I recently discovered the 90/10 principle as stated by Stephen Covey. The principle will change your marriage for the better, or at least the way you react to situations or problems 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 happens to us. The other 90% is different. You determine this 90%. How?… For your reaction.
Don’t let people fool you. You can control how you react. Now, speaking of your marriage. There are many problems that will arise in your marriage. Perhaps problems are already happening in your marriage, such problems may include arguments, communication, sex, infidelity, parenting, smoking, drinking, bad habits, trust, etc. How do you react to these problems when they arise?
Do you scold harshly? Do you yell at your spouse? Do you cut your spouse down before you can finish complaining? Do you usually swim? Do you suck at things? Do you just walk away? Do you keep quiet no matter what happens? do you apologize? Do you show understanding, love? Do you listen patiently? Do you explain with love and honor? Do you complain without intimidation or disgust in your voice? Do you display an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude? Do you change positively after complaint? Do we accept apologies or do we continue to hesitate?… These are all reactions to issues that arose after our marriage.
10% of what happened to us has already happened, we can’t do anything about it. Take the case of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren. Woods has cheated on his marriage, the deed is done. He accepts that he made them. Elin can’t stop it from happening. However, the things that might happen after this, Elin can control (The 90%).
Millions of people around the world are suffering in their marriage from undeserved or avoidable stress, trials, problems, heartaches, tension, sleepless nights and headaches. We should all understand and try to apply the 90/10 principle. This can change your life.
Elin is able to accept Tiger Woods’ apology and walk away and support her husband to get through this period. Her marriage will be better for it. She might as well scrap the apology and file for divorce. The Judge will understand and grant the divorce and custody of her son. Of course, a few years later, she will remarry. But there is no certainty that the man will not deceive her either.
The two decisions are different reactions and will have different endings. Just because of how he reacted, the result would be different. It only takes willpower to give us permission to do the experience. Absolutely everything we do or say comes back to us. It’s like a boomerang. If we want to receive, we must first learn to give… We may end up empty-handed, but our hearts will be filled with LOVE.