I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “
You don’t want to change your spouse, you want your spouse to want to change. You want it to be his decision. You want him to want to change his housecleaning habits. You want her to want to give you more compliments. You want him to want to grow up whenever Mom comes to town. That way you can still respect him as an equal, independent partner, choosing to act differently on his own—not just because you asked him to. And, believe it or not, that’s the real power of focusing on ourselves, of becoming more “self-centered.” See, when you are actively centered on yourself, you are more conscious of your own behavior than your spouse’s. You’re more concerned about knowing and representing your real feelings and desires than you are with getting your spouse to do the same. And most important, you are most concerned with staying calm and connected, making sure that, at the very least, you are not reactively contributing to the very patterns you want to avoid. When focusing on yourself and staying calm is your number one priority, you learn how to push your own pause button. You learn to create a space for yourself between stimulus—your spouse pushing your buttons—and your response. That way you can then choose what you do next, out of your highest principles and desires, rather than simply react without thinking. And the best part? Creating such a pause for yourself, in turn, creates a new space for your partner to do the same. By simply creating a small pause, a calm, centered spouse can transform any marriage into a deeper, lifelong connection. I honestly and absolutely believe that, and that’s why I’m writing this book.
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