Change your expat life…
How to Stop Arguing with your Spouse
Relationships are easier than they seem. Sometimes, it just comes down to knowing a few key practices that can make all the difference.
Today, I’m sharing 3 secrets to cultivating authentic and connected relationships with your loved one. After all, it’s not just about how to stop arguing with your spouse—it’s about how to thrive in your relationship!
1. Take full responsibility for how you feel.
Your spouse or partner cannot make you mad, upset, resentful, or annoyed. Only your thoughts about what the other person is doing or saying can create these feelings. In other words, the thoughts you have about your partner create your feelings about them. This is also true for love, joy, happiness, connection, and all the other feelings we think of as positive!
This wisdom goes against everything we’ve been taught and told. We are told, for example, that we cannot say certain things to people because we will hurt them with what we say. But the reason we feel hurt is because of the meaning we give to what someone has said to us. (Of course, this does not mean that we shouldn’t be attentive to one another—it just means that we don’t need to feel victimized by how we feel.)
Taking full responsibility is not condoning hurtful behavior or giving up. It is actually about gaining your power back.
Taking full responsibility for your feelings gives the other person in the relationship the freedom to behave the way they want to. To be who they are. At the same time, it liberates you from having your emotional landscape dictated by how the other person shows up.
And what this creates is unconditional love. A relationship where both partners or spouses can be who they want and stop trying to control one another.
Does this mean you cannot have expectations? No!
Does it mean that all behaviors should be allowed? Of course not!
It means that your emotions no longer need to depend on what the other person is doing or feeling.
2. Do not tie your emotional state to whether or not your partner is meeting your expectations.
We all have expectations, and we all have judgments about them. This is how our brains work. For instance, you may wish your partner would take more time off work or stop answering the phone just as you are leaving the house.
Here’s my question for you: do you want to continue to have these expectations? If the answer is yes, then the key is to not tie your emotional state to whether or not your spouse or partner follows through on them.
This is not about condoning truly hurtful or damaging behavior, it’s about recognizing that you can choose what to do with someone else’s behavior.
Within this context, you can decide that you will love your partner no matter what he or she does or does not do. This is unconditional love.
Unconditional love is where both partners can show up as they want to and be loved no matter what. If this concept is tricky for you, think about a child who is not modeling an expected or desired behavior. Will you stop loving the child? Most of us would say no. This is the same in a romantic relationship. When you drop your expectations, the other person can be who he or she is and be loved just for themselves—not for what they are doing or not doing.
3. Do not confuse boundaries with ultimatums.
Setting boundaries is a very important tool for building authentic relationships in which you can be true to yourself. But most of us confuse setting boundaries with controlling the other person (the “expectations” discussed above). In other words, we confuse boundaries with ultimatums.
But setting boundaries is something you do for yourself. It’s about establishing what you need for you to show up as who you are and communicating it clearly and effectively to your loved one so that you show up for you.
These 3 secrets to healthy, happy relationship are just the beginning when it comes to creating the dynamic you want with purpose, clarity, and compassion. If you’re ready to dive deeper and work on your relationship, check out my Thriving Relationships program.
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