Old Habits

old habits and routines in marriage

Breaking old habits is hard to do. This is true in marriage also.

As you start to settle into your new marriage, old habits start to surface and creep into your new relationship.

Here are some ways to help you prevent these old habits and routines from interfering with your remarriage

Make a list. Check it twice.

Take a sheet of paper and divide it vertically into three. Mark the first column "good", the second, "bad" and the third, "don't know". Write down the good habits you have in the first column. Things like neatness, punctuality, cleanliness for example. In the second list you bad habits and if you aren't sure or if the habit doesn't fit into good or bad, then add it to the third column.

Take note of whether the first two columns are very unbalanced. If the first column has many more items than the second, do you have a realistic view of yourself? Ask your close friends to comment or check with your friends if a few of your items on the good list are viewed in a positive way by them.

If your bad list is much longer than your good list, do you have low self esteem? Check with others to see if your view is realistic. If it is, why have you developed so many bad habits and most importantly, what are you going to do about them?

Prioritize the list

Prioritize the list yourself or better yet have your spouse prioritize it for you. Even better yet, have your spouse join in on the exercise. Pick one thing you will work on for 1 month. Rather than focus on fixing a bad habit, what you want to do is create a new good habit. Having your spouse involved will help give you some support. Set up a reward scheme. For example, you tidy up the bathroom each day and at the end of the week, you buy something nice for yourself.

Bad habits can damage a relationship

A bad habit may seem minor but it can really damage a relationship. If something you are doing is affecting your spouse and they have brought it to your attention and you do nothing, think how that makes them feel. Besides the annoying factor, it makes your spouse feel that you are not listening to them and that you are not taking notice of their feelings. What follows can be nagging or finding that this complaint comes up every time you have an argument. It chips away at the quality of your relationship.

Second marriages can be different

Remember that you are with a new spouse. What will have annoyed your old spouse will likely not be the same as what annoys your new spouse. Do not live in the past. Be very careful not to compare your new spouse to your ex spouse even in a positive way. Who would not find being told that they throw their socks on the floor just like the ex to be insulting and damaging.

Lead by example

Do not wait for your spouse to join you or even start the process. You are responsible for your own actions and for improving your life. Changing bad habits will be rewarding for you all in its own right. A feeling of accomplishment and control over your own life comes with making positive changes in your life.