Are you making one of these three common mistakes in your marriage? Most of us do at least some of the time.
A recent article by Simple Marriage’s Corey Allen, PhD, delved into the Art of Contentment, which can be a lifelong process. (Read the full article here.) Three tips to help you aim for contentment are actually three things not to do:
1. Don’t compete.
2. Don’t complain.
3. Don’t compare.
Competing doesn’t refer to the athletic sort, but rather competing for attention or affection from those around you. Are you trying to be better than those around you so you can win more love and affection? Instead, be your genuine self. “I’m going to make a bet that your husband doesn’t want a pseudo or fake version of you—he wants you. After all, he’s likely been with you through life’s experiences thus far,” explains Corey.
Complaining is one of the most common obstacles to contentment, along with its close cousin, nagging. A person who complains frequently becomes more negative, more pessimistic, and often spirals down. Their personality and joy go down the tubes. See if you can go even one day or one week without complaining. An important point Corey makes is that not complaining does not mean you don’t address issues that need to be addressed. It just means you stop complaining about them.
Comparing yourself or your possessions or your opinions with others is another joy-taker. Instead of comparing, be happy with who you are and what you bring to the world.
“Creating a life of contentment, gratification and confidence is the best way possible to discover your passion and share it with the world,” says Corey.
I’ve written past posts to help with cultivating gratitude, which as shown through research to increase happiness in marriage and in life. Read this post about why expressing gratitude can be a big boost for your marriage.
In my next post, I will address the issue of confidence and how that affects success in life and in marriage.
What do you think keeps you from feeling contentment in your life and marriage? Does your immediate response lead you to a complaint or comparison? Are there other issues you struggle with?
Lori Lowe is the author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in various e-book formats here.