When it comes to marriage, we all have to adjust our attitudes. No matter how often you tell yourself that you fell in love with the person for who they are – you are going to change some behaviors in yourself from the moment you become committed.
Don’t believe me?
Let me ask you this – do you plan to date after your married? Do you plan to hit the singles scene? Do you plan to go grab a movie and some grub with friends without calling your spouse? Do you plan to spend the mortgage on the latest game system because who cares if the mortgage gets paid?
Chances are – you answered with a resounding no to most of these and if you didn’t – then you should be!
It’s Not Easy
Now, don’t mistake me – changing your behavior patterns is not always easy. In fact, it’s harder than we all can imagine. Our attitudes and behaviors are a direct result of our society, our friends, our family, the movies we watch, the television shows we like, the experiences we’ve had and the situations we’ve been in. Our behavior is centered squarely within our own reality and it’s how we protect and armor ourselves against the vagaries of the world around us.
So if you understand that your behavior is intrinsically a part of yourself – how or why would you want to change it? Because your behavior is related to your situation, your family and your experiences. Marriage is a very large part of this – your husband becomes your family and your situation and your wife is a very important experience that you want to continue to have.
Attitudes & Behaviors
If you love your spouse and you value the marriage, you will want to know when your behavior is affecting your spouse in a negative way. For example, if your husband thinks that household chores are a woman’s job – his behavior may not be rooted in sexism or even anti-social behavior. It may just be that he grew up in a household where his very capable mother did all of the household chores and either his father didn’t participate or maybe his father wasn’t there.
The attitude and behavior he’s developed from his upbringing could cause a negative impact on his marriage if his wife was raised in a household where her father participated in the household care and chores. Ultimately, spouses have choices to make – the wife needs to be able to tell her husband how she feels – she needs to express what she needs and what has to be done. Her husband has a choice to change his behavior and learn how to participate in the household care.
Of course, he can choose to maintain the status quo and hope that his wife will cater to his whims. He can hope that resentment will not boil up between them. But changing behavior doesn’t have to be bad for the person who is making the changes. After all, he will get the reward of making his wife happier and there is always the chance that they will grow closer – and you’d be amazed by how much fun cleaning the house together can be – not always – but my husband and I have definitely had some laughs as we fumbled through our own changes.