Have you ever noticed that you spend so much time putting good things back into your marriage that you forget to do anything about the bad stuff that was already there? Of course not! Putting positive things in — generosity, fun, love, respect, etc. — should cancel out the negative stuff. Right? Well, not exactly. As much as we preach putting positive things into your marriage, it’s not enough. For every good thing that goes in, something bad must come out. That’s the Power of One – You have the ability to do this on your own.
The good news is that we are here to help get you there faster. Removing negative things from your marriage while still being focused on the good is possible. And, it really only takes one of you to create that change. It’s The Power Of One!
Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.” — Proverbs 8:14
In talking about all the things that aren’t good for a marriage, I’m thinking of the obvious things: arguing, fighting, and an overall poor ability to communicate properly. When these situations come up, and they will the longer you are married, what do you think is the first mistake we make? We look to our spouse to do something about it. AND, expect them — not us — to change so that we are satisfied and have what we want.
We see our spouse as both the problem and the solution.
“Who is the problem? They are.”
“Who has the solution? They do!”
This is a mistake many couples make. When neither of you is willing to change or fix things, what happens? You feel stuck! You point fingers. You’re worried about a bunch of stuff that ultimately wastes a ton of time. Well, what if we told you that when it comes to removing negative things from your marriage, you have the power to fix the problem and create a solution.
It’s this concept called The Power of One
The Power of One is a lot like our previous conversation on personal responsibility, only much deeper. You — yes, you — have a lot of power to influence and change the interactions you have with your partner.
You have the power to:
- Stop the cycle of chaos and madness
- Choose to change your reaction
- Control your thoughts
- Take responsibility for your own buttons
- Take focus off others and to put on yourself
- For your own happiness: your own wants/desires and fulfillment/satisfaction
- Take things to God
- Choose/change your expectations
- Be accountable to others
- Forgive and ask for forgiveness
Don’t give others — even your spouse — the power to control your feelings.
You have the power to do that for yourself! And when you do, what you’ll find is that you’ll be less inclined to argue or fight. More importantly, all those negative things that were quickly taking over your marriage begin to dissipate.
You’re putting good things in … AND you’re removing the negative. How powerful does that feel?!
A child is a person who remains completely dependent on others and blames others for his or her emotions or success. An adult is a person who is no longer a child. — 1 Cor 13:11-12
To help illustrate our point on The Power of One, here is a lesson from Les and Leslie Parrott that uses a study from corporate America to help teach couples something very powerful about marriage and relationships.
The study compared executives who floundered and those who succeeded. Both groups had weaknesses, of course, but the critical difference was that those who did not succeed failed to learn from their mistakes and accurately assess and accept their own shortcomings. The unsuccessful executives ignored their faults, often rebuffing those who tried to point them out. So what’s the lesson for couples? It’s this:
When a couple lacks an accurate assessment of their problems, they never find the capacity to transcend them.
As the Parrots say, successful couples learn from their mistakes by accurately assessing their shortcomings. They don’t ignore their challenges, and they don’t deny their limits. They face challenges head-on – looking for practical solutions to build the most God-honoring relationship possible. And when they run into personal limitations, they get help.
All we are saying here is that putting positive things into your marriage is a great start. To truly have a safe and connected marriage, we must also be intentional about removing the negative things in our marriage. And that journey starts by looking in the mirror and realizing that we have the power to create change for the better.
Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!
Our heart is devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have the tools to cherish each other’s heart and listen to it when it’s talking to you. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people and let them know that we are here.
What do you think? How are you using your individual power to remove negative things from your marriage? How has that benefitted your marriage? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going. mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.