Do you see the glass (of your marriage) as half empty or half full? The most fascinating part of this question is that both would be correct and both represent the same set of facts. No matter what you see, you can call it half empty or half full and both would be correct. What is different in these two cases is not the other person, but the person who is calling it. If the caller thinks it’s half empty, it’s because he’s looking at what his marriage is missing. He’s blind to what it is. If he’s calling it half full, it’s because he realizes (wisely) that no one is perfect and he is appreciative of what he has.

Most important here is not to misunderstand me. I am NOT speaking to the abuse VICTIM and telling her (or him) to be happy with the few moments when he is not being blasted, iced, neglected, or violated. No. I am speaking to the one who inadvertantly abuses through constant dissatisfaction. He or she may not think of this as abuse, and the amount of it and the proportion of it to positives will determine the extent to which all this negativity becomes abuse. My point is that even if it is not so severe as to call it abuse, clearly, those of you who see the glass half empty are guilty of not seeing the good in your marriage.

Why Cheating Is Abuse

Let’s take cheaters. That’s a good one. Cheating, of course, is abuse, but a kind of abuse that the victim doesn’t even (necessarily) know about. The fact that the victim may be unaware of it doesn’t change anything. The cheater is still depriving her (or him) of love, tenderness, committment, conversation, fantasy, togetherness, warmth, sincerity, intimacy, connection. Need I go on? But, I’m addressing the cheater for the moment. Why is she/he cheating? Often, it’s simply that he/she sees that glass of relationship as half empty. Wrongly.

How many times does the victim get wind of it and say, “The heck with this. I’m going to find myself someone”? All of a sudden, the victim is looking better, has a bounce in her step, happy, and, in short, becomes attractive to the spouse who had previously dropped her like a hot potato. What happened? Simply, someone paid some overdue attention to that poor woman and she started to feel better about herself. From there it was a quick step to showing it. Now, if, instead of cheating, the cheater had struggled to make his wife feel important in the first place, beautiful and important, quess what would have happened? Why, she would have gotten dressed up for him. More importantly, if he began to see her as special, she would have felt those vibes and gotten dressed up for him, too. See?

Search Hard For The Beauty In Your Partner

How to avoid this in the first place? The person who sees the marriage glass as half empty must search hard for that which is beautiful in it–and in his mate. You should make your mate feel special even if your partner is a pain in the neck. Cherish her. Shower her with attention. Buy her flowers. No, not when you feel guilty because you cheated. BEFORE you cheat. Make her special. Make him special in your own eyes. That means searching hard for the good. Here’s an exercise for you:

  • *Write down everything good about your spouse in terms of soul.
  • Then skills.
  • Then the good things she/he does for you.
  • Then get into your head about the good memories of why you fell in love.
  • Finally, and only at the end, the good things about his/her appearance. Appearance is important but not that important. The rest comes first. If you are “turned off” because your partner has gained weight, trust me, I understand. But it is still not most important and the rest should outweigh it (no pun intended). And even on the basis of good looks alone, there will still be things about her or him that are beautiful, eg, hair, smile, wrists, ankles, eyes. See? Besides which there are plenty of good looking people who are toxic, nasty devils. You wouldn’t want to be married to one of those.
  • That’s the first part of your assignment. Whenever you can, the next step is to tell her/him something from that list. Share it!
  • And notice how good it makes you feel inside. That will be the fun part, because you might have thought you’d feel like a hypocrite, but the truth is no, not at all. It’s an honest list, right? So the expression of it is honest, too.
  • Finally, have fun together. Go out. Play. Pretend to not be married and meet at a hotel in the middle of the day. Do some wild (but legal) things. Use your imagination.

That’s it. Then notice how the glass has become half full. Maybe even more than half.

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