A picture of an airplane climbing in the sky with the Title Attitude: How it affects your marriage.

Attitude Affects Behavior: How your marriage can improve by changing your focus

Recently we returned from our summer vacation, it was fun and enjoyable with lots of sun. The beach was HOT!! I cherish those weeks because I can get away from normal life, rest, and reset. It’s hard to do that in the day-to-day routine of work, sports, and keeping your life in order. However, these days always tend to get me thinking. My thoughts ventured to church, life, my purpose, the people in my life, the goals I want to accomplish, my relationship with my wife, and my kids.

It tends to be a week of reflection for me. I don’t usually do this intentionally, but when I get away from everything I seem to shift my focus to the more important things in life. After a week of doing that and missing church, I started thinking about what life would be like when vacation was over. Then I thought about my kids missing church and how much I need to teach them before they grow up. Too much right?!

Well, with all that context, I decided to do a Bible study with my kids that I think extends to every part of life. My son and daughter have been struggling with their attitudes lately, and I thought as SUPERIOR FATHER I would teach them about attitude. Although I am kidding about being a great father, as I studied and read about attitude, I realized there is much to this concept. The more I read and studied, the more I realized how much it would help couples. So, this is my attempt to help your marriage or relationship by helping you work on a simple habit: Changing your Attitude.

What is attitude?

If you know me, I like words! I like to know the definitions and meanings of words. Attitude seems pretty straightforward, but I looked up the formal definition to help you and me out!

Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior. (Google.com)

The arrangement of the parts of a body or figure; one’s posture; a position assumed for a specific purpose; a ballet position similar to the arabesque in which the raised leg is bent at the knee; a mental position with regard to a fact or state; a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state (Merriam-Webster.com).

Understanding what attitude is matters!

The word attitude can allude to or mean several different things. When we use the word in everyday language, we are usually talking about the way a person is behaving that gives off a specific clue to how they are feeling about something. I usually see a negative attitude in people. Yet, sometimes a positive attitude can be seen.

The direction of the attitude can be determined by the words someone says, the emotions they are presenting, and the actions they take. Understanding what attitude is helps us know what to look for and what to change if we need to alter it.

How does attitude affect your marriage?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Attitude is everything”? It actually is. It can affect whatever you’re doing and whoever you are around. We sometimes use the words contagious or cancer to express how someone’s attitude might be affecting other people.

Attitude affects you in many ways, but usually tends to be based on what you are focusing on. In your marriage, it can cause tension, arguments, lack of communication, hurt, rejection, and more. Tension arises when someone has a bad attitude. Your wife can feel it. They know you are upset, but you won’t share that you are or even why. Your attitude makes them feel scared and like they have to walk on eggshells.

Arguments then might arise because you have a negative attitude. However, a positive attitude may lift your spouse’s spirits and give them a sense of peace. There are many ways that an attitude can influence your marriage, but wouldn’t you want it to work in a positive direction?

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Helpful Examples of Attitude

I remember watching the movie Remember the Titans. It’s wonderful! Denzel Washington is such a great actor! Anyhow, during a conditioning scene when the team is running through the woods, two of the team captains stop and are upset with each other. They blame each other for not helping the team out. One of them says to the other, “Attitude reflects leadership.” This was in response to the other one saying, “That’s a poor attitude.”

Any relationship is influenced and affected by attitude and focus. Attitude can make a team, a marriage, a business, an employee, a doctor, or any other person rise to levels they didn’t think possible. It also can bring destruction upon them. The power is in the choice. Did you know you can choose your attitude? The point about the movie above was more to say that you have an opportunity to lead. How are you going to lead people? Are you going to lead with a positive, loving, genuine attitude so that the people following catch it and rise above? Or the opposite.

I found another analogy that I thought was neat. Apparently, airplane pilots use the terms, attitude up and attitude down to determine the direction of the nose of the plane. When they say attitude up, that means that the nose of the plane is up toward the sky and they are climbing and increasing their altitude. However, when the nose is toward the ground, they have attitude down, and they are falling and losing height. We all know what that could mean!

Reflection of how Attitude can hurt your Marriage

In marriage, this is important. Attitude is everything. Are you a grump who is ungrateful and fusses about everything? Yes, life can be hard, but your attitude can change how you feel and influence others positively if you choose to have “attitude up.” It doesn’t mean life will get better instantly. But just like when a pilot gets the airplane in attitude up and they are soaring higher and higher, what might happen in a marriage? Both feel better and better. There is more opportunity to maneuver and get where you want to go.

Yet, if you have “attitude down,” you will probably be heading towards turbulence and a rough landing if you don’t slow it down. Even in an airplane, when the pilot lands, the nose is attitude up (if you haven’t flown, you have at least seen a video of a plane landing).

How do we change our attitude?

Attitude is a reflection of focus. What are you thinking about? What are you looking at? What are you involved in throughout your day? Your thoughts and your activities influence your attitude. I stopped watching the news. It was making me think negative thoughts and feel bad. The result: a bad attitude.

To change this, you need to create a plan to get negative activities that make you feel bad out of your life (as best as possible). Get away from those toxic friends or coworkers, find a new job, or go to a different church. It’s okay! They may be better off and you will likely be better off too. Rewrite your daily schedule. Put new, positive, uplifting activities in your day such as singing worship music, reading the Bible, doing a hobby your life, or anything else that is fun and enjoyable.

Change your thinking to have a better attitude in marriage

Finally, change your thinking. Everything is not that bad! Your wife or husband did not intend to hurt you. You are being too sensitive most likely. One thing I have found in my practice is that most people never intend to upset their spouse. It is good for them to apologize and try not to do what they did the next time. Think about all the good things they do.

It sometimes can be hard to change your thoughts and you may need help with that. However, if it’s a habit, you may have to be disciplined until you form a habit of gratitude and a positive focus.

Once you have a better grasp on changing your attitude, take note of how other things change. Hopefully, you will see your relationships change for the better. There is a lot more than can be said and done to improve a marriage, but this is a good start. Practice gratitude, positive focus, and changing negative thoughts. Then people will follow you and want to be around you. Other’s attitudes will reflect your leadership as your attitude improves.

Conclusion

Attitude is so important in marriage. Your spouse needs you to be supportive, loving, kind, and patient. It’s hard to be any of those when your attitude stinks. Changing your mindset takes hard work to refocus on the positive things in your life. Don’t let your attitude bring destruction to your relationship. If you continue to struggle with it, call our office or schedule online.

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