I recently discovered the 90/10 principle as stated by Stephen Covey. The principle will change your marriage for the better or atleast, the way you react to situation or issues in your marriage. According to Covey, 10% of life is made up of what happens to you, while 90% of life is decided by how you react. That is, we really have NO control over 10% of what happen to us. The other 90% is different. You determine this 90%. How?…By your reaction.
Do not let people fool you. You can control how you react. Now, talking about your marriage. There are many issues that will come up in your marriage. Perhaps the issues is already happening in your marriage, such issues may include arguments, communication, sex, infidelity, children upbringing, smoking, drinking, bad habits, trust etc. How do you react to these issues when they come up.
Do you harshly scold? Do you shout at your spouse? Do you cut down on your spouse before he/she could finish complaining? Do you usually nag? Do you suck about things? Do you just walk away? Do you maintain silence no matter what? Do you apologize? Do you show understanding, love? Do you patiently listen? Do you explain with love and honour? Do you complain without intimidation or disgust in your voice? Do you show “I Don’t give a damn” attitude? Do you change positively after a complain? Do accept apologies or continue to doubt?…All these are reactions to issues that after our marriage.
10% of what happened to us has already taken place, we cannot do anything about them. Take the case of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren. Woods has cheated in their marriage, the deed is done. He accepts that he did them. Elin cannot prevent it from happening. However, the things that could happen after this, Elin can control them (The 90%).
Millions of people around the world are suffering in their marriage from undeserved or avoidable stress, trials, problems, heart-breaks, tension, sleepless nights and headaches. We all must understand and try to apply the 90/10 principle. It can change your life.
Elin can accept Tiger Woods’s apology and take back and support her husband to see through this period. Her marriage will be better for it. She could also throw away the apology and file for a divorce. The Judge will understand and grant her divorce and custody of their child. Of course, a few years after, she will re-marry. But there is no assurance that, the man too will not cheat on her.
The two decisions are different reactions and they will have different ending. Just because of how she reacted, the outcome would be different. It only takes willpower to give ourselves permission to make the experience. Absolutely everything we do or say comes back to us. It is like a boomerang. If we want to receive, we need to learn to give first…Maybe we will end with our hands empty, but our hearts will be filled with LOVE.