Meeting Mr. Perfect is something many of us dream of, but when our expectations of “wedded bliss” turns out to far from that reality we can feel defeated and desperate. Just in case you’’re thinking of joining the 50% of Americans who are trading in their vows of “I do” with shouts of “I don’’t,” take a look at these five ways your marriage is possibly destroying you… and what you can do to get back onto a happier track.


The bad news: Looking up close can really hurt. We mean, really.


The good news: There’’s a medicine for this hurt. It’’s called “you.” To have a healthy marriage, you have to be healthy first.


1. Co-Dependency

Somewhere in the rush of wanting the perfect person to fulfill you, you forgot that the only real person to make you happy is you. As long as you put your power on someone else, you’’ll never be content. No man or woman can fill that void in your soul that belongs to you and you alone. Whether you fill it with God, the universe or simply an amazing hobby that lights you up from the inside out it does’n’t matter. The point is that when you stop giving away your power to someone else the pressure on the marriage lightens. You can’’t change him, but you can change you. And YOU can have joy and exude a positive attitude into your marriage every day.


2. Anger

Last we checked, screaming at someone to “Stop being such a slob” was not conducive to a happy marriage. True, your spouse might actually be a slob, but that’’s of little consequence. What matters is how you treat him. Even if down the road you choose to divorce, or he leaves you for a woman who doesn’’t mind the smell of dirty socks and dandruff, your chances of happiness with the next person will greatly increase because of your decision to be graceful, kind and considerate despite less than perfect circumstances. Communicating calmly and affectionately with your spouse about those irritations that that have become unbearable can go a long way to getting exactly what you want from him. Try a smile instead of a shout, it really can make a difference.


3. Forgiveness

If you’’re someone who can’’t forgive easily, your marriage is on a fast track to divorce (or at least a union of misery). Letting things go is essential, not just for your mate’s peace of mind, but for yours. More sickness is caused by resentment and bitterness than anything else. The more irritated we are, and the more negative, the more our immune systems crash. Don’t get an illness because of your spouse. Get a heart and see how much better you feel in your own body.


4. Perfection

Some of us thought we were marrying Eric Estrada only to end up with Eric Cartman. Now we’re not saying that “bald, fat and lazy” is our perfect version of Mr. Wonderful, but sometimes we need to look in the mirror ourselves. Where have we fallen physically, emotionally and spiritually? If we’’re not perfect, why should we expect our mates to be? When we focus more on what we can do to improve ourselves, rather than trying to improve our mate, the chances for personal happiness (and a loving marriage) greatly increase.


5. Laughter

When was the last time you really laughed with your mate? If it’’s been a while, maybe you should consider it. Treat the two of you to comedy club tickets, or just try try renting a funny movie or playing a silly joke on him. Studies have shown that people who laugh daily live longer. It’s also been proven that couples who laugh more last longer, too. Consider ditching the scowls for some howls and see if the health of your body, and your marriage, don’’t dramatically improve.

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