Do I have your attention? Are you thinking I am blaming you for your marriage?

That is not my intention. The reality is, though, that you are searching for help with your marriage. So, there is nothing I can do about your spouse, but there may be something I can do to help you change, or even save, your marriage.

I constantly hear cries of "it's not my fault," or "there's nothing I can do." That misses the fact that in any situation, there are two sides contributing to the problems at hand. It may be that your spouse is the primary problem. But honestly, I always see that there are two sides.

In fact, I have come to see relationships like algebra (no math lesson here, as it is certainly not my favorite subject, but I want to make a point). In algegra, there are always two sides to an equation. And both sides are held together by an "equals" sign. One side must equal the other. Make a shift on one side and you must make the same shift on the other side. In other words, both sides must be kept balanced and equal.

The same is true in marriage. If one person makes a shift, the other person must make a shift, just to keep the relationship equation in balance.

You may have already tried making shifts, and become increasingly frustrated that you can't seem to do anything that makes a difference.

I would submit to you that there is one fundamental shift you can make that will change the relationship: your attitude. One of my favorite writers was Viktor Frankl, survivor of the concentration camps. And my favorite quote from him is "The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance."

We tend to give up that freedom. We allow the other person to change and affect our attitude. Often, in the midst of a crisis, we find that we have lost our natural attitude and have become something we are not. It is always possible to choose to correct this.

Let me be more clear: you can choose your attitude. If you do not, the attitude will choose you, and it will likely be negative, short-sighted, ego-centric, and incorrect. A choice in attitude can lead us to hopefulness, patience, understanding, love, respect, and creativity.

Some helpful attitudes:

An attitude of Forgiveness. We can choose to take on an attitude of forgiveness, and simply let our spouse "off the hook" for every small transgression. I am not saying that you just forget major issues. In fact, forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is not allowing the actions to hold you emotionally hostage anymore. More specifically, forgiveness is letting go so that YOU do not have to carry it around. And too often, it is the small issues that do the most damage, the daily "slights" that we build up until we see the other person as despicable.

An attitude of Acceptance. What would it mean to accept your spouse, just like he or she is? No more attempts to change, either directly or by manipulation, your spouse into what you want. You simply accept him or her for who he or she is. That would be a great gift. . . and is the start of true love.

An attitude of Respect. Let's face it: when we live intimately with someone, we see them at their weakest. Sometimes, we see only the weakness and stop seeing the greatness. We, in essence, lose respect. But what if you focused on their strengths, their gifts, their quirkiness, and decided to extend respect? That may revolutionize your relationship.

An attitude of Civility. I was recently listening to a recording about providing good customer service. The expert suggested you remember what has been done to you. Do the things you liked, don't do the things you didn't like. (Sounds a great deal like the Golden Rule!) That would be civility. Don't like to be yelled at? Don't yell. Like to be treated lovingly? Treat lovingly. You get the idea.

So, if you want to change your marriage, start with your attitude. You can probably think of many other attitudes you could choose. Go do it! Transform your marriage!

Author's Bio: 

Lee Baucom has helped many couples to save and transform their marriage. He can do the same for you! Go now to