I remember distinctly a spouse attack I had one day. It occurred over fifteen years ago when Lisa and I lived in Texas. I was driving home from work. I was only a few miles from home when all of a sudden every negative thought and feeling possible about my precious Lisa started hitting me. I remember thinking, What is going on?
I went from looking forward to going home to being angry at my wife. But I was a veteran of spouse attacks and knew how to skew the skirmish: I slowed down and said out loud, “Stop!” Then I started to say out loud the wonderful things I knew about my wife:
- “Lisa is a godly woman.”
- “Lisa is a great lover.”
- “Lisa is a great friend.”
- “Lisa is absolutely gorgeous.”
- “Lisa will always be a faithful woman.”
What happened next was great. The spouse attack ceased! I was now looking forward to seeing my bride again; actually I was really looking forward to seeing her! It’s as if I had been in a fight, and I won!
You are going to have spouse attacks. What you do with them is critical. Instead of going with the thoughts and feelings, mount a counterattack. You need to be prepared to do this. Take out a sheet of paper. Write out five things you love, like, or value about your spouse.
Now say these things out loud to yourself somewhere. Say them with emotion because they are true! Memorize them so they’ll be handy when you need them.
After I memorized those wonderful aspects of Lisa, I found that I had fewer spouse attacks, and I won the attacks that came. You can be successful too.
Go ahead, time yourself. It will take you less than one minute to have success and win over a spouse attack. That’s why I call it the One-Minute Turnaround, because in one minute you can go from the funk of a spouse attack to clarity on why you love this person!
Excerpt taken from: The Ten Minute Marriage Principle