Spoiler Alert #1

Read this module OUT LOUD together as a couple:

 

                                    Spoiler #1 Our Thoughts

Let’s look at 2 primary Spoilers of our quest for a Magical Marriage.

Do you have A.N.T.s in Your Pants?

A.N.T.’s= Automatic  Negative  Thoughts

Automatic Negative Thoughts or A.N.T’s are what tend to escalate a situation that would make most people mad –into a situation that is completely out control!

A.N.T’s can help us understand why some people cross that line and fly off the handle–and how others are able to keep their cool in the midst of chaos. 

Getting our A.N.T’s exterminated is critical to doing our part in building the foundation for a Magical Marriage.

Let’s look at an example:

502Hungry Jack

Bill comes home from work super hungry. No dinner is on the table. He’s disappointed, hungry, and frustrated. He picks up the phone and calls in a pizza.

Hungry Jack also comes home from work super hungry. No dinner is on the table. He’s disappointed, hungry, and frustrated. He picks up a pot and throws it across the room and shouts “I’m the man of this house and I can’t even get a decent meal cooked for me?!”

Jack blames his outburst on the FACT. No dinner was made. But if it really were the FACT that caused Jack to throw the pot across the room–then Bill would have thrown the pot too.

So we KNOW it wasn’t the FACT that caused Hungry Jack to freak out.

It was the FACT of no dinner +  Jack’s A.N.T that caused Jack to throw the pot across the room.

No dinner +  His thought  (“I am the man of the house and I need to always make sure she knows who wears the pants in this house”) = Jack’s outburst.

It was the thoughts Jack added to the facts that caused him to freak out.

This is great news!

Because that tells us if we can just REMOVE the A.N.T, we can get Bill’s healthy reaction to the FACT.  Bill just called in a pizza.  His thought was “My partner must have had a hard day. Let’s just call in a pizza and rest together tonight.”

Once we get those pesky A.N.T’s exterminated from the equation, we can start having healthy reactions to FACT’s that annoy us. If you’re super hungry, it still might upset you if you walk in the door on your partner’s night to cook and don’t smell food cooking. But now your reaction isn’t going to destroy your relationship–it’s going to build it.

What thoughts do YOU add to the situation?

A.N.T.= ”I’m the man of this house and can’t even get a decent meal cooked for me”

Healthy thought: “We are a team. My partner must have had a hard day too. Let’s just call in a pizza and relax tonight.”

Who do you think someone would want to be married to?  Bill or Hungry Jack?

Remember the difference between being Aggressive and Assertive?

Aggressive is stating your need in a forceful way without regard to other people’s needs

Assertive is stating your need in a respectful way that takes into account others needs as well as your own.

 

We want to be able to express our needs and get them met in an Assertive way, not an Aggressive way.   

 A.N.T.’s running around in our head tend to fuel aggression.

When we try to get our needs met in an Aggressive manner, it shuts other people’s hearts down.

Most people have a natural desire to please the other person they are in a relationship with. But when we ORDER someone around in an Aggressive manner, it shuts DOWN that natural desire.

It’s FUN to do nice things for people we care about. It’s NOT fun when they expect it of you and order you to do it in a bossy way.

What we are learning to do is challenge our Automatic Negative Thoughts that have got us in trouble in the past and change it into Purposeful Thinking. Purposeful thinking allows us to express our needs, but do it in a way that takes our partner’s needs into account too.

 

CHOOSE your thoughts wisely–they will choose your future!

Your brain is going to think about SOMETHING. Make sure your thoughts are positive!

 

Here are some more Automatic Thoughts that can get us into trouble.

1.Overgeneralization:

Coming to a conclusion based on a single event.

2.Filtering:

Concentrating on the negatives while ignoring the positives.

3.All or Nothing Thinking:

“Either we can have the wedding in June or we can’t ever get married.”

4.Personalizing:

“The only reason she made Pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving is because she knows I hate it”

5.Catastrophising:

“I got a flat tire. Now I’m going to lose my job and get evicted and be homeless the rest of my life.” 

6.Mind Reading:

“Obviously your mom didn’t like me. She probably thinks my old car means that I’m poor.”

7.Should Statements:

“You should be getting up at 5am like I do.”

 

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR THOUGHTS and exterminate those A.N.T.’s!

503

Example: I lost my job and I thought…”I will never be able to keep a job again, I’m so worthless” (Catastrophizing) and I replaced it with ”It’s only one job, there are thousands of other possible places to work, I’m a hard worker and I will get something else.”

A.N.T.’s will drive a wedge between you and your partner if you do not quickly exterminate them and replace them with positive helpful thoughts!

Work together as a couple to squash and REPLACE these A.N.T.’s:

–They did that on purpose just to make me mad

–I’m so sick of this messy house

–I’m the only one who ever cooks dinner around here they would starve without me

–I’m probably going to lose my job

–These kids are driving me insane

–We’re gonna go broke at this rate

–She wouldn’t be doing that if she cared anything about me

–He is never this late he probably stayed late to talk to his new secretary

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