Sometimes we experience seasons of being totally frustrated with our spouse. It feels as if everything they do is wrong. Or annoying. Or not good enough. Or not at the right time. Or not long enough.
I know from experience, it's not a good place to be. It creates disconnection in your relationship, and it drives you further apart, instead of closer together.
In this week's podcast, I am going to show you how to get out of that rut of negativity and clean up your thoughts so you can get that loving feeling back.
If you would like more inspiration, download my Ultimate Guide to Guilt-Free Self-Care HERE!
And join us in the Life Designed Community on Facebook!
Welcome to A Life Designed.
My name is Tina Haisman. I help women who are struggling with the overwhelm of trying to balance being a wife, mother and career-woman.
When they work with me, they discover how to design their life so they can live in alignment with their priorities.
The topic of today’s podcast is …
How To Stop Your Thoughts From Sabotaging Your Marriage
But before we get started, I have something for you that will most definitely help with this topic. It is my Ultimate Guide to Guilt-Free Self-Care. You can download it for free on my website, tinahaisman.com.
I would also like to invite you to my private group on Facebook where you can come to get positive inspiration for your life. Search A Life Designed in the facebook search bar.
Now let’s Dive IN and talk about …
How To Stop Your Thoughts From Sabotaging Your Marriage
Yes. You heard me right. Your thoughts could be sabotaging your marriage. That is, if you are unhappy in your marriage right now.
Sometimes we go through seasons of being totally frustrated with our spouse. It feels as if they don’t care about us and they can’t do anything right. Even when they do try, it’s never good enough. Or at the right time. Or long enough.
Have you ever been there? Stuck in that cycle of frustration? I think we all have been.
Right now some couples who were already struggling in their marriages are struggling a little more right now with the stress of the quarantine. Even couples who are normally really healthy are feeling the stress during this time.
There is a lot of stress right now. More than usual. And that can challenge even the best marriage.
I care about you girls, and I want you to be happy. So this podcast is to try to help you keep your marriage healthy so you can feel connected to your husband.
Today I am going to share a tool to help you get out of it. It’s a cycle of a different kind. A 3 step process.
It is called the “Think Feel Act” cycle. It’s a cycle that you repeat over and over every day without even thinking about it. It’s a cycle that can either work positively or negatively.
The think, feel, act cycle means, What you think, causes what you feel, which causes your actions based on those thoughts and feelings.
It is a simple 3 step cycle that when used negatively, sabotages your marriage. But, you can flip things around and use it to your advantage. Let’s talk about it.
Step 1. Your Thoughts.
Your thoughts are SO powerful.
They are powerful enough to create whatever you want. Or don’t want in some cases.
“What you think about is what you bring about.”
This isn’t just some woo-woo or hypothetical thing. This is science. I’ll give you a super-quick definition of what I mean. Don’t worry, I won’t get too geeky here!
But you should know that your brain has a bundle of nerves at the stem. It is called the reticular activating system. It pays attention to what you tell it to. And in doing so, it filters out the stuff you are not paying attention to. To make it easier for you to focus on what you are telling it you want to focus on.
So, the question is. Are you focusing on what you want or what you don’t want? THIS my friends is magical!
So often we get unconsciously stuck focusing on what we don’t want our husband to do. We don’t even realize it. And we don’t know that we can change it. All that does is keep us noticing what we don’t want to see.
So. If you are thinking about everything your husband does to annoy you. Or you are fixated on one thing he does to annoy you, you are going to continue to see what your husband does to annoy you.
Put another way, your negative focus on your husband is acting like a negative affirmation that attracts more of the same negativity.
Do you see what I mean?
If you think about problems. You are going to see problems. If you think about Blessings. You are going to see blessings.
Now. I’m not just trying to say that you should just think more positive and that will fix everything. But those positive thoughts are part of the process.
Chronic negative thoughts can sabotage our marriages. But we have the power to stop them.
Let’s get practical and talk about a specific circumstance for the purpose of explanation. We will just make one up.
Let’s just say that your husband is always yelling at the kids. And that is making you crazy.
So, the thought you are having is “My husband is always yelling at the kids.” Or you could be thinking “I hate how my husband yells at the kids.” Or “I can’t stand how my husband yells at the kids.” Or “My husband shouldn’t be yelling at the kids.”
It think you get the point.
So, let’s move on to Step 2. The Feeling part.
A feeling is a one-word emotional state, like happy, grateful, peaceful, hopeful, connected or sad or mad, lonely, stressed, frustrated or jealous. Those are feeling words.
Your thoughts create your feelings. Let me repeat that. Your thoughts create your feelings.
So if your thought is “My husband shouldn’t be yelling at the kids.”
What feeling does that create in you? Anger. Annoyance. Sadness. Frustration.
Let’s go with anger.
So now we have our thought that your husband shouldn’t be yelling at the kids.
And we have our feeling of anger.
O.K. That takes us to step 3. Actions.
When you think your husband shouldn’t be yelling at the kids.
And you have a feeling of anger.
How do you react?
Imagine yourself in your home and how you might act.
Perhaps you yell back at him. And now you’re not talking to each other.
Let’s take a look now at the cycle.
1. You thought your husband shouldn’t yell at the kids.
2. You felt anger.
3. Your action was to yell back at him.
And now, as a result of this nifty little cycle, you are in a disconnected state from your husband. And you wonder where is the love?
That was your think feel act cycle. And it doesn’t leave you in a very good place.
So, what would your husband’s reaction to this be? The truth is that he is going to have a think feel act cycle of his own.
1. He might think you are mad at him for no good reason.
2. He might feel angry about this.
3. He might yell at you in return.
Then you are going to have another think feel act cycle in response to him yelling at you.
Now where are we? We are right in the middle of a crazy cycle. Do you like this place? Probably not. Most of us don’t.
In order to stop it, we go to the beginning. To our thoughts. Because our thoughts are what started this mess. This is how our thoughts can sabotage our marriage.
We can choose to think a different thought. Which will give us a different feeling, which will cause us to take a different action.
So, let’s do that with our example of our husband yelling at the kids. What could be a new thought that we could think that would feel better for us and create more connection in our marriage?
What if our thought was this: My husband has been yelling at the kids. He must be feeling really stressed out.
I’m guessing that thought might make you feel compassion.
Oh my gosh. When we feel grateful to our husband for working so hard for our family, what might our action be?
Perhaps an act of kindness for him. Or some words of kindness.
So, when he comes home, he is going to have a positive think feel act cycle based on your act of kindness. This is a very different than the cycle he would have had if you were giving him the silent treatment.
Instead of feeling unappreciated for his hard work, he will feel so happy that you performed an act of kindness for him. And then, you are going to go on and have a nice evening.
Are you girls still with me?
I’m suggesting you start noticing your thoughts and challenging them. Are you making assumptions? Are your thoughts perhaps a little self-centered? What if is working late actually has nothing to do with you or is for the benefit of you in the long run?
You’ll never know if you continue to sabotage your marriage with negative thoughts about it.
So, let’s work on noticing our thoughts this week and see how we can improve the joy and connection in our marriage.
I know it might feel easier said than done, so if you need help, please, reach out to me.
Thank you so much for listening in. Please let me know if you have any specific questions.
Remember! To download your free Guide to Guilt Free Self Care and join us in the Life Designed community on Facebook.
Thank you! See you next week!