While trials and challenges in marriage are unavoidable, you may be the cause of your unhappiness. You might be the thief who is stealing her own joy. Here are five ways you may be preventing yourself from living in marital bliss.
1. You don't communicate your feelings
Now, I'm not talking about basic communication between you and your spouse -even though that is critical. I'm talking about telling your spouse what's going on in your mind - what is eating at you. You may be fighting some inward battle with yourself. Whether it is about your body image, your performance at work, how much you are struggling being a mother, etc, don't face those battles on your own. You don't have to be perfect and your husband definitely doesn't expect you to be. Let your spouse know that you could use some help. You will be surprised at how relieved you will feel knowing something is there fighting your battle next to you.
2. You are constantly criticizing yourself
When we are hard on ourselves, we begin to pick apart all of our flaws. We don't see our worth and we may even become so blind that we don't believe our spouse could actual love us. Constant criticism causes tension and discord in the relationship. We are destroying our own happiness as we fight the demons that are telling us we aren't good enough.
Remember: don't compare yourself to others. Look in the mirror daily and for every negative thing you say to yourself, say something positive. Keep your body active and focus on the things you can change, not those you cannot.
3. You never grew up
If you weren't a part of the popular crowd in high school, you may have tried everything to fit in. High school is over and you don't have to be popular with everyone you meet. And you certainly don't have to appear perfect in everything you do. Some people, even as an adult, become so focused on being popular (being part of the cool mommy crowd and being invited to every outing, etc) it becomes their main focus. It becomes an obsession. Don't let it.
Who cares if you didn't get that invitation. Remember that your spouse loves you for who you are. Grow up and focus on your marriage, your family and your home. Who cares what everyone else thinks. If you do, the relationships that matter most will suffer.
4. You don't keep your significant other in your mind
It is important to keep your spouse in mind as you accomplish tasks throughout the day. For example, while grocery shopping, choose your spouse's favorite kind of ice cream or buy their favorite kind of candy bar, just because.
When you serve your spouse, you will feel satisfaction that you won't feel elsewhere. Plus, it helps your spouse remember just how much you car. They are also more likely to return the favor. However, just remember you don't have to do everything for your husband. He is a grown man and can accomplish many tasks on his own.
5. You don't include God in your marriage
If you want a marriage full of happiness and joy, you must include God. Pray every single day and study God's word together as a couple. Ask God to help you strengthen your marriage and not focus on one another's faults. If you leave God out, you will notice a huge piece of your marriage is missing. Don't let this happen. When something so critical is lacking in your relationship, you won't be happy.
Marriage is a wonderful thing but you can destroy it quickly and easily. By being mindful of your everyday actions and choices, you can make a difference between being happy or miserable. I know for me, I don't want to steal my own joy. I choose to be happy.
(Credit: Courtnie Erickson)