You have a human brain. I have a human brain. And because of this very simple fact, we have a natural inclination to take the “easy” or “lazy” route in our marriages.
(Oh human brain, why do you love efficiency and comfort so much? You grasp at those so much...that you create the opposite!!)
Meaning, we often default to wanting the other person — our partner — to be the one to make things good, say things differently, change the way he does things, change the tone of his voice, set up and plan dates for us, call us more often, come to us to discuss changes he'd like to see in the relationship, etc.
In other words: we want him to take the lead.
We don’t want to have to put in the effort and the energy... We want it to be like it was in the early days when it seemed so easy because everyone was on their best behavior. We want the love to just flow naturally…
We want him to take responsibility for how we feel, to make us feel more of how we want to feel in our marriage. So we kind of put it on our partner to make that happen. We hand off the work to him.
Unfortunately, this abdicating responsibility and wanting him to make it right for you isn’t easier. It’s true you might not have to put in as much effort — but it feels way worse.
It backfires because he’s not going to be exactly who you want to be and do what you want to do a lot of the time.
My husband, for example, sometimes communicates in a way that I consider to be “defensive”. When I let my default brain run the show, it tends to want to put it all on him and to try to change him so that I can feel more heard by him and more connected.
But that never fails to backfire. Rather than feeling more heard and connected, it always creates more disconnection, more negative emotion, and more suffering on my end.
What actually works and frees me up to have the connection, warmth of heart, and closeness I want in my marriage?
Choosing to put the effort in to take responsibility for my feelings.
Yes, it takes a little bit of energy and putting in some conscious effort. But it gives me so much more back:
It relieves me of the hardness and anger that sit like a pit in my belly; it breaks down the wall that feels like a cage separating me and my husband. It brings me back to the softness and the love and the joy that I want to experience when I look at and think about and sit with my husband.
So. Don’t be fooled by the allure of that default, habituated, “lazy” brain — it never makes things better.
Be willing to put in the effort to take responsibility for (which actually means owning your power over) your feelings and experience in your marriage. Learn how to steward that brain and those emotions of yours.
You will gain so much more — and make your life and love so much easier — than when you let your “lazy” brain try to put it all on him.
If you know you could use support in learning how to take responsibility for your feelings and make your experience of your marriage amazing, come coach with me. Head here to schedule a consult and learn more.