As a born & bred country girl, I was all too familiar with the beauty of small communities. Stopping to chat to the person down the street, waving at a familiar face as they drove by, popping in for a cuppa, visiting family etc. These were daily occurrences that contributed to that sense of closeness which was my ‘normal’.
My husband and I loved it!That was right before we packed our family up and moved to Melbourne in our 30’s for 4 years.
Living in the city definitely has its advantages, but when you’re used to connection, the city felt a little too distant, and a little too difficult to make those important connections that we were used to. People stood inches away from each other and said nothing, they were intolerant on the roads and it felt like they weren’t present when they were present…if you know what I mean.
Funny, that’s the comment I hear all the time in the counselling room!!“It’s like my husband (or wife) is there, but they’re not there – their head is somewhere else”.
In the last 20 years the world has changed dramatically. The global population has exploded, the internet has changed the way we do everything, social media has literally taken over, and with all the marketing that comes with being connected to the world, expectations have risen!
The impact on us, is that our world just got a whole lot busier, and the jostle for intimacy and connection got a whole lot more complicated as ‘I’m busy’ became the new buzz word!
So how do we safe guard our marriages from the world of ‘busy’ and learn how to be really present in our relationships?
The first place to look, is at your priorities. If you were to write a list of these 6 things and rate them in order of priority (as if I was examining your life and actions) what would the order be? And Where would your partner be?Partner – Kids – Work – Extended Family (mum, dad, etc) – Hobbies – Friends.If your partner isn’t obviously number 1, then it’s time to make some changes!If your partner is number 6, book in for an appointment QUICK!
Practising being present when you are home comes right alongside making your partner your number 1 priority. And it does take practise! Leave your work at the door when you walk in and pick it up when you leave. Take the time to talk and really listen to each other without feeling like you have to solve the problem, carry each other’s burdens and look for opportunities to be their hero in little ways. When you do have disagreements, discuss that 1 issue, not the past, or future to come. After all, we really don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and the past is history right, so practise living in the NOW.
Focus your energy on the good things in each other, every day, and tell them that day. There’s plenty there when you really look! Some days you may have to dig harder than others, but it’s a great perspective changer! It’s almost impossible to be thankful or appreciative and angry at the same time.
And don’t forget to take responsibility for your 50% of the relationship. Instead of blaming the other person for their faults, work on yourself. Decide each day to be the best you that you can be, and watch how things change.
Being mindful is, in its simplest form, engaging and embracing the moment that is presenting itself to you right now. So, show up for each other, and begin to engage in a new way. Being intentional daily is the key to a great marriage.
So take charge of your life, and enjoy the fruit of a mindful marriage:)