When I tell Susan I’m going to change the way I drive, I can envision exactly what that looks like…it’s driving slower and smoother. And I’m fine making that change…the change itself is no big deal to me…it’s easy. But getting there, well, that’s another story.
That’s why so many well-intentioned husbands and wives who promise to change their behavior in their marriage fail. They may desire the change and even envision the change, but can’t seem to get there.
Change in relationships can be easy to talk about, desire, and even envision. It’s the transition from point A to point B that trips people up and keeps them from reaching their destination. Transition can be tough.
So how can we make the transition process easier so that real change will occur in our relationships?
1. Be intentional.
A few years ago, I noticed how my words were negatively affecting my relationship with Susan. I wanted to change, I decided to change, and I envisioned that change. My words would, from now on, build Susan up. Well, as they say, “Easier said than done.” Saying it wasn’t enough. Desiring it wasn’t even enough. I had to be intentional and take action. So as a part of the transition process, I had to go back to the basics. This was as simple as being intentional in saying “Good Morning” to Susan when we woke up and saying “Good Night” as we fell asleep. I put little encouraging sticky notes on her mirror in the morning before I left for work. Also, I even scheduled time in my calendar in the morning when I could encourage her in some way, like texting her some encouraging words. The task of changing the way I talked to Susan during that time seemed really tough at first, but my intentionality during the transition worked. These blog posts might help you as much as they’ve helped me: 5 Ways to Filter What You Say and 5 Toxins of the Tongue That Can Poison Your Marriage.
2. Be Patient.
You may be considering changing the way you communicate with your spouse. But after one day of trying to have a good conversation with them, you give up because you get a negative reaction. While strengthening your communication with your spouse is an important goal to have, you must understand that it won’t be perfected overnight. Rather, it takes consistent effort. So be patient during the transition.
3. Be Open.
Ask your spouse for feedback on how you’re doing. Do they see a difference in your behavior? Then, after you ask, be sure to be open and listen to any constructive feedback they have.
Are you struggling with making a positive change in your relationship? What’s the hardest part in making that change? Please share your comments.