7 Common Mindsets to Discard before Marriage
Learning the art of flexibility.
Congratulations, you found the one and you’re about to start a wonderful new life together! Marriage is like the big moving day. Rule number one is: discard, then organize. Here are some mindsets you may want to toss before taking the next big step in your life.
1. The “My Mom Did Things Differently” Mindset
Our past and our upbringing hugely impact our adult lives and our perception of the world. And you are about to marry someone who had a completely different upbringing, along with a whole different set of expectations. The first step: Know that it’s okay to have been brought up with an entirely different take on things. Try not to harp on differences in upbringing, and instead forge a common ground with a focus on the future.
2. The “This Is How Things Should Be” Mindset
We all have prewritten scripts of what our spouses—and our lives—should look like. But the reality might be different. Toss the script of how a husband, father, friend, spouse and caretaker should feel, think, and behave. Try to start on a blank sheet. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much easier it is to accept the unexpected.
3. The “Always Have the Last Word” Mindset
Lashing back when attacked feels so natural. It’s hard not to go on offensive mode and prove we’re right when someone is pointing fingers. But marriage values harmony and connection over vindication. Shift the focus from “you” vs. “me” to “we”— and avoiding a harmful confrontation won’t prove as challenging.
4. The “I Need to have Things My Way” Mindset
Master the art of flexibility and acceptance. It's really not so tragic if your spouse is a latecomer while you’re a stickler, if he spends money a little more easily than you or if he doesn't squeeze the toothpaste out from the bottom up even though you do. But it is tragic when inflexibility and the inability to settle small differences destroy a marriage.
5. The “It’s Everyone’s Fault but Mine Mindset”
Blaming others usually just keeps the focus on the problem instead of working to solve it. Replace blame with personal responsibility. Choose to focus on what you can do for the relationship instead of on what it lacks or whose fault it is.
6. The “No Thanks I Don’t Need You” Mindset
Having a fiercely independent streak can be huge advantage—except when the refusal to admit our vulnerabilities eats away at openness and trust. It’s not always comfortable to admit that we need others in our lives. But being open about our needs and being thankful to the people who fill the holes in our lives opens the doorway for emotional intimacy.
7. The “I’ve Got This All Under Control” Mindset
We love to feel that we’re in control of our lives and how others behave. Problems creep in when we suddenly realize that we’re not. Try to accept others as they are. Allow things beyond your immediate control to take course without pouncing, and let God take over the hard work.
Even a partnership of two healthy, stable, and loving individuals has its challenges. Learning the art of flexibility and of letting go can help turn a difficult marriage into a harmonious relationship.