I have a men’s group that tries to meet once a quarter. Recently, we were discussing ways to strengthen our marriages by improving ourselves.
The discussion centered around:
- being better men for our wives
- more effective communication with our kids
- ditching our most damaging habits (anger, overeating, excessive drinking, smoking)
- I’ve already won – so I never need to “win” with my wife
- I have more than I need therefore I don’t expect my wife (or kids) to serve me – at an emotional level, I am my own source of happiness
- My ultimate goal is to live in a peaceful house that’s full of love
Combing all of the above, I find that there’s nothing left to fight about. If I get irritated then it’s because I’m (blindly) projecting an inability to change myself onto my spouse.
There may be areas of disagreement but, when the family has a goal of harmony, I find that the resolution to any conflict becomes apparent. Sometimes the resolution is simply – we’ll have to deal with this for a while.
Within my marriage, my goal isn’t perfection. My goal is continuous gradual improvement and being part of the overall solution.
Related to my earlier piece on guilt, if I deeply believe that I’m “part of the solution” then I’m able to bring a calm perspective to bear. I don’t need to fix anything, I simply need to help make myself, and our home, a little bit better each day.