all the things over the course of your relationship that you appreciate. It will not only lift your mood and bring out the sun in your life, it will energise you for the love your marriage desperately needs.

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Francine & Byron Pirola

Francine & Byron Pirola are the founders and principal authors of the SmartLoving series. They are passionate about living Catholic marriage to the full and helping couples reach their marital potential. They have been married since 1988 and have five children. Their articles may be reproduced for non commercial purposes with appropriate acknowledgement and back links. For Media Enquiries Please Contact us here

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