Friday, January 28, 2005

Changing your sweetie

People often complain about their sweetie. They say "he is not romantic enough" or "she just takes me for granted". That is usually followed by "if he would only ..." or "if she would just change ...". There is so much wrong with that attitude you could write a whole book on it and I'm sure at least 1 someone has.

The best way to change someone is to change how you act to adjust their reaction. As marriage goes on we fall into patterns and roles. We often act a certain way not because we think its the best way to act, but because it is part of the role we are playing. Maybe an example will illustrate the point.

In the evening when the hubby comes home from work the home may be a bit chaotic. The kids are going every which way with school, homework, sports, etc. The wife is a bit frazzled with all the demands of kids and housewifery. Hubby of course is stressed due to work and frustrated due to traffic. What happens when hubby walks in the door?

Hubby might like to have his wife greet him with a smile, pamper him and help him relax. Maybe should could be dressed up waiting for him. The kids are all polished and quietly doing kid things.

The wife might like some time to talk and have adult communication. She would like some help with the chores and have someone help the kids so she is only doing 10 things at once.

Obviously both those things can't happen, so often nothing happens that either spouse really wants. The husband comes home and is unable to unwind. The wife doesn't get the help she needs. So they both collide and spend the evening grumpy with each other. How can it be changed? Try changing yourself.

When the hubby comes home, leave the stress of work and driving in the car. He could take a few moments to relax and be cheerful as he enters the house. Ask his wife how her day was and really LISTEN. Share a funny anticdote about the day with her so you can connect. Above all, let the first thing she sees is a smile.

When the wife knows her hubby is about to come home, take a few minutes to destress. Try and find a way to welcome him home and help him destress. Just as with the hubby, be sure to have a smile waiting for him.

There is something about a warm and friendly smile that can change everything almost instantly. It seems to say "I am on your side". If your sweetie suddenly felt you were on their side, wouldn't they reciprocate? Try it and see.

By breaking out of the mold and doing something for your spouse, you will enable them to break out of their mold and do something for you. Then you will feel like returning the deed, and so on. This can create an upward spiral of goodwill and gratitude to replace the downward spiral of resentment.

Remember: It is by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. Don't try and do some huge change, just a small change applied consistently

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