3 in 30, TAKEAWAYS FOR MOMS – Rachel Nielson

Episode 17 – THREE KEYS TO A HAPPIER MARRIAGE

Today is MONDAY MARRIAGE MATTERS. And I am really excited to spend one day each week really talking solely about marriage. Because it does matter. THIS:

“Of all the things in the world that are worth your whole soul and devotion, it should be your spouse and your children. Short of being in the very presence of God, literally, you will never be more proximate to divinity than you are in the presence of your spouse and children. They deserve godly loyalty. They deserve divine attention. Husbands, when your wife asks you to do better, she’s not talking about perfection. She’s not criticizing you. She’s saying, ‘I need you. I need you to be here. I need you to listen. I need you to be nearby.’ Wives, when your husbands are troubled or worried, and they will be because they would like to be perfect too, what they need you to say is, ‘You are OK now. You are all right now. We will work on perfection later. I love you like crazy right now, just the way you are.’”

Today’s episode is from 3 in 30: Three Takeaways for Moms in Thirty Minutes. And the hostess, Rachel, is with our friend, Jody Moore, on this episode. You will be familiar with the language from other Jody Moore podcasts we’ve discussed.

Three takeaways and action items from today’s podcast:

#1 Your relationship is the story that you tell yourself about your spouse or about yourself in relation to your spouse. It is a story, in your mind. It is optional. YOU get to choose the story, and you will find that your brain will look for evidence – and will find evidence – to support the story that you tell yourself. And … get this:

“We contribute to the truthfulness of the story.”

If you have a negative story, you will show up as if that negative story is true. “He doesn’t really love me that much”. You will act as if he DOESN’T really love you that much.

If you have a positive story, you will show up as if that positive story is true. “He would rather be at home with me than at work.” You will act as if he absolutely loves coming home to you.

If you tell yourself the story, I am a victim, I cannot change my situation. Then you will get that very result from that relationship.

ACTION – Get out a piece of paper and think about your marriage. Write down all the thoughts that come to mind. Don’t edit. Just write it as it comes. Then ask yourself, What is the title of my story? What do I WANT the title of my story to be? You can make it a story that you like.

#2 Each of us is 100% responsible for our own emotions, and 0% responsible for others’ emotions. Take ownership of your own emotions. Allow others feel their own emotions.

And remember, life and even marriage is not about being happy all the time. Remember 50/50. Half the time it is going to be difficult. And he will also experience the 50/50. And he is responsible for his emotions.

ACTION – Notice when your husband is in a ________ mood. Look at yourself and your tenancy toward mirroring. When you mirror, you are giving your husband accountability for your emotions. Remember:

“When you just notice (when you are mirroring), automatically you get some leverage over it.”

#3 Every person on earth is worthy of love, just as they are.

I walk in the mornings – every morning, at 6am, cough cough cough – with my dear friend and neighbor, Allyson. And we use that time to talk about how to love our families, better. Last week we talked about a story shared by Gary E Stevenson:

“Years ago, I arrived home from work and was startled to see white paint splattered everywhere. A trail of paint led toward the backyard, and so I followed it. There, I found my five-year-old son with a paintbrush, chasing our dog. Our beautiful black Labrador was splattered almost half white!

‘What are you doing?’

My son stopped, looked at me, looked at the dog, looked at the paintbrush dripping with paint, and said, ‘I just want him to look like the black-spotted dogs in the movie—you know, the one with 101 Dalmatians.'”

How many times have I seen a movie, and decided that what the movie character had, was what I wanted? The princess who had the prince in shining armor. The mother who’s son was a football star. The family with a white farmhouse in Connecticut and a beautiful townhome in Washington DC.

Am I painting my beautiful beautiful black labrador white, in hopes of turning him into what he is not?

That is unfair to my own prince, or to my son, or to my brick rambler in Provo, Utah. That is unfair to ME – it robs me of the happiness a black labrador, by nature, offers me.

Let’s talk about me, and how the decision to love affects me.

“Ultimately love is where we’re trying to get to – (for our own sake). Love is always going to serve you best. It is going to create your best results for yourself because … it’s going to drive your best action. You are your best, most creative, most confident, most genius self when you’re operating in love.”

Why would we choose not to love our husbands in any given moment? When he didn’t take out the trash? When he came home late from work? When he didn’t put the children to bed while I was out with my girlfriends? Why would we ever choose to not love our husbands?

Can we choose to love him, simply because he is a person worthy of love?

ACTION – Ask yourself, What is the solution that feels most like love?

That is powerful! What is the solution here – in any given situation – that feels the most like love?

“If you decide you just want to love him, because every human being is worthy of love, then you will show up and you will have a completely different experience in your marriage.”

Okay, get this. Really something to consider: If I love somebody, I get to feel that love. They don’t feel the love – they feel their own emotions.

I can forgive someone and love them, and I want to do that because then I get to reward myself – I get to feel the love.

Okay, friends. Really consider that idea today.