The Secret to Transforming your Relationship: Take control!
Do you believe how you think affects results? What if I were to tell you that what separates the first
place athlete and the rest is how the winner thinks? You most likely would agree – after all, the power of
positive thinking is a popular idea in our world today.
This thought watching isn’t just for your next foot race, although that will help you. This message is
for you about your relationship.
Question for you: When you are dealing with a challenge in your relationship, do you feel that you have
control over the outcome? Or do you believe that you are simply at the mercy of how your spouse
If you think the outcome of your marriage/relationship is dependent on the other, you might be dealing
with an external locus of control. This means that you believe you have little influence on what happens
Your mind is a powerful tool. It’s like Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think
you can’t–you’re right.”
Internal locus of control means that you believe that your own actions have an impact on your life. This
is an important aspect for people who master their psychology. People who think they have more
control in their life are tougher in the category “Control” (one of the 4 C’s of mental toughness). More
sensitive people may not believe that they have what it takes to make a difference. They believe things
happen to them and tend to blame outside factors for preventing success.
If you want to harness the power available to you when you change your locus of control, try these
1. Take responsibility for what is happening. The next time you and your spouse have a
disagreement, fill in this statement: “This happened because I….” Try to come up with a few
answers. When I am working with a struggling couple, I ask them to play a game. I say: I want
you to take turns telling each other this statement, “I am to blame for what happened
because….” It is a powerful tool that helps you discover how you can alter the dynamics in the
future (example: I am to blame because I was just trying to prove my point).
2. Change your mind. This strategy refers to the beliefs that you have about your relationship. You
probably tell yourself a story about what will happen if you try to bring something up. You may
not even know what the story in your head is telling you, so the first step is to identify it. Maybe
you say to yourself: “Don’t even try to bring that up. It won’t go well,” or you say, “he doesn’t
care.” Either way, change the story. Try something different. You won’t master your psychology
if you keep doing the same exercise.
3. Try something new. After observing your thoughts and taking some responsibility, it’s time to
try something new. After the next moment of tension, try telling your spouse what you did
wrong or try doing something nice. It’s amazing how much influence appreciation has on a
If you think you have a great relationship, you do!