Marriage looks wonderfully endearing to the single individual who has never married, and probably to the divorced person who hankers for anything to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for nearly all of us is really a hard perform at times. (And I can say this even as a representative of my wife!). We carry so much of ourselves into our marriages – which is the two a good and a bad factor.
We bring in expectations of getting ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not invest as well significantly income, not seek out to management us, that they will want to spend time with us. We also carry in expectations of what our partners ought to carry to us: their virtues of diligence and moderation and sanctity and kindness – to title just 4. We are disappointed when they don’t measure up to our previously unconscious expectations – that have now turn out to be aware due to our encroaching annoyance.
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Shifting the focus from the negative aspects of the conflict to the potential opportunity it presents changes the atmosphere of a marriage. A couple that begins to communicate in this way will be less likely to lash out in conflict and perpetuate negative behaviors. The nature of communication should always be in an effort to understand and move forward.
Here is one principle my wife and I have practiced ever since our courting days. Never go to bed with unresolved conflicts. Even if you have to stay up all night to talk things through, do it if it can restore peace between you both. Then you can both sleep in peace. I know it is not always possible but this is a good practice and you should work towards it as far as possible.
Take some things personally. Sometimes you do need to hear what your spouse has to say. Don’t ignore important feedback your spouse is giving you. Honor Your Commitment – For the majority of us, when we got married, we took vows that said we would stay together through thick and thin, good times and bad, sickness and health, for richer or poorer….and we meant them.
These and other skills that are important to creating a healthy happy marriage are developed through practice. One of the benefits of getting help from a trained marriage counselor is that they have been taught techniques and skills designed to strengthen and repair relationships.
If your partner hasn’t understood your motives or misunderstood what you said, don’t get angry. Explain what you truly mean. Do not judge one another but instead try to understand each other. You must unconditionally love and accept each other no matter what each says to the other. Remember you are trying to resolve conflicts, not win arguments.
Too many spouses in a marriage demand their rights. And when these rights are not given, they get angry and continue to demand to have things their own way. Here is what I advise couples in general.
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Not only you meet your REAL spouse after 5, 10, 15 or more years for the first time, but very often that’s the time when you meet the REAL SELF that you are for the first time! I am simply amazed, when I hear the stories of either successful or failed marriages and how character either built them up or brought them down to destruction.
Sex, You knew it had to be in the list. The lack of sex can result in a lot of contention for married couples. The fact is that sexual preferences are a very personal thing, and many people find that they are simply not as sexually interested as they perhaps assumed prior to marriage. Others unfortunately use the withholding of sex as a weapon against their mate – and this is ugly.
It would be nice to know if there was a simple process or formula you could use to find the right partner. Unfortunately there isn’t, but many people seem to rush into marriage. Avoid the quick marriage problem, but instead wait a few years to tie the knot. Marriage conflict will be less if you have grown together over years and know each other so deeply.
Can you imagine? This woman’s true character was finally showing up at age 52! Amazing! She later admitted to deep feelings of competitiveness with her daughter since she was a teenager. Character is fundamentally crucial to the success of a marriage, the long term negotiation of differences, and marital conflict resolution in marriage.
Having a healthy marital relationship means giving up ego and being resolved to solve your particular conflicts. You have to be committed to staying together and working it out. You also have to be objective and look at your relationship as an outsider, so you can see what the real problems may be.
Our partner can walk out of the room and we can feel a strong fear of rejection or abandonment–even though the intensity makes no sense rationally. We easily interpret our partners through the lenses of past hurts and sensitivities. The biology of the brain, which was designed to keep us alert and alive and safe, also keeps us very sensitive to our Imago Match — our husbands and wives and life partners.
Honour each other’s feelings and needs as valid. If a person feels invalidated and disrespected they are not likely to be open to finding solutions with you. So, listening and allowing your partner to express their feelings. Then repeat to them what you think you heard them say so that they know you have fully understood them. You do not have to agree with their feelings, just respect and validate them.
Where do you go from here? Every attempt at conversation seems to launch in to another round of arguments. Take a deep breath and take a step back from the situation. If you find yourself in a heated discussion or a knock down drag out fight, it’s OK to ask for a time out.
So if your partner criticizes you and you had some history with a critical parent or older brother or sister or teacher, your Old Brain may react emotionally and reactively as though you were once again living with and dealing with that old critic. This can happen even when you consciously know that your partner is different than the old critic and you are now an adult, not a child.
Likewise, you and your spouse each have a “love tank”, and when it is empty, the marriage stops performing. It is therefore imperative to be sure your spouse’s love tank is always full. Keep the romance alive.
Well of course you’ll have conflicts. You are two people coming from two families with two different backgrounds, personalities, interests, life aspirations, expectations, cultures, biases, prejudices (oh yes you do!), political perspectives, religious experiences, spending patterns, and soooo much more.
In every marriage, there will be disagreements. One of the keys to a successful relationship is having the capacity to manage or handle conflicts. Avoiding conflict or being afraid of rocking the marriage boat or keeping peace at any price will hurt a marriage. Sometimes, the ability to monitor and resolve conflict is what makes or breaks a marriage.
Or “How can I turn this conflict into a success?”, you’ll find that your mind always feeds you with an answer. Remember, if you ask a dis-empowering question like this: “How I am supposed to adopt an attitude of hope in the middle of this chaos?” you’re mind will most likely tell you.
Everything involving how money is spent, jobs, children, where you will live and anything that is will be important for the future of the marriage needs to be addressed. Successful businesses always start with a successful business plan, and successful marriages will always start with a successful marriage plan.
It’s important to not leave the time open ended as that can lead to expectations. Expectations should always be avoided as they will typically end in disappointment.
Many times, when the uncooperative spouse sees the effort and change in the other partner, they come around to begin working alongside to restore the relationship. Now, let say you don’t complain. What happens?.
The problem with this, is that we start making assumptions, and that gets us into trouble. We assume they are upset at us for this or that. Or perhaps we assume their bad mood is because of us. The truth of the matter is that not everything is about us, and therefore, we need to step back, and not take everything personally.