Marriage would seem wonderfully endearing to the single individual who has by no means married, and probably 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 fairly a difficult operate 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 poor thing.
We carry in expectations of being ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not invest also considerably income, not seek out to handle us, that they will want to spend 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 name just four. We are disappointed when they don’t measure up to our previously unconscious expectations – that have now become aware due to our encroaching annoyance.
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Many people are familiar with marriage or relationship counseling where you meet regularly over a period of time with a counselor or therapist. Successful treatment focuses on your relationship rather than on individual issues. With your counselor you identify and dissolve the barriers to resolving your conflicts.
How does that affect us? It basically sets our expectations about what our marriages should be like and if they are not, then, divorce is inevitable. Which is a completely false expectation and will only set us up for failure.
Welcome to the real world of marriage and long term relationships. Peter Devries (Editor, Novelist, Satirist and Linguist, 1910-1993), said: “The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but we must live with a character.” Greatest truth said about marriage, and what it takes to make marriage a life long time endeavor.
Good Communication: Couples who must succeed in marriage must possess the ability to go beyond mere daily information. There must be some deep form of communication in which feelings and emotions must be communicated. It must be fun to them to sometimes sit out, relax and just talk about themselves.
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.
The Old Brain and Danger, When the Old Brain perceives risk or danger, pain or frustration, it knows how to do five general strategies. The Old Brain knows how to hide. How do you hide in relationships?.
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Fidelity: Unfaithfulness in marriage is one of the reasons why most marriages fail. It only takes a unique person to forgive and forget when it comes to extra marital affairs. The true character of that person is simply showing up for the first time.
Benefits of relationship counseling include the privacy of the counseling session, a focus on your specific relationship needs, and flexibility in scheduling appointments. Outstanding alternatives or additions to counseling are relationship psychoeducation workshops for couples.
While you’re in discussion with your spouse, share the little things in your daily life that can make you upset. It could be a disorganized room, smelly kitchen or bathroom, clothes lying on the floor or car keys not put in the proper place. Admit it or not, any of these can happen in your home but if you know that they can upset your partner, you will make sure that your abode is kept neat and clean every day.
When you flip that calendar over at the beginning of each month, and you start to schedule out your “To Do’s” for the month, make reserving a “Date Night” with your spouse the first item to be scheduled. Stay committed to at least one “Date Night” per month.
What’s the difference between good marriages and bad marriages? Several ways you could answer that, but one thing it’s not. It is not that bad marriages have a lot of conflicts while good marriages are fortunate enough to never have any. After thirty years of marriage, I can tell you that all marriages have conflicts.
The Big Six are the areas of communication, money, sex, children, in-laws and religion. Perhaps we should call it the Big Seven, and add the all important issue of who gets to hold the TV remote control. No kidding, I’ve actually had couples fighting over this issue. I’ve even had them fighting over the age old issue of how to hang the toilet paper roll, over or under.
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.
Prevention is always better than cure. Preempt an argument wherever possible. Learn what rubs your partner the wrong way, what his or her pet peeves are and avoid these like the plague. Integrity is a must in conflict resolution.
We have “built in” needs; needs with which we are born. These include air, water, food, and shelter. Other built in needs we have are for physical closeness and emotional openness; what we call “bonding.” Without the skills to confide openly and honestly, listen empathetically, and solve problems effectively in an environment of good will and trust, we are unable to bond successfully.
All of those are great questions, but ones that can’t be answered easily. However, if you wait to marry until you know each other better you can avoid a divorce. Marriage conflicts that are experienced when you are only a couple who is engaged can be taken on differently. You won’t need to worry about the stigma of divorce hanging over your head.
Timing is crucial for saving a marriage. Yet, action without accuracy can easily lead to wasted effort or an unwanted result. Are you a romantic candidate who is asking the question, “Exactly what should I do about saving my marriage?”
Look carefully at your role in the conflict. So often we will convince ourselves that it is the other person’s fault. We console and justify to ourselves that the conflict is 90 percent “their” fault. Begin by taking responsibility for the 10 percent of fault that is yours.
Ideally, when a marriage faces a challenge, both husband and wife learn, grow, and if necessary admit faults & makes corrections. As a result the marriage bond tightens. The couple is more confident in their relationship. Since their marital conflict didn’t destroy them, they are more assured that when future challenges come, they can work through those too.
Recall any event in your life that was extraordinary and exciting. Whatever it was it didn’t spontaneously happen all at once. There were more than likely a number of related events that lead to those times. Nurturing and developing a relationship to bring it to fruition, possibly failed relationships where lessons were learned that made the next one better.
The Enemy of Conflict Resolution?. The enemy of conflict resolution is pride. Pride blocks the path towards admitting your own wrong, asking for forgiveness from your partner and taking the first step towards reconciliation.