It’s easy when you are frustrated with someone, especially your spouse, to immediately blame them for your frustration. However one of the tenants of a healthy relationship is the ability to self reflect! Use these 10 questions to do a SELF-CHECK before casting blame on your partner!
1. Am I Self Aware? It is very difficult to be in a relationship with someone who cannot see their own shortcomings. Everyone contributes to the chaos in the relationship (even if the “contribution” is that of apathy or passiveness.). Our natural tendency is to minimize our issue while magnifying our spouses. Make it a point to take an honest assessment on your role in any issue you and your spouse may be facing.
2. Am I being Reasonable? Have you ever dealt with someone that did not fight fair? Or maybe you have dealt with someone who has expectations that just seem way too high? Either of those characteristics can be described as being unreasonable and that can create challenges in your marriage. Instead, do your part to think and operate fairly and check to make sure your expectations aren’t unattainable.
3. Am I Remorseful? Did you do something that you KNOW hurt your spouse, even if you don’t agree that they should actually be hurt? If your spouse expresses to you that they are hurt (or angry) at something you did, don’t dismiss it. Being remorseful doesn’t mean that your intention was to hurt them, but simply that you love them and you don’t want them to feel bad because of you!
4. Am I being Intentional? This may seem like an odd fit, but many couples suffer from ‘unintentional neglect’. In other words, couples get so consumed with their day to day lives (work, the children, family obligations, etc) that their marriage ends up on the backburner. Make sure you do your part to be intentional with your spouse by being available and engaged in their life!
5. Am I being flexible? A healthy marriage consists of two people willing to be flexible and not rigid. Things will not always go your way…situations won’t always work out picture perfect…sometimes (well, often) you will have to put someone else’s needs above your own. If you and your spouse are facing a tough situation make sure you are willing to adjust your perspective and be willing to compromise.
6. Am I being vulnerable? Has your spouse ever said to you “I just don’t know what you are feeling?” We all want to know that our spouse trusts us enough with the things that matter most to them, including feelings they would not ordinarily share. If you are keeping a wall up, your spouse may be responding defensively towards you, simply because they can’t feel that you care! Being willing to be vulnerable with your spouse creates intimacy and it will help them understand why you respond the way you do! Let down your emotional wall and trust your spouse with your heart.
7. Am I Inquisitive? When was the last time you came home and asked your spouse what they need the most from you? Have you asked them what their prayer request is in this season? Do you know the pressures they are facing at work? What is keeping them up at night? The two of you may be having conflict simply because you aren’t intimately engaged in one another’s lives! Start asking questions…not as an interrogation but simply because you care about what they care about!
8. Am I Committed? Listen, while fidelity is important, this goes beyond being faithful. Every partner wants to know that when they need their spouse to be there, they will be there. Every partner wants to know that tough times won’t send their spouse running! Every partner wants to know that when the rubber hits the road, they can still count on their spouse. Every partner wants to know that they don’t have to carry the weight of the relationship alone! Do you reiterate, often, that you are in it for the long-haul or do you leave room for doubt either by what you say or more importantly what you do?
9. Am I Forgiving? Anybody that has been married longer than a week (and that’s being generous) has made a mistake…and will continue to do so. This is not a license for you (or your spouse) to be blatantly disrespectful and then demand forgiveness. However, over the course of your relationship, learning the art (and yes, it is a skill!) of forgiveness will help you build a loving union. If you are holding on to an issue, it’s like holding on to a snake and wondering why you got bit!
10. Am I being Protective? This is another one that may seem odd, but consider this…one of the highest areas of conflict for couples is the impact of outside influences. Are you allowing someone or something to impact your relationship in a negative way? While we aren’t meant to live on isolation island, we also should not leave our marriages open to anyone and anything. Be careful about exposing your relationship to people and situations that can be a virus for your romance.
Did this help you? Do you want to learn more? Consider joining Robin May for a POWERFUL 5-part Webinar (“The 5 Reasons You MAY be frustrated in your Marriage”!) It’s absolutely free but will help sure-up your relationship quickly! Click HERE to register!