There’s a sweet spot to many things in life. There’s a sweet spot on a baseball bat that sends the ball over the fence. There’s a sweet spot for musicians where all the notes seem to come together effortlessly. There’s also a sweet spot in marriage, but what is it and how do you find it?
The term “sweet spot” refers to a place where something works well. It’s where you’re not trying to force or fight things. It’s where things just seem to work naturally. The sweet spot in marriage is a spot of willing accommodation, not forced coercion. It’s a spot where even when things don’t go as you would like, you’re still ok.
How to do find that sweet spot in marriage? You find it when both you and your spouse…
- Realize that there are some things about the other that probably won’t change. I’m an ice cruncher. Have been all my life…much to my wife’s dismay. After finishing my drink, I’m going to crunch the ice left in the glass. This is like fingernails of the blackboard to my wife. Yet, after 30+ years, she still has not been able to change that about me. (Sorry Honey.)
- Release your attempts to change the other. Not only can you not change your spouse, but trying to do so comes across as offensive and makes matters worse. Don’t believe me? Think about the last time your spouse tried to change you. For more on this, check out this Redbook web article: Not Trying To Change Each Other. (Note: For those with abusive spouses…you do have to release your attempts to change them, but you do not have to stay in harms way.)
- Resolve to put more effort into changing yourself than changing your spouse. Focusing on changing yourself makes you more trustworthy and often creates an environment that makes it easier for your spouse to change. Think of it this way…your dance partner is more likely to change their steps if you change yours. If you apply force and pressure to get them to change their steps, that’s not dancing. It’s wrestling.
- Rejoice in the good about your spouse, more than fuss about the not-so-good. Yes, you may have to look hard and turn over a few rocks to find it, but it’s there. We each need to be better at spotting the good in our spouse…and communicating it. This will not only change your perspective and attitude but also encourage your spouse.
So how do you know when you’ve found the sweet spot in marriage? Here’s a clue… when you look at your spouse and realize that there are still things about them you would pay money to change, but then you take a deep breath and realize that even if those things never change…you’ll be OK. That’s the sweet spot.
Have you found that sweet spot in marriage yet? If not, don’t give up. It’s out there and it’s worth finding.
What’s one thing you’ve done, or could do, to move closer to that sweet spot in your marriage? Leave a comment and let us know.
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg