Think  Outside Your Marriage & Make it Great! 

Marriage is not for the weak at heart, nor the type A/OCD . In fact, most people who identify with type A can find it extremely difficult to stay married! The majority of all unhappy marriages have one common denominator: unmet expectations. I know because I was one of them. 


Think about it; your previous fight with your significant other probably escalated do to the fact that an event you had mapped out in your mind, didn’t go according to the playbook leading to “unmet expectations”. You start to argue, stress builds and boom you do/say something STUPID! This toxic cycle will often lead to an unhealthy relationship or divorce and we, as a society, have lost the art of self awareness to understand “WHY” we do this. 
WHAT CAUSES BAD REACTIONS? 

The key thing that I have recently learned from experience is my ability to make good decisions when I am faced with conflict in my marriage.  
Let’s face it, you’re married, you WILL HAVE CONFLICT, not maybe, YOU WILL. It’s important to have a gameplan when you do! 
The very thing that prevents me from making these good decisions is stress. Stress is a chemical reaction as a result of how you perceive and interpret a situation based on the meaning in which you allocate it. For example, you come home, and find your spouse has done something you don’t agree with and you immediately go “oh my gosh, this is bad!” Your body feels stress releasing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol magically makes you stupid by lowering your IQ by up to 40%!  Then you react under the cortisol spell making a reactive decision in which you would not have made if the cortisol spell was lifted. If you don’t believe me, let me ask a question. Have you ever broke something or shouted in anger while being stressed? 


Just think about your last visit to Target during Christmas season! We do this in our marriages as well, & it’s essential to understand how to handle this. 

CAN WE COMBAT THIS? 

Absolutley! Praise the Lord! The only thing that can  biochemically lower cortisol is DHEA. DHEA is produced when a human feels gratitude for something by meditation or deep breathing. If you are constantly in a state of discontentment, whether you hate your job, financially stretched, over-worked, feel like crap, etc. your cortisol levels will be elevated and your DHEA levels will be depleted. This causes great strain on your ability to handle conflict, and can damage your marriage. 

3 Ways to fight the cycle

  1. Before interacting with your spouse, be sure you have a mindset of gratitude. Be thankful for them. Go destress by giving yourself a breather. Keep a journal of all the ways they bless you. Keep it handy so you can be reminded easily. A heart full of gratitude will leave no room for discontentment! 
  2. Do more of what makes you happy as a couple. Think about what you did while dating. Go do more of that and allow yourself to go have fun. Brandon & I were constantly outside the first year we knew each other! We went camping, drove to the ocean, floated the river, and HECK we got engaged on the beach! Getting back to this has been awesome for our marriage. We’ve both been reminded of how much we love it. There is something so naturally romantic by nature. The stars, camp fires, a river flowing nearby… perfection! And the best part, it’s Free. 
  3. Do more of what makes you happy as an individual. Being happy with who you are  & what you’re doing is essential to a GREAT MARRIAGE. This will lower your stress levels allowing you to make better decisions when faced with conflict. 

Think Outside your marriage and make it great! How does my this happen? By recognizing if your heart is full of gratitude or discontentment. I pray everyone approaches their relationships with a heart full of gratitude. 


-Caitie

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