Help my marriage

By Sylvia Cochran

Are you combining your spouse’s children with yours this Thanksgiving? His/Her, mine and ours is not always a recipe for blissful success.

Instead, there is a good chance that underlying emotional currents will make this Thanksgiving meal memorable for all the wrong reasons. Celebrating a grace-filled Thanksgiving takes a lot of effort on your part — but it is well worth it.

Recognize That You Are the Norm – The University of Houston reveals sobering and enlightening step-parenting statistics. Figures show that 50 percent of youngsters are currently raised in blended families. This dynamic is quickly eclipsing all other types of family setups. A somewhat surprising statistic points out that over 50% of second/third marriages that end in divorce are caused by the children. It is clear that children have a lot of influence on family dynamics. Holidays — including Thanksgiving — are prime time for stress and strife.

Recognize Why Kids Can’t “Just” Fit In – There are feelings of betrayed loyalty and the fear of betraying a biological parent’s allegiance. There are new family members to get to know and adapt to. Competition between half siblings is common. Thanksgiving traditions vary. Holiday customs are different and beloved tasks may go by the wayside in a new family.

Recognize That Taking Vows United You and Your Spouse, Not You and the Children – You new wife may have promised to love, honor and obey; your new husband may have sworn to cleave unto you until death do us part, but your step children have taken no such vows. They are simply along for the ride. Do not expect them to live up to your vows — after all, they were left holding the bag the first time around. If your spouse is a serial-marriage partner, there is even less of a chance that the children might willingly give their hearts.

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Admitting that you were wrong is one of the toughest challenges many of us face.

It can be especially difficult when facing someone that means a great deal to you. It is counter intuitive though when often ceding this bit of ego can often be the best remedy for a wrong. There are many psychological reasons for this behavior and it comes naturally to most of us. The confidence required is a learned trait and here are some of the ways that you can master it.

Admission

Taking a moment to own up to your mistake is the first and most important step but also probably the most challenging. Something to think about to make it a bit easier is the positive outcomes. There really are no mistakes in life, only opportunities to creatively solve problems and to learn. We all are all going to be wrong about something, but stopping and learning is a huge advantage. Take your wisdom with you to your next opportunity. The chance for reconciliation is the other positive. While there isn’t always room for reconciliation, it is almost impossible without admitting your fault in the first place. Focus on these positive consequences rather than the negatives and it becomes easier to face the music.

Remember Your Strength

There is always an easy way and a correct way and the correct way is always the better choice. Owning up to your wrongs is the correct way but this also gives you power over your wrongs. This requires strength and is a major self esteem booster. Many people struggle to access this strength but we all have it and in this process it is important to remember how you’ve set yourself apart. Confident people make confident decisions and people will recognize this and it is important that you do as well.

Assuming Control

While it is true that you have very little control over the consequences you’ll face, you are able to control how you respond to them. By admitting you’re wrong, you are essentially putting the ball in someone else’s court. You are upholding your end of a trust bargain and they have to reconcile how they choose to respond. Once you’ve assumed this position, you can accept that you’ve done what you can. Putting yourself in a favorable position is always a good choice as well. For example, if it’s at work, being a good employee or coworker is a great way to have leeway to make mistakes.

Your Quality

Being wrong about something doesn’t make you as a person wrong. Low self-esteem will cause you to reinforce your beliefs about yourself which leads to guarding against being wrong, even to ourselves. There is always a chance to show your quality and remember, every human ever has made a mistake, so you’re not alone. You probably even have someone in your life who has wronged you that has remained in good standing despite their mistakes. If you’re capable of this empathy, other people are as well.

Making It Right

You can’t right every wrong in the eyes of another person, but you can always make it right with yourself. If you upset someone in the workplace, ask them what you can do to not make the same mistake in the future. Learn your boundaries with that person and respect them. If you gave a poor performance at something, be it a test or a work project or something else, either do better next time, or find a way to redo it and fix the mistakes. Don’t be afraid to ask someone how you can make it right either. In the end, finding peace with your wrongs is the best way to make it right for everyone involved, including yourself.

Admitting that we are wrong is a difficult lesson to learn. For some people, it comes a bit more naturally but all of us have to go through the process. Practice is the only way to get better so make sure to fit these tips into your routine and eventually you’ll reap the rewards of your efforts. You’ll see your relationships improve, better career performance and much higher self-esteem and there is very little that is more invaluable.

The Key to Success in your Relationship

If you want to demonstrate to your partner that you respect and care about them, try substituting “I” messages instead. When you start your statement with “I”, you are taking responsibility for the statement. It is less blaming and negative than the “you” message.

Try this formula: Your feelings + Describe the behavior + Effect on You

Here’s how it would sound..     “When I heard that you had to work this weekend, I was angry that you hadn’t asked me first if I wanted to spend time with you”.

It takes some practice at first, but with a little patience and time you will be communicating in a more positive way with your partner!

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