Tandem Marriage

~ Tandem Marriage Blog ~

Please enjoy our blog where we have written some of our best advice, helpful tips, and things we ponder. These are all intended to help you have a better and more fulfilling marriage.

Please enjoy our blog where we have written some of our best advice, helpful tips, and things we ponder. These are all intended to help you have a better and more fulfilling marriage.

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Your Marriage Really Is What You Think It Is!

What you think about marriage is reflected in reality

I recently read a great book by Dr. David Stoup called, "You Are What You Think." While this blog post is not intended to serve as a book review, the implication of Dr. Stoup's implications for marriage are just too good not to share!

First, let's talk about brains. Helping people manage their brains is something I've done for years and something I am quite passionate about. I love teaching people how they can mold their brains in ways that allow them to have better lives and marriages. Others have referred to our brains as, "The Amazing Plastic Brain" because our brains are so moldable. Our brains will change over time. How they change is largely up to us. Further, our brains can have positive change (a change that makes us feel better and happier) or negative change (that makes us anxious, or depressed, or overwhelmed). The choice is ours.

We can and do alter brain function, slowly over time. This can happen by choosing healthier foods to eat, for example. Some people would claim that our palates will adjust over time to like the taste of different foods. The truth is, it is our brains that are adjusting over time. You see, our brains receive the sensory input, from our taste buds in this case, and will interpret that information. Over time (if we keep eating healthier foods) our brains will interpret that sensory information as good—our brains will adjust. On the other hand, if we keep drinking sweeter and sweeter coffee drinks (too much sugar is not good for us), our brains will reset our own normal so that what once seemed sweet to us will no longer be so sweet. Our brains will have adjusted to the new information from our taste buds and we will be consuming more sugar without really realizing it.

Make sense? Good. Let's move on to something that is more relational. Let's assume that you are married. Often, your spouse will say something that you deem as rather foolish. Keep in mind that your spouse's foolishness is merely your opinion, and if we are all being honest, we all say foolish things at times. Nonetheless, whenever your spouse does this, you say to yourself, "What a foolish and uneducated person my spouse is!" As you repeat this little phrase in your head over and over, day after day, you will start to see many things about your spouse lining up with your thought about how foolish and uneducated they are. Some would call this a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the other hand, when your spouse says something that is foolish in your opinion, you might try saying to yourself, "I would love to understand that position better. My spouse is very smart (after all, that is why they married me!) and likely has solid reasons for holding that view." Try this approach and see what happens! You will begin to see the very best in your spouse because you are believing the best about your spouse and actively looking for it.

This is amazing. And profound. And powerful.

Try thinking the best about other family members, or friends, or your boss. Now, of course I'm not suggesting that you lie to yourself, only that you are deliberate to focus on what is good rather than what is bad. You are essentially training your brain to be positive rather than negative in this case.

Let's look at one more example of how you can retrain your own brain. This time we will look at our demands of others vs. our desires for ourselves. Let's say that you and your spouse go to church weekly and your spouse is always running late. As you focus on your demands of others you might say, "My spouse should be more considerate of my time" and you will become more and more frustrated because you cannot control these things about your spouse. You should, on the other hand, focus on your desires for yourself since these are things well within your control. In this case, you might say to yourself, "I want to use my time wisely while I am waiting for my spouse since I will likely have a few extra minutes." You could do this by returning a text message or two, by praying for a friend, or by simply having a few minutes to rest and reflect on your life and your day. Do you see the difference?

Some who read this will not be deliberate to retrain their own brains. They will say that his is all too much work and they don't have the time for it. I would say that getting stuck in negative cycles of thought patterns will weigh you down in big ways. Learning to turn that around is always what is best for each one of us in both the short term and in the long run too.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at brad@TandemMarriage.com. Copyright © 2016

blog comments powered by Disqus

Your Marriage Really Is What You Think It Is!

What you think about marriage is reflected in reality

I recently read a great book by Dr. David Stoup called, "You Are What You Think." While this blog post is not intended to serve as a book review, the implication of Dr. Stoup's implications for marriage are just too good not to share!

First, let's talk about brains. Helping people manage their brains is something I've done for years and something I am quite passionate about. I love teaching people how they can mold their brains in ways that allow them to have better lives and marriages. Others have referred to our brains as, "The Amazing Plastic Brain" because our brains are so moldable. Our brains will change over time. How they change is largely up to us. Further, our brains can have positive change (a change that makes us feel better and happier) or negative change (that makes us anxious, or depressed, or overwhelmed). The choice is ours.

We can and do alter brain function, slowly over time. This can happen by choosing healthier foods to eat, for example. Some people would claim that our palates will adjust over time to like the taste of different foods. The truth is, it is our brains that are adjusting over time. You see, our brains receive the sensory input, from our taste buds in this case, and will interpret that information. Over time (if we keep eating healthier foods) our brains will interpret that sensory information as good—our brains will adjust. On the other hand, if we keep drinking sweeter and sweeter coffee drinks (too much sugar is not good for us), our brains will reset our own normal so that what once seemed sweet to us will no longer be so sweet. Our brains will have adjusted to the new information from our taste buds and we will be consuming more sugar without really realizing it.

Make sense? Good. Let's move on to something that is more relational. Let's assume that you are married. Often, your spouse will say something that you deem as rather foolish. Keep in mind that your spouse's foolishness is merely your opinion, and if we are all being honest, we all say foolish things at times. Nonetheless, whenever your spouse does this, you say to yourself, "What a foolish and uneducated person my spouse is!" As you repeat this little phrase in your head over and over, day after day, you will start to see many things about your spouse lining up with your thought about how foolish and uneducated they are. Some would call this a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the other hand, when your spouse says something that is foolish in your opinion, you might try saying to yourself, "I would love to understand that position better. My spouse is very smart (after all, that is why they married me!) and likely has solid reasons for holding that view." Try this approach and see what happens! You will begin to see the very best in your spouse because you are believing the best about your spouse and actively looking for it.

This is amazing. And profound. And powerful.

Try thinking the best about other family members, or friends, or your boss. Now, of course I'm not suggesting that you lie to yourself, only that you are deliberate to focus on what is good rather than what is bad. You are essentially training your brain to be positive rather than negative in this case.

Let's look at one more example of how you can retrain your own brain. This time we will look at our demands of others vs. our desires for ourselves. Let's say that you and your spouse go to church weekly and your spouse is always running late. As you focus on your demands of others you might say, "My spouse should be more considerate of my time" and you will become more and more frustrated because you cannot control these things about your spouse. You should, on the other hand, focus on your desires for yourself since these are things well within your control. In this case, you might say to yourself, "I want to use my time wisely while I am waiting for my spouse since I will likely have a few extra minutes." You could do this by returning a text message or two, by praying for a friend, or by simply having a few minutes to rest and reflect on your life and your day. Do you see the difference?

Some who read this will not be deliberate to retrain their own brains. They will say that his is all too much work and they don't have the time for it. I would say that getting stuck in negative cycles of thought patterns will weigh you down in big ways. Learning to turn that around is always what is best for each one of us in both the short term and in the long run too.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at brad@TandemMarriage.com. Copyright © 2016

blog comments powered by Disqus