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My husband and I had couples therapy today. It was a really good session. Some new insight, some good reminders. One thing I really appreciate about our therapist is that she calls us out on our crap. Today, she reiterated to my husband that his affair was not acceptable. Not justified in any way. What he did was wrong. End of story. She urged him to work with a therapist on his own (as I do) to continue to work through his issues. She stated that his affair wasn’t just fueled by his dissatisfaction with our marriage. Its deeper than that. There is a reason that he made the choice to go there. There’s a reason he let go. There’s a reason he took her number, called her, continued a friendship with her, invited her to SFO, had sex with her and kept it all a secret. And he needs to find out what that is – and how to change so he doesn’t make more bad choices. I have believed this to be true for months . Our good friend made the same comment in September, that his affair is bigger than just us. Its validating to hear this from our therapist. Its also putting us on a better path to healing – as individuals and as a couple.

We talked about many things, in addition to him needing to dig deeper into his own “stuff”. Another topic was about “what if”. Normally the what ifs are fear based. The what if we talked about was, What if we only focused – and verbalized – the positive. So instead of telling our significant other what they did wrong, we only tell them what they did right. How amazing would that feel to be on the receiving end? How much could that change your daily outlook? How great would your kids feel if you practiced this behavior with them? What impact would that have on your family? What if your boss did that? The possibilities are endless.

Starting today, I am challenging myself to focus on -and verbalize- only the positive, for 3 days. I’m starting small, but I bet the 3 days will be life changing. Not only for those around me – but for me. Does this mean that people get to take advantage of me?  That I have to accept being disrespected or mistreated? NO! But for 3 days, I’m going to try my hardest to look at life from a positive lens. What is good? What is positive? Instead of the sky being partly cloudy – its now partly sunny. Its a slight mind shift. Instead of focusing on the dirty dishes that are left after my husband makes a meal, its focusing on the fact that he made a meal –  and then verbalizing my gratitude for what he did that pleased me and leaving out the part about the dirty dishes. Its verbalizing my appreciation for him doing laundry, even if its not folded the way I like or put away – or something shrunk in the dryer. Its how I want to be treated. So why can’t I show that to others? I need to be the change I want to see in others. I can’t be negative and expect positivity from others. Its just not how the real world works.

The end result of this mind shift is having a more positive outlook on life in general. It should help me to not get caught up in the little things. It should simply make me a happier person. A person that others want to be around. A person that I am proud of. I don’t like the negative person I became, who only saw the bad. The person that saw life through a negative lens. I’m the only one with the power to change that for myself.

You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.