Working on Marital Harmony BEFORE You EVEN MEET Your MATE

Over and over again I find myself in situations in which I misinterpret what my husband says to me. Sometimes I mishear the words, often times—the tone. For example, my husband asks if I cleared the counter yet, and I hear it as an admonition, when really he was just asking out of curiosity.

This morning I went to the bathroom prior to picking up my baby daughter from her crib. I decided that even though she was fussing I still had a couple extra moments to brush my teeth prior to picking her up. I felt bad that she was unhappy but I didn’t want to overlook my dental hygiene. As I was brushing my teeth, I thought I heard my husband say, “You shouldn’t be brushing your teeth! You should pick the baby up!” I couldn’t hear all the words clearly because the bathroom vent was on. After turning the bathroom vent off, I realized what my husband was ACTUALLY saying was, “While you are brushing your teeth, I can pick the baby up.”

This is just one of countless examples when I have found myself misinterpreting what my husband says to me—hearing criticism when really the statement is neutral and possibly even positive.

Where is this criticism, this admonition coming from? My OWN self-talk!

And even the times when my husband is disappointed—when I hear it as deep, heart-wrenching frustration, that is coming from my own inner dialogue as well!

I would prevent much unease between my husband and me if I work on how I am speaking to myself—thus projecting less negativity into what my husband is expressing to me.

When I wrote my book, First Comes Self-Love, Then Comes Marriage, I was referring to my discovery that I would have to love myself before seeking a healthy relationship with another. But now I can say this holds true even IN marriage. Self-love, self-compassion, and self-forgiveness are KEY to experiencing harmony with one’s mate. Then one’s own negative self-talk won’t cause them to misinterpret the comments of their spouse as criticism. And not only that, when you are kinder to YOURSELF, you will become KINDER to your mate as well!

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