Marriage appears wonderfully endearing to the single individual who has never married, and maybe to the divorced individual who hankers for something to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for practically all of us is very 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 both a good and a bad point.
We carry in expectations of getting ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not invest also a lot money, not seek out to handle us, that they will want to commit 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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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.
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.
This puts a huge strain on your relationship. If this keeps up, you will be faced with a disaster in your marriage. Again, how did that conflict begin?. It started with the unfulfilled expectation of your husband towards you. When one spouse expects something of the other and that expectation is not met, miscommunication occurs.
Be completely honest. Admit wrongs without blame-shifting. Don’t counter accuse by saying, “I admit I was wrong in the first place but you were wrong in the second place also”. Leave out the ‘but’ part.
Everything involving how money is spent, jobs, children, where you will live and anything that is will be important for the future of the marriage needs to be addressed. Successful businesses always start with a successful business plan, and successful marriages will always start with a successful marriage plan.
Over the course of a marriage, or any long term relationship, for that matter, there are times when the best thing to do is try it the other persons way. The capitulating partner comes from a place that basically says, “Our relationship and our happiness is more important to me than this issue. Let’s try it your way.”
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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.
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.
This may involve some major changes to your lifestyle, and saving your marriage may involve you changing jobs, changing neighborhoods, or even changing cities in order to leave your past behind. You must be prepared to do this!.
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.
“You can’t, you might as well give up now!”, remember, keep asking yourself empowering questions, and if you find yourself asking dis-empowering questions, make it a habit to ask three empowering questions in return and in no time, you’ll be setting yourself for success.
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.
Seek professional help. In overcoming marriage problems it is important to get all the help that you can get. Seeking professional help or reading books of experienced therapists and authors can be very helpful. There are people who are trained and experts in dealing with relationship and marriage conflicts.
Is your relationship or marriage on the rocks? Is your job adding stress to your life? Do you miss the times when you came home after a good day at work and you embraced your spouse with childish enthusiasm? Do you want to feel that excitement and joy again with your partner? You can.
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.
There are lots of solutions to save a marriage, but you first have to realize what your particular problems are. Spend some time looking objectively at your marriage and try to come up with a solution to what you see as the real problems. Talk to your spouse about it, too. He or she may have unique ideas for solutions that you may not have considered.
Our education for learning how to communicate and handle relationship problems usually comes from watching our parents. We copy what they do. If our parents did not show us healthy skills for communicating and resolving conflict, we need to look somewhere else to learn these skills for success in our marriages.
His/her character could be the nasty, darkest, most competitive, vengeful part of that person and you never saw it fully displayed until a crisis evolved. Love making, kissing, tenderness, kindness and all the good gestures before the crisis where part of his/her personality. The crisis is, perhaps, the first time when your spouse stands truly, emotionally naked, in front of you for the first time.
If you see that you yourself have made mistakes, correct them, and tell your partner of your new commitment to the relationship. Compromise, “A compromise would surely help the situation.” – 10CC, Compromise is clearly the optimal solution to conflict.
What keeps people in conflict? Too often the conflict has escalated to the point that conflict is the conflict. The trigger point of the disagreement has long been forgotten and suddenly the arguments bring unhealthy elements from the past or projections of future events, neither of which have any bearing on the original underlying issue.
Here’s an example. Suppose I asked my husband to stop at the grocery store on his way home from work to pick up a few groceries. He forgets! I greet him at the door and discover him empty-handed. If fighting were my typical response, I would nag him about forgetting and accuse him of not caring about me. This would be a verbal attack, which is just one way of fighting. This is PEACE BREAKING.
These and other skills that are important to creating a healthy happy marriage are developed through practice. One of the benefits of getting help from a trained marriage counselor is that they have been taught techniques and skills designed to strengthen and repair relationships.
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.
So where can you go to learn these skills? Both marriage counseling and relationship psychoeducation for couples have demonstrated effectiveness. Successful approaches include, learning proven skills for communication and confiding effectively, resolving misunderstanding and conflict productively, healing old relationship wounds permanently and increasing intimacy successfully.