The following three points hinder you from success in your marriage:
I know we were all created differently and each person has his or her own personality. If you love your personality too much, though, you can't be successful in marriage. In giving us our personalities, God didn't want us to worship ourselves but to utilize our personalities to worship Him—and to express His personality though us.
People who like their own personalities too much constantly want their spouse to become more like them instead of more like Christ. The basic message to the spouse is, "Until you become just like me, you're not measuring up."
You see if you like your personality too much you can limit your success in life. When I am speaking at marriage conferences I explain it like this. God made our personality but after the fall He, through the Holy Spirit, had one mission; to restore us to our original personality, which is totally in His image. You see God may like your personality, but He is committed to kill any part of you that doesn't look quite like Him.
- "Feelings First" Decision Making
Here is another culprit that can keep you from benefiting from the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle exercises. I call it "Feelings First" decision-making.
What I am talking about here is relying upon your feelings instead of your mind when you make decisions. If feelings rule what you decide to do, you won't be successful in marriage or in life long-term.
Here's what I mean. If you exercise only when you feel like it, you will never benefit from exercise. If you pay your mortgage or credit card bills only when you feel like it, you will experience monetary difficulty that limits your future financial success.
The fact is, many of us have moved from doing the right thing to doing what we feel like doing. Americans in general operate with their feelings first in decision making instead of by principle.
Every athlete hits a wall—the point where he doesn't feel like training anymore. The ones who obey their feelings and don't practice find themselves thrown off the team. The ones who train because it's right, not because it feels good, over a sustained period of time are successful.
If you do simply what you feel like doing then you cannot maintain the benefits of the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle. If, however, regardless of how you feel and even if you don't like each other at the moment, you still decide to do the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle, you will experience a strengthening of your marriage that gives you the marathon endurance to run a good race all the way till death do us part.
So don't succumb to your feelings. Do what you know is right, not what you feel is right.
- Waiting for Desire
Good news: I have found the secret to creating desire! You see, desire doesn't come first; desire comes second. Desire is the direct result of a consistent discipline. Take soda or coffee, for example. Many people drink one or both of these on a regular basis. They consistently have a desire for their beverages of choice because they have consistently consumed them—usually at the same time of day or in the same circumstances each time.
To create a desire, you simply have to create a discipline. Take, for example, carrot juice. If you drink carrot juice two to three times a day for a few weeks, you will actually begin to like and desire carrot juice without anyone's coaxing you into drinking it. The same is true of exercise. If you start running or going to the gym at 5:00 a.m. several times a week, in the beginning it will be tough, but once you surpass that, the desire begins to grow. In a couple of months, your body wakes up for that 5:00 workout.
Desire is always second. What does all this talk about desire have to do with the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle? Everything!
Those who push through from discipline to desire get the momentum they need to enjoy sustained marital happiness. It's as if the wind comes under your wings and it's not hard at all to do the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle exercises you chose.
The bottom line is, the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle exercises work if you work them. It is a marriage manual that has already been tested in real marriages even across cultures. You too deserve to have the greatest marriage possible. I tell people I know that if you're going to eat, eat great food. The same is true about marriage. If you're going to be married, have a great marriage!
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, The Ten-Minute Marriage Principle. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook or by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.