Marriage looks wonderfully endearing to the single particular person who has in no way married, and maybe to the divorced individual who hankers for anything to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for virtually all of us is fairly a tough operate at instances. (And I can say this even as a representative of my wife!). We carry so a lot of ourselves into our marriages – which is both a good and a negative thing.
We bring in expectations of becoming ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not spend too much income, not look for to control us, that they will want to devote time with us. We also carry in expectations of what our partners should bring 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 become aware due to our encroaching annoyance.
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You would not consciously think and choose to do these things; they would all immediately and automatically happen because the hindbrain kicked into activity and went to work to make sure you survive.
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.”
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.
Accept that nobody is perfect. Overcoming marriage problem is not easy if you and your spouse are blaming each other. Realize that nobody is perfect and people commit mistakes including your spouse. Even if you want everything to be perfect, you and your spouse will not always do the right thing. Mistakes are always part of life and how you learn or recover from those mistakes is all that matters.
You never know, they might feel as bad as you do and in an instant you made a positive difference in their day. Imagine the possibilities. Look for a way to positively change your day and the lives of those around you every day. Marriage is a big leap of faith yet with proper care and understanding it is possible to build a marriage that will withstand the test of time.
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.
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If your partner hasn’t understood your motives or misunderstood what you said, don’t get angry. Explain what you truly mean. Do not judge one another but instead try to understand each other. You must unconditionally love and accept each other no matter what each says to the other. Remember you are trying to resolve conflicts, not win arguments.
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.
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.
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.
The reason so many people fail at marriage and in their attempts at marriage renewal is NOT that they don’t like their spouse. It’s that they don’t like THEMSELVES. And while everyone else in their life, or in an extra-marital affair is like a mirror reflecting their PERSONALITY.
Three Brains and a Partner, One of the most important aspects of the human experience that couples are wise to fully understand is how brain physiology impacts intimate, committed relationships. I see this as a core piece of information that will help you make sense out of what is often both distressing and confusing to married people.
The following are some of the most common relational aspects that serve as catalysts to stir up the fires of conflict. Money – This is clearly a necessity that is not limitless. Not having enough cash – or not agreeing on how to budget your finances is the single most common topic of marital strife.
If you think you are a nobody you will behave as a nobody; if you believe you are somebody, you will behave as a somebody. When your self esteem and self image is strong and you see yourself as a unique and special person, you will not be easily offended and angered. You build this by reading, reading and reading self improvement books.
Expectations on our partners may possibly be effortlessly reversed as we seek out to realize God’s expectations of us in the marriage. God might assume us to realize our partners’ expectations – and not merely to know them (notwithstanding how peculiar they might be to us) – but to wrestle with our personal potential, want and capability to meet their expectations.
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.
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.
The 90/10 Principle, This is why we talk about the 90/10 principle of relationships. Ninety percent of the upset, hurt, emotion and reactivity we experience in our marriage is actually related to our history. Only ten percent is related to the present event. Some theorists even argue that 100 percent of “reactivity” is related to the past.
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.
The Mid-Brain (The Mammalian Brain), The second brain, like it or not, is similar to mammals. This is the part of our brain that mediates or controls emotion. We generally do not think of snakes or lizards as having emotion, but mammals (dogs, cats, etc.) experience what we call emotion. They can be afraid, angry, loving, happy, etc. Humans have a wide and rich range of emotion.
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!”.
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.”
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?”