Thursday, February 7, 2008

Attitude - the Greatest Ingredient to a Life Long Marriage

When Brad and Leah (fictitious names) decided to get married Leah had long been ready. However, Brad had always wanted to start his career first, and then after he hit the top mark in his company, he would think about getting married but love changed his plans. You would expected this young entrepreneur to come home each day with excitement in his voice as he took his young, beautiful bride in his arms but just ten months after their wedding day she joyfully expressed to him that she was expecting. Brad slipped into a depressive mode, he worked late hours, he was explosive at home and his young bride was confused and hurt.Brad was depressed over educational bills, his attempts at climbing the corporate ladder was more difficult then he first assumed, his first year of marriage (in his interpretation) was disrupted by the unexpected pregnancy and his wife seemed distant.

When "career" is placed first and family is placed a distant second or third or even fourth, then the inevitable happens and home is no longer a castle but rather the moat. We can always use hindsight and say it would have been better had they waited but they didn't. Now we must work with what we have instead of focus on what we haven't.A change of attitude cannot make the bad go away but a change of attitude can make the bad better and more bearable. A change of attitude can make the home smell like a fresh cut bouquet instead of smelling like a sewage treatment plant. But isn't changing our attitude in our marriage easier said than done. It isn't easy but it is possible. Taking Brad through the steps of an "attitude change" wasn't easy but the improvements were noticeable right away. Here are a few steps into making an "attitude adjustment" at home:

  1. Say "I Love You" often and mean it. Seems to be a simple process but it is definitely the first step. The Holy Bible tells us that "Love covers a multitude of sins." Being a loving and forgiving individual is the first step to an abrupt attitude change.
  2. Don't play the blame game. Blaming others for our own circumstances causes our own heart to react like a volcano. We never know when he is going to blow. "If you don't like what you have then leave" is the quick advice of overpaid counselors but laying aside the blame and walking into forgiveness can rectify the most damaged of lives.
  3. Your goals are still attainable. It is easy to think that you haven't reached your "pie in the sky" because of the hindrances at home but you goals are still attainable. You still have the job, the education, the future and now you have a family to take with you.
  4. Set priorities for life. Set your priorities to win life not money. Many have escalated quickly into the upward spiral of finances only to lose the things that were closest to their heart. Who do you really love? What do you really want? You can find the greatest satisfaction in your home when you change who is important. Don't lay aside your career decisions just reevaluate what is important - make a decision that will give the longest lasting results.
  5. Hang your coat outside. A business man, with an overloaded mind, would always hang his coat outside, as his way of saying, "Whatever it was that got to me today, I am not taking it in the house." Leave your work at work and find the joy of loving the time spent, priority time, with your husband/wife and children.
  6. Attitude is everything. Great business advice and even better home advice. Take a fresh new attitude home and watch the children run to you instead of away from you. Isolation is not fun but an attitude can bring amazing changes into your life and marriage.

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