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  • When You Only See Bad In Your Spouse

    Have you hit a point where you are struggling to see anything good in your spouse? Perhaps all you see is bad.

    I don’t know you, and maybe the bad so outweighs the good, that your feelings for your spouse are dead or dying. I am so sorry for what you are experiencing. If you have not done so already, it is time to set a boundary that the two of you must see a couple’s counselor to get help.

    For many couples, a spouse is a mixed bag of good and not so good.

    Often times, it is about the lens you choose to look through when you view your spouse.

    Let me tell you a true story from my past.

    One summer afternoon several years ago, I laid down to take a nap. An hour later, I woke up, grabbed my glasses, and drove to the grocery store. My vision, as I drove, was a bit fuzzy. At the grocery store, I tried to read the label on a box but struggled to see the print clearly.

    I must admit that I was getting nervous. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Why would a nap affect my vision?

    When I got home, my wife was still gone, so I called an optometrist friend, but she didn’t answer. 

    I paced until I heard the garage door open and my wife walked into the house. Before she could say or do anything, I shared with her what was happening as well as my growing concern.

    For anyone who knows Patty, she is very calm and patient. She looked me over; sighed, and said, “It might help, if you had the lens in your glasses.”

    I took off my glasses and sure enough, I had been gazing half the afternoon through empty frames. I ran upstairs, looked on the bed and both lens were lying in a neat stack.

    We need the appropriate lens in order to see clearly. The lens with which we view our marriage is critical to our attitude toward our spouse and therefore our marriage. I want to focus on 3 of the lens we look through.

    Rose Colored Lens

    Early in our relationship, we feel overwhelming love and joy. Both of us are trying to make deposits and avoid making withdrawals. The good outbalances the not as good. It is easy to dismiss the not as good, because the over all is awesome.

    Dark Lens

    When we look through Rose colored lens, we can easily be set up for unmet expectations and disappointment. As I said before, we can brush off the not as good assuming it will get better over time. Our spouse will change. After all, our spouse loves us.

    Over time, if we don’t feel heard and lack influence, we can change our lens to one that is dark colored. All we see is the bad in our spouse and we get critical. We forget the good. It still exists mixed in with the bad. Sometimes we rewrite history to match how we currently feel.

    The more critical we get, the less our spouse shows us love and respect. When we wear a dark lens, unhealthy patterns develop and things seem to cycle worse and worse.

    Clear lens

    A clear lens is necessary in order to influence change. We need to be able to see our spouse and our relationship clearly—both strengths and weaknesses. We need to see our partner as a human being and not demonize or dehumanize them. And then we can do something about our concerns.

    You see, we don’t ignore our concerns, we just learn how to look at them and address them in a loving, effective manner. 

    Unlike my story, we do have lens in our frames, but…

    Sometimes, we need a new prescription.

    • Our perspective and view of our self and spouse get really skewed.

    • We think we know what is wrong with our marriage—usually the other person—and we think that fixing them is the solution to our problems.

    • Our misguided efforts make our marriage a whole lot worse, and we get more and more frustrated.

    • As frustration becomes the norm, problems escalate into physical and emotional withdrawal.

    • We don’t need a rose colored lens that only sees the good, nor do we need a dark lens that only sees the bad. We need a clear lens.

    Sometimes, we need an expert opinion

    – a lens that can view our relationship objectively and

    provide the help to give us an awesome future together.

    Email me at [email protected], and

    I will send you an appreciation exercise.