January, 2016 – Growing Up or Old
By Dr. Bonnie Lyon

Marriage is for Grown Ups!

Being a grown up means taking responsibility for your behaviors, attitudes, and actions regardless of how anyone else acts! Do you act like a big baby in your marriage? If so, you need to learn how to control yourself, not just not just for your own, but for your spouse’s benefit.

When you take the responsibility to better manage yourself, it takes the pressure off other people, so they don’t need to feel responsible for you. When you take care of you they can stop fretting about you every second of every hour of every day and your relationship will improve.  When each adult focuses on and handles them self-first it’s to everyone’s benefit!

You may think that marriage diminishes you, reduces your options, that you must give up a part of who you are to be loved by someone.  Nothing could be farther from the truth. You don’t have to be someone “less” to live with someone else, you’ve got to be someone “more.”

Maybe you’re in a challenging marriage or you’re happily married. Maybe you’re unmarried or you’re single and searching? No matter what your situation is I want to encourage you to let go of the damaging fundamental lies you might believe about marriage and consider a few truths:

  • If you are not under control, you cannot be in connection.
  • Busy schedules and incompatible interests are not the greatest barriers to marital bliss. The greatest barrier is your own emotional state. Your upset, your screaming, your silence, your emotional absence.
  • The first step is to slow down your thoughts and give yourself and your partner time to think clearly.
  • It is not about what you have in common, it is about what you have inside.
  • Integrity amidst constant life stressors is the basis for a truly intimate long lasting and ultra satisfying relationship.
  • The vital communication skill to incorporate into your relationships is authentic self- representation without being overly emotional or under responsive.

Connection is not only about your ability to deeply listen and understand, it’s about fully representing yourself: your thoughts, your opinions, your feelings, your preferences etc.  Stop playing hide-and-go-seek emotionally with yourself and your partner.  Have enough courage to let your partner truly get to know you without any hiding out.

For a really, grown-up, healthy marriage, you must learn to build a bridge that connects you, instead of just continuing old painful patterns of communicating.

“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful!”