Do you spend time examining yourself to become a better person, friend, and spouse?
Being willing to examine ourselves ultimately makes us better individuals and partners. It’s not just essential to marital success; it’s important in every aspect of your life. However, marriage is the most important relationship your self-examination (or lack of it) will impact.
Essentially, self-examination isn’t just about knowing yourself. It’s about being willing to continually revisit who you are and how you’ve changed over time. It’s also about being able to accept constructive criticism from your spouse and loved ones, and to learn from it.
Know Yourself Well…and Communicate!
We know ourselves better than anyone–minus the occasional blind spots. That’s why it’s important to communicate what you know about yourself to your spouse. Your self-examination won’t help your marriage unless you talk about what you’ve found.
Your Spouse Knows Your Blind Spots
On the other hand, your spouse knows you intimately, and they see the traits you cannot. So when they point those things out, it’s important to listen. Hearing your flaws can be painful, but knowing how we affect those around us helps us to grow.
One Important Question You Should Be Asking One Another
We believe that you should periodically ask, “How can I be a better spouse?”
Yes, that’s often a loaded question. Be prepared for answers that might be uncomfortable. But with the discomfort comes an opportunity to grow and know yourself better than before.
When your spouse asks you this question, take care to answer them gently. There’s no need to be hurtful or abrasive when you respond. Truth is all that’s required–and truth delivered with a lot of love is more likely to stick the landing.
Who You Are Profoundly Impacts Your Marriage
Your personality traits and habits have a profound impact on your marriage. If you’re unwilling to self-examine, you risk harming your spouse, those you love, and even yourself. On the other hand, if you’re open to regular self-examination and honest communication with your spouse, then that openness could lead to an incredibly fulfilling marriage.
If you’re wondering how to better examine yourself, there are many routes you can take. For example, you can keep a journal, which will help you to get more in touch with who you are. Or, try talking to people who have known you for years. They will be able to help shed lights on the parts of you that you can’t see.
There are also resources, such as relationship assessments and books, that can help you learn more about yourself. Yada! is great for self-examination, while SYMBIS is fantastic for couples. Assessments can offer you deep insights into many of your conscious and unconscious tendencies.
Finally, you can read more about self-examination in depth in our book, I Love You More. This book takes a practical approach to solving everyday problems–and sheds light on how common challenges can actually make your marriage stronger. You can pick up a copy here.
Do you and your spouse take time for regular self-examination? How does it benefit your marriage? Let us know in the comments.