May 302011
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You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with. ~Wayne Dyer

I love this quote. You must love yourself, otherwise you’ll always be looking for someone else to make you happy. It’s not fair to your spouse if you rely on them for your happiness. Treat yourself well and be someone they want to be with because they enjoy it, not because they feel obligated.

For years my life was controlled by my husband’s mood. If he was in a good mood, I was happy. If he was in a bad mood, the whole house was unhappy. Looking back, I realize I let him control my happiness. I think the reason he was in so much control is because I was afraid of being alone. When I finally made the decision to work on myself and not worry about him, everything changed.

I can vividly remember a conversation I had with him when I knew things had changed for good. We were arguing and he was getting very upset. He told me he was done trying and was going to leave. Instead of getting mad and upset which was my usual response, I said “you can go if you want to, it’s your choice and I have no control over you. However, I want you to know I plan to continue on this positive path that I’m on, I plan to be happy and I want you to be a part of it. If you choose to leave, I will be ok.  It’s your choice and I can’t control your actions. Just know that I love you and want you here with me and the kids and I want our life to be happy.” I walked away after that and let him make his decision. He didn’t make it as fast as I would have liked, but I didn’t say another word about it. He was a wise man and decided to stay. 😉

I really had come to the place where I decided his actions were not going to affect my happiness. I was choosing to be happy and if I was alone, I would be happy because I finally liked me. I wasn’t afraid of being alone. He has not threatened me with divorce since then. Partly because he knows it is no longer a threat, but mostly because our arguments don’t reach that point any more.

I know that I can only control myself so if he does something that upsets me, I talk to myself before talking to him. I remind myself that I am in control of whether I’m upset or not. I may not like what he did, but it’s my choice how I react to it. If I find myself getting upset while we’re talking, I walk away and calm down. I don’t walk away in a huff and close down, I walk away and let Dale know I need some time to calm down. I use the time to talk positive things to myself, not to figure out what I’m going to say to him. Once I’m calm again, we talk again. Sometimes I do that when I see him getting upset. He hasn’t mastered yet knowing when he needs a break so I just call a break for myself. I never tell him it’s for him. (So if he reads this I may have to explain myself next time.)

Bottom line is get happy with yourself. Love yourself and you’ll be easy to love. Control yourself and no one else. Control your reactions and emotions. If I can do it anyone can do it. It just takes practice. I had a lot of opportunities to practice and still do. If you’d like some personalized help, contact me for information on marriage mentoring.

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