Have you ever heard of this joke mentioned at many wedding receptions, “Marriage is a three-ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering.”

While some may laugh, others might actually cringe because it’s the story of their life. Failed expectations can lead to disappointments. That irritating behaviour in your spouse might lead to fights. You start criticizing your spouse and it’s downhill from there. Eventually, you fall a little out of love.

How do you even forgive the many faults your partner has if you don’t feel like it?

What happened to those days prior to marriage where you keep thinking about your partner, what he or she was doing, what you could do to make her day better, or what could be the next adventure the both of you embark on?

Are your thoughts now focused on your partner’s flaws, and how annoyed you feel that he or she didn’t take the trash out when you asked? Love requires thoughtfulness, on both sides, and eventually, this impacts how you feel. Naturally, our emotions can be impacted positively if we choose to focus our thoughts on the good in our spouse and vice versa, we will feel horrible if we choose to focus our thoughts on the negative.

When we begin to feel happy about our relationship, positive actions will flow. It becomes a bit easier for us to be loving towards our spouse.

So when we sometimes feel that it is difficult to forgive our spouse for an action he/she did or didn’t do, just hit a pause button on that emotion. Change your thoughts from dwelling on the negative and think, “What is one thing I appreciate about my spouse today?”

Pepper your thoughts with kindness and respect. And when you have that positive thought, take action by doing something kind for your spouse today.