Once you get married, you hear all kinds of advice, including things like, "In marriage, life isn't all about you anymore," or "Always put your spouse first." These are great tips when it comes to promoting a selfless attitude towards one's spouse, but it's also important to realize that in a way, marriage is all about you.
It may sound odd at first, but here are three reasons marriage is actually all about you:
1. You have to become the right person
To find the right person, you have to become the right person.
I remember an experience years ago during a lesson on families. Our teacher told us to write down all the qualities we wanted in our future spouse, and I unabashedly composed a pretty detailed, exclusive list. After we were all finished, the teacher told us, "If you're ever going to find a person with those qualities, you need to have them in yourself first."
And so, the list of qualities I wanted in my spouse turned into a list of qualities I needed to work on personally.
This is how our mindsets should be while seeking out a spouse - instead of spending so much time searching for potential partners with the qualities you desire, we should turn to ourselves first and become the right person someone else wishes to find. Dating shouldn't be apple-picking - it should be about becoming the right person.
Great couples come from great individuals.
2. Your job in a relationship is to improve yourself
Once you get into a marriage relationship, your job is NOT to improve your partner. It's to improve yourself as a spouse.
A sure-fire way to start a marriage off poorly is to go in thinking, "I don't like this aspect of my spouse, but I'll change that part of them once we're married." Instead, love them flaws and all, and work on changing yourself for the better instead. Your spouse might even be inspired to improve themselves when they see you working on self-improvement.
Too many times, when things are going wrong in a marriage, people pick out the things their spouse is doing wrong and place the blame on them. While your spouse will never be perfect, it takes two to fight. Besides serious problems like abuse, there are always things you can improve in yourself to help your marriage.
If you want to improve your marriage, don't look at your spouse, look inward.
3. You have to consciously choose to love your spouse every day
At the beginnings of your courtship, love seems to come easily. But once you get past the honeymoon phase, love is more of a choice than a serendipitous occurrence.
As much as we uptalk marriages and how wonderful married life is, the cold truth is that sometimes, it's hard to show your spouse love. Whether you're busy with other things or your spouse did something to annoy you, nothing should take precedence over your love. That's why you can't expect it to just come on it's own- love is a verb, and you have to make that conscious choice to show it.
When you're looking to improve your marriage (as you always should be), look at yourself first. You should become the right person for your spouse, focus on improving yourself instead of your sweetheart, and make that conscious choice to show them love every day.