There was a fascinating brain scan study focused on married couples who reported being madly in love after an average of 21 years. One of the commonalities of these happy couples’ brains was an area of the brain responsible for positive illusion. Positive illusion is the ability to focus on what you love about your wife and not focus on what you don’t. This positive illusion does so much for you and your wife, including providing higher personal and marital satisfaction.
Whether these happy couples’ brains are just naturally wired that way or it was a learned behavior, we can take a cue from them and work on seeing the best in our wives. It’s crucial to know how we characterize our wives because we operate as if it’s the truth. That’s important because how you think about your wife will determine how you treat your wife. When you are frustrated with your wife, repeat this to yourself, out loud when possible: “See the best.” Then consider what that means. To get a jump start on this practice, answer the following 5 questions and keep this list easily accessible by taking a screenshot of it and keeping it on your phone.
1. What is noble about your wife?
It’s easy to get caught up in the pace and pettiness of what frustrates you about your wife. Remembering what is noble helps you to better respect her and let go of the things that don’t matter.
2. What is right about your relationship?
If you are a natural problem solver, you are wired to look for problems to fix! Remembering what is right about your relationship helps you to focus less on problems and more on what you love about your marriage.
3. What is admirable about your wife?
Chances are your day doesn’t provide a natural opportunity to ponder what you admire about your wife. However, stopping and making the time is worth it. When you remember what is admirable about her, it will help you remember to treat her in an admirable way.Let the things you love about your wife block the views of the things you don’t.
4. What is excellent about your wife?
A good starting place is to think about the things she does much better than you. Remembering what is excellent about your wife will almost certainly lead to more gratitude for your wife.
5. What is praiseworthy about your wife?
It is easy to see what is worthy to criticize about your wife. But when you remember what is praiseworthy about her, it is super glue for your marriage.
When you remember what is true, noble, and right about your wife, petty things matter less. Her mistakes simply don’t matter as much. You can more easily let go of the trivial stuff that steals the joy from both of you. Don’t let the things that don’t matter, matter to your marriage. Let the things you love about your wife block the views of the things you don’t.
Sound off: What is your favorite thing about your wife’s character?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Do you know that when I look at you, I see________________________________?”