This is a common question I get once I am sitting down in my office with clients. “Where do I even start”?
I usually have two people in front of me who are either offended, hurt or ready to leave each other. They are frustrated and discouraged. The circumstances between each other are not good. They have given up on their marriage and I am usually their last resort.
The title of our Episode is “Where Do I Start”, it begins with taking responsibility for yourself. I know this may seem like a harsh statement or being insensitive to the situation at hand, however this is where it all starts.
It’s having the maturity to take a good hard look at yourself and seeing what role you have played in getting to the place you are at in this marriage.
Many times in marriages we react instead of response. When we are not aware of how we are reacting or how we are affecting our spouse in different situation. It time for us to step back and have a little bit of self awareness. I am a firm believer, awareness is a wonderful thing, however, if you do nothing with it, it’s nothing.
It’s coming to a place where you can see yourself in this marriage (having self awareness) and where you can start to take responsibility for where your marriage is at and where your marriage is going.
This is not always easy, it can be the hardest thing you may have to do. A lot of times we want to place blame or point fingers, because that can be easier than taking responsibility. I know it takes two in a marriage, it is rarely one sided. You are responsible for you.
Communication is a crucial area to look at when you are taking responsibility for yourself. Most people believe that communication is how well you talk and have the ability to express, when in fact, it is how well do you listen. How well do you listen to your spouse? Or are you listening to your own inner dialog waiting to say what’s on your mind?
A lot of fights in marriages are miscommunications. We assume what the other person is thinking or feeling. I believe when it comes to communication, it’s important to know how the person heard you. “I am not concerned about what I’ve said, I am more concern about what you heard me say.”
You can try this exercise at home to become more aware of you.
If you could go to your front yard or wherever there is a window looking into your home. This can be done physically or mentally.
I want you to close your eyes, remove all the inner dialog that is going on inside in your head. Put all your emotions and feelings aside. Now, open your eyes, you are outside looking into your home. What do you see? Where are you at? What are you doing? How are you treating everyone around you? Where is your spouse? What are they doing? Where are your children? (if you have children) What’s going on in your household? Is there peace? Is there discontentment? Is there arguing? You may have to try this a couple times to really open yourself up to see.
I want to encourage you that there is hope. Your marriage is worth fighting for. Someone needs to be the hero, why not you.