Marriage seems wonderfully endearing to the single man or woman who has never married, and perhaps to the divorced person who hankers for some thing to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for practically all of us is quite a difficult work 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 very good and a negative factor.
We bring in expectations of becoming ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not invest too a lot funds, not look for to control us, that they will want to devote time with us. We also bring in expectations of what our partners must deliver to us: their virtues of diligence and moderation and sanctity and kindness – to title just four. 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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Their spouse is a mirror reflecting their true CHARACTER. And most people don’t like what they see. Divorce is often found in the backrooms of our characters and the utter dislike of our characters.
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?.
A good therapist can identify specific steps you can take for your individual situation to improve the areas that are weak in your marriage and to further strengthen those that are already working.
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.
For example, if I’m upset with my husband and I emotionally withdraw, he doesn’t have a clue why, but he will recognize my distance and his thoughts will begin to ponder “what’s wrong here?” If he is a peacemaker.
What are the root causes of conflicts, tensions, arguments, misunderstandings, fights and the like between couples? Whatever causes you can think of, they all boil down to only one thing – Unfulfilled Expectations. Why do I say that? Let me explain.
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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.
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.
Most people don’t get married believing that insurmountable conflicts with their spouse are going to arise over the course of their relationships. Consequently, this often means that when issue resulting in conflict do arise, they take couple by surprise and can lead to disillusionment – or worse.
This act of submission saves the wolf’s life and the wolf pack remains intact. We suspect that the reason many people stay in dangerously abusive marriages is this “old brain’s” impulse to submit as a way of surviving. The Old Brain and Safety, When the old brain perceives safety, the parasympathetic system takes over and in safety the old brain knows how to do five things.
Character is the decisions you make when no one hears you. Character is what happens in your mind in a split second! Character is the person you become when you face a crisis or when all things come tumbling down.
If you can learn to do this, you will find that you don’t get upset or angry near as often. Let your spouse be who they are. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with you. So step back, and let things go. Not everything is a personal attack on you.
Seek out a program where you and your spouse have the opportunity to learn and practice concrete skills, under supervision, you can continue to use regularly at home. Both secular and faith-based programs are available. While people sometimes express concern about sharing their problems in the presence of other couples, workshops have their own set of benefits.
Instead, you should understand that happiness in your relationship comes from how you deal with incompatibility. This one essential skill is missing in so many marriages today and thus we are seeing marriages dissolve at an alarming rate. I know this idea is contrary to everything we hear and see around us. So much of the focus in our culture is about people finding compatibility with others.
In every case it was an incremental change over time, the moment of peace, joy and content didn’t simply occur in an instant. To feel better start by feeling better. Again reflect on those positive events when feeling most alive and fulfilled. Does that conjure up positive feelings from the past? Focus on that joy and content, shifting attention away from what isn’t right about the current situation.
In the face of conflict, ask yourself, what is the underlying issue? What lesson should I learn from this conflict? How can this conflict provide me with valuable insight and a better understanding of myself and my partner in order to address it and move forward positively?.
Learning how to turn relationship pain into pleasure, understanding how to maintain relationship health, and gaining insight for how to recognize signs of relapse before their problems worsen again. As with marriage counseling, greater gains are usually made if you choose a program where the focus is on the relationship rather than the individual.
Find solutions where both people get what they want. Compromise can leave people foaming at the mouth because it can mean that they have to sacrifice what they want to accommodate their partner. Be willing to think outside the box and find new ways forward to accommodate each partner’s wishes.
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.
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.
Open communication and a willingness to compromise for the good of the household can negate a lot of these types of conflicts. Of course, there are plenty of additional causes of marital strife that arise based on individual circumstances. Regardless, one of the key components to rectifying marital disputes first determining their source.
The difference is often that in good marriages the couples have found ways to successfully work through their conflicts, while for one reason or another the bad marriages haven’t. It’s sad to me to see a couple enter into a conflict, be unable to resolve it and then decide to bail on the marriage. It’s sad because if the couple were able to work through the issue, I know that they could be stronger than before the conflict.