The Mindful Spouse: The Power of Decisions

Each day you make decisions that impact your health: Saying “no” to a second piece of cheesecake, deciding on the brown rice rather than white, spending thirty minutes on the exercise bike, meditating for ten minutes…

And the same goes for your relationship—you are continuously making decisions that impact the health of your marriage/relationship (for good or for bad, whether you’re consciously aware of each and every decision or not).

Marriage/Relationship Help: The Power of Mindful Decisions

Each and every day you interact with your partner in a multitude of ways and say or do things that can either strengthen or undermine your marriage/relationship. Reacting automatically (and unconsciously) is always an option – though, of course, this approach isn’t recommended.

The goal is to become more mindful of how you act (and react) with your partner each day–to slow down what feels like automated, beyond-your-control responses (“My wife said something to push my buttons, so of course I got angry!”; “He knows that drives me crazy and he did it anyway, so I had no choice but to blow up!”).

An important step in creating (co-creating) a healthy marriage/relationship is becoming present and aware of the choices you make from moment-to-moment.  In order for this to occur, you must see yourself with new eyes—with an awareness that challenges the belief that even when it feels like your reactions are the result of your spouse’s/partner’s doing, ultimately you have the power to decide what to say and how to act.

To feel empowered, more fully present and in control of your reactions, it will be important to set an intention to raise your consciousness regarding the decisions you make with your partner (with each interaction you’re faced with a decision-point—a particular moment where you can recognize the different options available to you).

3 Questions to Help Set Daily Intentions:

1) Today, how will I act and react in ways that contribute to a stronger, healthier relationship?

2) Today will I choose to react in ways that hurt and undermine my relationship?

3) Will I fall back on the familiar ways of being and act in ways that simply feed the status quo of the relationship? Or will I consciously strive to do better?

Reflecting on these questions before you jump into the familiar routines of your day will help you prime your mind to a new level of awareness and empowerment. Remember, the goal is to make healthy choices for your relationship even when it feels like your spouse/partner isn’t (I know, easier said than done). Your positive changes in behavior can slowly break any negative cycles of interaction that have taken over your relationship, and they can deepen intimacy in an already strong relationship.

The choice is yours.

Dr. Rich Nicastro

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