Changing Behaviors

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.

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.