Very few couples can escape the nagging feeling that this was a lot more fun before we were married.
It’s not that anyone has changed, it’s quite simply that when we were dating we ignored the bad stuff, and judged our intended on the basis of their best behavior so far. So when junk happens, that high water mark comes to mind, and we overlook the fact his mother drives us crazy.
It’s an easy theory to test, just point out to any engaged boy or girl that his socks don’t match, or that she is always late, and what they will say is, “Yes, but they make me laugh, or they are so smart, or they know how to field-dress a moose.”
After marriage however, the space-time continuum gets messed up and we inverse ourselves.
Now, we judge our spouse on the basis of their worst behavior. Anything good is dismissed as it does not negate the negative incident whether it happened last week or 10 years ago.
You, of course, don’t need to test this out, just yesterday you did three noble deeds for your spouse and their gratitude couldn’t get to the second sentence without mentioning the afore mentioned incident.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that you do the same thing.
There are 3 conclusions you could draw:
1) You married the wrong person.
2) You were young and naive and now you are seasoned and wise.
3) It’s time to get a new water mark.
The right answer is 3 (obviously!)
I know it’s not the answer you were hoping for. What you really want me to tell you is how to re-engineer your spouse so they live up to your expectations. And, in truth, that might be possible if your expectations were at all reasonable.
But they aren’t, sorry!
And it’s simple to see, if you are going to judge ANYONE by their worst behavior, then we are all toast – me too!
The truth is however, that what I am asking you to do is something we do all the time. We all minimize the bad and focus on the good. If we didn’t we couldn’t get through life.
People who can’t get along with people are not capable of doing this, they maximize the bad and minimize the good, and they are the most painful people to be sitting next to at a picnic – or anytime for that matter.
If you look at your life and add up everything that’s wrong, the list would be non-ending. That’s rhetorical – don’t start thinking in the negative, it’s a very dark rabbit hole to go down.
Instead treat your spouse like you do everything else in life, be aware of the bad but place the water mark high from all the good they do for you.
If you do that your marriage will be as much fun as your dating, if not more so, and happy sailing!