A caller on my radio show gave some very insightful comments that I believe are true in most marriages. In any relationship, a person reflects back to you his or her idea of who you are. That image can either be positive or negative, accurate or distorted. I believe there is a marriage mirror. When you get married, your partner becomes your mirror.
You define yourself by the way your partner sees you.
This may be especially true with women, but it is true for men as well. The way your husband or wife sees you is demonstrated in the way he or she speaks to you, treats you, the things that are noticed, and the quantity and quality of attention paid to you.
The image that your partner reflects back to you is critical. If your partner reflects back to you your best self and what you can become, you feel encouraged and strengthened. Your relationship grows. On the flip side, if you work hard every day but have reflected back that nothing you do is right, you become discouraged and insecure. As my caller put it, "You feel like trash." What are the consequences on your relationship? It isn't too hard to figure out that your relationship disintegrates quickly. Another problem comes in if you don't pay attention to what's inside of your husband or your wife. When that happens, you loose the ability to give an accurate reflection.
What is a successful enduring relationship? It is one in which your partner sees you as your best self. When your partner sees your potential and reflects that back to you on a daily basis, you begin to see your best self as well. I believe you reach for your potential and become what your partner sees. The mirror of enduring love is powerful. A couple shared with me this simple example that shows the power of seeing yourself in your partner's eyes. The woman often told her husband, "You are amazing."
He knew the complete sincerity of her words because of words she had uttered at other times, her continuous actions towards him, and their love for each other. It isn't any wonder then that his response was, "I feel amazing when I am with you." It also isn't surprising to find that he reached for higher levels of improvement personally and within their relationship.
In the relationships I see thriving, each partner treats the other more like someone that is revered; like a flower being nurtured. He understands what kind of flower she is. She knows how she has to take care of him. He knows what he has to give to make it grow. That is a neat reflection. Has your wife seen that reflection? Has your husband seen that reflection? Reflect the best of your partner. Let your partner see in your eyes and actions and hear in your words what you see inside of them.CLICK HERE to listen to Matt talk more about this. (Depending on the speed of your internet connection, this could take a few minutes to download the audio.))