Choose a new view.
Speaking to wives who want to save their failing marriages, Laura Doyle, author of The Empowered Wife, points out that our perspective will change “depending on what we focus on. If we focus on the lack, that’s what we create. If we focus on gratitude, we get more of what we’re thankful for. Your perceptions of your spouse may seem very real, but they actually start with your own view of the world, which only you have control over.” So, “when you decide to change your focus, you can always find evidence to support your new view.” (p. 221)
Doyle has collected countless stories of wives who have witnessed remarkable transformations of their husbands simply by firmly insisting upon the qualities they want to see in their mate.
For example, if the man had become distant, unreasonable and angry, the woman would decide instead that he was loving, thoughtful and easy-going. Even though it felt absurd at first, she chose anyway to gather evidence to support her new view. With a better perspective, she started to catch him in the act of doing the things she loved about him. As she caught increasing glimpses of the good guy she married, she thanked him for every instance.
And guess what happened.
This practice of consistently employing a “spouse-fulfilling prophecy” soon resulted in the man feeling respected and appreciated. His wife’s attitude of gratitude and her expectation of good — rather than her constant criticism and derision — brought out in him a different response. Gradually his behavior improved, and eventually the relationship was restored. I myself have mended my own marriage experimenting with this very approach.
Thousands of similar success stories worldwide have occurred because of women using Doyle’s intimacy skills — even when the husband has had an affair, moved out, or even had a restraining order filed against him — even in cases of husbands who are rageaholics, alcoholics, addicts, narcissists, and so on.
Choose faith over fear.
Do you care deeply about someone — in your family, your circle of friends, or your workplace — who’s driving you mad with their bad behavior? Try replacing the scorn they deserve with the kindness they don’t…