Marriage appears wonderfully endearing to the single individual who has by no means married, and maybe to the divorced particular person who hankers for anything to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for practically all of us is quite a challenging function at times. (And I can say this even as a representative of my wife!). We carry so significantly of ourselves into our marriages – which is each a very good and a poor factor.
We deliver in expectations of currently being ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not spend too much cash, not seek to control 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 identify just 4. We are disappointed when they don’t measure up to our previously unconscious expectations – that have now grow to be aware due to our encroaching annoyance.
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Armed with this information, prepare yourself to do what needs to be done, with independent willpower and motivational courage. You are sure to become the better person for it as having higher level interpersonal communication and development skills for your relationship can seldom be a waste.
When you are safe with your partner, warmth, playfulness, affection and sexuality tend to emerge naturally. When you are not safe, there is distance, hiding, criticism, fighting, etc. Instead, we tell the other person that they are the ones with the problem thus infuriating and alienating them further in the process.
Expectations on our partners may possibly be effortlessly reversed as we seek out to recognize God’s expectations of us in the marriage. God may possibly anticipate us to understand our partners’ expectations – and not simply to know them (notwithstanding how peculiar they may be to us) – but to wrestle with our very own ability, want and capability to meet their expectations.
Without being unkind, simply tell your loved one that you need a chance to regroup, that you would like to just calm down or reflect on the situation before continuing the discussion with them. Choose your words carefully to diffuse the situation. Be kind, be gracious and agree to a time when you would like to continue your discussion.
But it is “old” in the sense in that it is the more primitive part of our Brain. There are two things every couple should know about the Old Brain. The Mr. Magoo of the Brain Set, First, the Old Brain is the Mr. Magoo of the Brain Set. It has a dimmed, fuzzy impression of the outside world. Like the mostly blind Mr. Magoo, the Old Brain constantly confuses people and events.
None of you should have to give up what is important to you to accommodate the other. Self-sacrifice is a sure way for resentments and rifts to grow and marriage conflict to rear its head. There are now two people with two sets of needs and opinions to be taken into account.
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In the best of all possible worlds, we would be well prepared for handling conflict before we get married. My experience in my office tells me that is just not the case for most couples. Part of the reason for this is there is just so much in a marriage relationship that can cause conflict. I’ve written before about what’s called the Big Six, the six main areas of conflict in marriage.
The Old Brain knows how to mate. The sexual response occurs primarily in a place of safety. The Old Brain knows how to play. The Old Brain knows how to nurture and be affectionate. The Old Brain knows how to work and be creative. The Old Brain knows how to sleep and rest and relax. Every week hundreds of couples go into a therapist’s office and share some version of the following.
When offended, a person may yell, curse, throw things, hit, or any number of reactions that express anger in a violent way. These actions may be strictly verbal, physical, or both. This is PEACE BREAKING.
When you don’t know how to communicate and solve problems as a couple and you have children, they are unable to learn these skills from you. In turn, they grow up not knowing how to have healthy relationships. The result is an inter-generational problem: kids grow up having the same relationship struggles their parents have.
Pride in you will insist on your own way and refuse to compromise on what you want even though it hurts your marriage. Since you have to overcome pride, does that mean that you become completely subservient to your partner and obey his every whim and fancy?
Therefore when something happens “now” that is similar to something that happened years ago as a child, the Old Brain (that controls emotion and reactivity) connects to the prior experience as information about the present event, but does not experience the old experience as “old.” The emotion that was present then is brought into the present experience and we experience the combined emotion of then and now.
So don’t buy into the lie; compatibility is not all that counts in making a happy marriage. A better thing to focus on, and develop are skills for conflict-resolving and communication. This will not only help you in your relationship with your spouse, but in all other relationships as well. And the development and refining of these skills will help to save your marriage from divorce.
And I must say that was the hardest part – deciding that enough is enough, taking that first step. After that everything just snowballed down the hill (it was more like up the hill in my situation).
Marriage is not an easy undertaking, that’s why marriage conflict arises at times. But if you have truly found the right mate for you, it will make your time together more desirable and less marriage conflict will arise. So many people will wonder how do you know it’s the right person.
You’re sure to go through many problems in those years, and how you handle those as a couple can show if you will make a good couple in marriage. Obviously if you fight about those problems and feel like you don’t want to be together, don’t get married. It seems like a simple idea, but one that isn’t taken to heart by many people very often.
Not long ago a mother confided in me (after a number of conversations) that after 32 years of marriage she was actually flipping because she was comparing her daughter’s marriage with hers and she saw her daughter happier than she had herself ever been. She was actually contemplating divorce to find someone that would provide her with what she thought was missing in her life.
Do you wish your marriage felt better to you? Do you have some minor relationship problems you would like to fix? Or maybe you have some problems that feel huge and you are tired of them. Either way, you want less pain and more pleasure in your marriage.
A great marriage is a gift. The gift needs to be nurtured and cared for to survive and thrive. Growing closer through conflict is an opportunity. Grasp it and continue to grow with your partner. Seek the knowledge of those who can help you move in the right direction, especially when you feel you are alone in your efforts.
One day I decided to do something about it. I just could not stand it anymore. I wanted to be happy, enthusiastic, loving, energetic person I once was. And I wanted my partner to smile again, love me again just like when we just met.
Too many people make a choice to stay married, rather than making a decision to stay married, then they find themselves revisiting their choice every time things don’t go their way in a marriage. Make the decision to stay married, and then you don’t have to be revisiting the matter each day.
But marriage lasts too long, the encounters become constant, and in close quarters for anyone to sustain a public persona. Personalities eventually give way to an INNER SELF which is much deeper and stronger.