Marriage appears wonderfully endearing to the single individual who has by no means married, and probably to the divorced person who hankers for something to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for nearly all of us is fairly a hard function 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 both a good and a negative factor.
We bring in expectations of being ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not devote as well significantly funds, not seek out to manage 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 name just 4. We are disappointed when they don’t measure up to our previously unconscious expectations – that have now turn out to be conscious due to our encroaching annoyance.
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Finally, marriage conflict will still affect a couple who has put off marriage for several years. But perhaps with the growing up and more time put aside to know each other they will handle the process better.
Working and providing the income may be a way to show your partner that you love them. Some people feel loved when others do things for them, some when they hear it, others when they are touched and yet others when they see it written. Your partner may need to hear it from you.
Practice ahead of time using “I” words as opposed to “you” words. Avoid “you” words as it will always come across as accusatory. Using “I” statements demonstrates your ability to take personal responsibility for your own actions and words.
Think about the good times in your marriage and those times when the marriage were able to survive the difficult trials. If you have survived the previous conflicts in your marriage, you can also survive your current problems in your marriage.
Nobody ever said being married was going to be easy. In fact, marriage can be quite a challenge from day one. It is obvious that the minds of two people in love, are not capable of thinking rationally. For the most part, they are dreamers. And because their thinking is clouded by this thing called love, they get married. Shortly after the marriage, reality sets in.
Finally, the Old Brain knows how to submit. Submitting, interestingly, can be a protective strategy. When a wolf challenges the head of the wolf pack for leadership, there is a terrific fight. Eventually, the losing wolf will roll over on his back an expose his neck to the conquering wolf. The conquering wolf will place his jaws around the submitting wolf’s neck, but won’t kill it.
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You expect your spouse to act or speak a certain way or do something for you or give you what you want or know what to do without you saying it or understand how you feel etc. Let me give you some everyday examples. Suppose after work, you go somewhere with your office colleagues instead of going straight home. You hang out at a favorite place and have a good time.
However, to put this plainly, “it works” and can help you get to the core of marital conflict while resolving problems and removing sources of relationship trouble with well rounded effectiveness plus permanency.
One thing almost no one knows about saving a marriage, is that conflict is good for your relationship. The one lesson I wish I had learned years ago is that conflict is an opportunity. It is one of the few ways to resolve differences, change people’s hearts rather than their circumstances, and bring two people closer together than they were before.
An Important Key Is?, This all-important key to saving your marriage is to discern all areas of unfulfilled expectations that each of you have towards the other. Open the channels of communication. Talk it through, express you thoughts and feelings towards each other. Ask one another what each expects of the other in any given area of your marriage.
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.
What About The Old Brain?, For simplicity’s sake, in this WEB site, we will lump the Hindbrain and the Midbrain together and refer to them as “The Old Brain.” It is “old” not in the sense that it is out of date or not as valuable as the Cortex (The “New Brain”). We actually are wise to learn to deeply respect, value and honor the “Old Brain.”
Your Old Brain, not your New Brain will tend to confuse your Partner with your Parent. The part of your brain that controls your emotion and your “reactivity” is the Mr. Magoo “act alike.” While your New, Rational, Intelligent Brain clearly knows the difference between your Partner and Your Parent, the brain that triggers and mediates your emotions and reactivity and protective impulses constantly mixes them up.
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.
Control you association, You will become like those with whom you associate. If you want to have a super marriage, associate with people who have super marriages, and run away from those who have lousy marriages. You can choose with whom you associate.
However, brace yourself for a shocking surprise, hopefully which will be a pleasant one for you. Typical recommendations and suggestions for the “how do I go about saving my marriage” query includes nice-sounding replies like.
Words alone will not build your marriage. Your actions must show how serious you are about staying in the relationship and whether you are really serious in making a commitment to change and build your marriage.
However, in many circumstances, couples can simply agree to disagree, and move on. They learn to “co-exist” on the issue in question. I know of many couples who have taken this route on various issues and continue to have very strong marriages. What can happen over time, after being given the room to each have their opinion, spouses are able to move into compromise.
How did that conflict start? It started with the unfulfilled expectation of your wife towards you. Now let me speak to the wife. You have a circle of lady friends that you are close to and spend time with. They often have social gatherings and naturally they invite you. You want to participate in these gatherings so that you don’t feel left out.
Even if couples remain in a co-existing position on an issue, they can still have a strong marriage. Conflict in marriage is inevitable. The successful handling of conflict involves a healthy and balanced mix of the skills of compromise, capitulation and co-existing. No matter how you hang the toilet paper.