Marriage looks wonderfully endearing to the single man or woman who has never married, and perhaps to the divorced man or woman who hankers for some thing to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for almost all of us is fairly 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 the two a very good and a negative point.
We bring in expectations of becoming ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not devote too much cash, not look for to handle us, that they will want to invest time with us. We also bring in expectations of what our partners must bring to us: their virtues of diligence and moderation and sanctity and kindness – to identify just four. 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.
Therapy For Relationships
Balthasar Gracian wrote in his 17th century manual on success, The Art of Worldly Wisdom, as follows: “You are as much a real person as you are deep. As with the depths of a diamond, the interior is twice as important as the surface. There are people who are all facade, like a house left unfinished when the funds run out. They have the entrance of a palace but the inner rooms of a cottage.”
There are basically two reactions towards anything that displeases a person. Some people blow up. They may shout, scream, rant or rave and after they have done so, they cool down and return to normal. Others on the other hand, keep their anger or bitterness inside them by clamming up. They may display their displeasure in their faces or body language but they would not vocalize it or act on it there and then.
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.
Make the decision, with your spouse, to be committed to the relationship not matter what. Be Loving and Kind To One Another – You are a team now. The two became one. It is about two people, you AND me, rather than you VERSUS me. If you can remember that you two are a team, and that teammates work together, you will handle things differently. Remember, there is no “I” in “TEAM.”
There are usually two types of responses to conflict, fight or flight. But a third response is possible and it is the only proper response to bring resolution to your problems. I’ll talk about FIGHT first.
This partly explains why suddenly with our life partner, we can feel an intensity of feeling powerless, fearful, helpless even though we intellectually know we are not powerless and helpless. The “Timeless” Old Brain The second thing that is important to know about the Old Brain is that is has no concept of time. It knows nothing about years, decades, and schedules. It lives in the “eternal now.”
Stop Divorce Prayers
Nikki told me during a marriage conflict intervention, “The person my husband Mike now calls a “bitch” was never like that ten years ago.” “How would you describe the Nikki of ten years ago?” I asked her. “Sweet, pleasant, romantic, willing to go the extra mile, considerate and kind,” she said.
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.
In this series of articles, I’d like to share with you principles for handling any conflict. Here’s the first principle for dealing with any conflict. You’ve got to be honest with each other in a marriage.
Marriage isn’t easy, and after the first few years of initial bliss, conflicts will inevitably arise. This is normal. But how do you know when your marriage has reached the point of being in danger? Some important clues are things like substance abuse.
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.
Even in the field of psychotherapy where the goal is often to understand and gain some control in regards to emotion, this is outside our choiceful or volitional control. We can learn to manage and understand and learn from our emotions; we cannot control them directly. Our Mid-Brain (the mammalian brain) is in charge of that.
One of the most often asked questions I face in dealing with marital conflict is: “Why did things change so much since I married?” or “This is not the same person I met!” or worst yet… “I was deceived… I met person A and now I come to find out I am living with person B!”.
Begin with these seven steps and you will be on your way quickly to resolve your conflict. If your marriage is struggling, and you find yourself dealing with conflict-resolving issues with your spouse, you may be wondering if divorce is the only option left. After all, the loving feelings you once shared with your spouse seem to have disappeared and all that is left is unhappiness.
If your marriage is at this point, it is time to make some changes. Here is a question, Why is it that we act the worst towards those we love the most?. It is a problem most of us have, and yet it is so counter-intuitive. We should be the kindest to those we love. Well in a marriage relationship, there are 3 rules you should be following on a daily basis.
Marriage saving secrets are available to any couple who wants to have a long lasting marriage free from the problems prevalent in our society today. The life blood of any marriage depends on each partner’s ability to care, to feel attachment, to love, develop intimacy, express emotion and to commit to resolving marriage conflicts without any feeling of conquest.
Another obstacle to counseling success is when one of the spouses has some sort of a drug or alcohol problem, and is unwilling to change. In fact, a general unwillingness to accept any responsibility for problems in the relationship will make it very difficult for a counselor to help.
It is the part of our brain that controls our automatic functions (keeps our heart beating, controls breathing, pumps adrenalin when needed, etc.). The hindbrain is constantly alert to possible danger and when danger is perceived, it takes over. For instance, if you were to hear a sudden, loud, noise, you would have what is called a “startle” response.
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.
Communicate, communicate, communicate, Don’t make your spouse have to be a mind reader. As in business and among friends, poor communication (usually the lack of communication) is commonly the cause of many conflicts in personal relationships. Talk with your spouse and then talk again. Intimacy by communication is highly valued by wives.
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.