Are you in a rut in your relationship and want things to be different than they currently are?
The reason we stay in a marital rut, is simple. It is because we don't take action. We repeat the efforts that are getting us our current experience.
The reason we don't change anything is because of a thought in our mind.
When we do take action it is because of a result we want to have.
You THINK you are doing or not doing something because of the work you have to do or the time it takes to do it. That is never the reason. The real reason is because of a thought that you are having right now.
That thought creates a feeling which then drives our action or inaction.
If you are unhappy in your marriage or life and not taking action, its because of your current thought.
Stop right now and find that thought. What is it?
Now, what feeling is that thought causing?
You want to think your husband is causing that feeling but its not true. Your thought is. How you feel is ultimately determined by what you choose to think.
So how do you get unstuck? You change your thoughts.
You cannot change your thoughts if you are not even aware of what you are thinking. And until you start paying attention, your thoughts will unintentionally run the show.
Would you give a toddler a knife and let him run around the living room while you went to work? Of course not! Yet,that is what we do with our thoughts when we don't manage them. Unintentional thinking starts running the show and then we act like we have no choice but to feel the way we are feeling.
What do you want to feel? What would you need to feel to take action? That feeling is yours.
There are so many thoughts available to you. You get to manage the thoughts running around in your mind.
Find the thought that creates the wanted feeling that leads to desired action and that my friend is how you get out of a marital rut.
If you are in a rut, change is totally possibly. I totally know how to help people get out of ruts and have better relationships and lives. Set up your free mini session.
Yesterday I introduced you to The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the saboteurs of any good relationship. They are Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling.
If left to run rampant, they can ruin your marriage.
Today I promised you the antidote for Criticism.
According to The Gottman Institute, the solution for criticism is expressing yourself in a way that does not find fault with the other person. It is accomplished by using a gentle startup.
To soften our delivery (an ACTION) two things need to happen:
1. We have to create a new FEELING. We can't soften our delivery when we come from a place of feeling critical or judgmental.
2. We have to change our THOUGHT about our partner. It is our thought that gives rise to the feeling.
Thoughts create (-->) feelings which fuel (-->) Action/Inaction.
One of my favorite way to look at the results I am getting in my life is to use this simple Model I learned at The Life Coach School. The Think Feel Act Model simply organizes the pieces so you can look at them:
Circumstance (C)-->Thought(T)-->Feeling(F)-->Action(A)--> Result(R).
Looking at the antidote to Criticism, lets use a specific example from my own relationship.
We start with a specific Circumstance (C). The Circumstance is simply the facts. EVERYONE would agree on the Circumstance. In my case the facts are:
I have THOUGHTS about these facts. My thoughts are very different than Rich's thoughts. My thoughts are not facts. They are simply my assessments and they are completely optional.
Thought (T): TV is a waste of time.
What I think, creates a FEELING. This particular thought makes me feel critical.
Feeling (F): Critical
When I feel critical, I criticize. Or if I am trying to do the "right thing", I keep it to myself. If I try to resist the feeling of critical without really acknowledging the thought creating it, I might force a new feeling. But forcing a new feeling, the feeling of critical eventually topples out in self righteous statements or condescending comments. Just "acting nice" doesn't cut it.
Action: Criticize, internalize and then make passive aggressive comments.
When I act this way, the result is, I waste my time. Criticizing Rich is not productive and does not serve me or him.
Result (R): I waste my time.
We have unearthed an Unintentional Model. It shows us how I am getting the results in my life. It is this:
C: Rich watches TV
T: TV is a waste of time
A: criticize, internalize and make passive aggressive comments
R: I waste my time
This model shows us the cause of my Result line. We can see it is my Thoughts that cause the Results. The Circumstances are not to blame for the Results. (But we like to think they are.)
The Result of me wasting my time is not caused by Rich watching TV. It is caused by my THOUGHTS about TV. I know this is true, because Rich could have married someone else who LOVES TV and so this problem no longer exists.
If I want to change my Result to "I appreciate Rich and myself, " I need to get rid of the criticism. I ask myself, what would I be doing if I appreciated Rich?
My Actions might be:
To create an Intentional Model, I ask myself some questions.
What would I have to feel to show up that way?
What thoughts would I have to think to create feelings of Acceptance? Here are some I might try on:
If Rich was married to Sally who loves TV this would not be a problem.
This is only a problem because I don't prefer it.
Rich's brain works different than mine and he needs stimulation while I need quiet.
I want to honor Rich and myself.
Using this information we can create a new model using ONE FEELING and ONE THOUGHT:
C: SAME (we never change the Circumstance)
T: Rich's brain works different than mine and he needs stimulation while I need quiet.
A: I share in a non-demanding way that honors our differences; I "let" Rich watch TV and I do things I enjoy; I watch a show with Rich because I want to.
R: I appreciate Rich and me.
When we think about ourselves and our partner in a nonjudgmental way, we can make bids to connect without criticizing. We can create an open posture when we bring up a circumstance, soften startup and value our partner and our-self.
Where we are in life proves what we are thinking. When we change our perspective, we can change our lives and our relationships.