Do you ever take a step back and really consider what it takes to stay married?
As a coach, I’ve worked with countless couples and individuals to help them make sense of failing partnerships or marriages.
Staying married isn’t always easy.
It’s easy to lose sight of the ‘perfect person’ that we fell madly in love in the early days.
We think that they’ve changed.
We wonder if we’ve changed.
We can wonder if we were ever compatible to start with as we try to sustain what we term a ‘failing relationship’.
No-one ever tells us how to stay married.
No-one ever tells us how to get through the disagreements the frustration or the difficult times.
Being married certainly doesn’t come with instructions.
If we commit to buying a new sound system or laptop, we get instructions. We are told how to deal with potential problems. The manual identifies possible problems and offers solutions. We learn to fix the problems.
If you feel that you are struggling with your marriage, then I’d like to offer you my ‘instruction manual’ based on my experiences working with relationships.
I’ve identified the 7 most common problems within marriages and would like to share with you possible solutions.
Problem 1 -You look at your partner and don’t know why you married them. You believe that you have nothing in common anymore and are wondering if divorce would be less painful.
Solution 1 – Understand that you probably still have a lot in common. You may be so busy focusing on what you don’t have together, that you have forgotten what you had.
Make a list of all of the things that you first loved about your partner.
Remember what you had because it’s probably still there.
Problem 2 – You don’t feel as if your partner knows you anymore.
Solution 2 – Give them the opportunity, space and time to ‘know you’.
Problem 3 – You think that your partner is being obnoxious, callous and insensitive. You cannot understand their opinion in any way shape or form which leaves you questioning your relationship.
Solution 3 – Understand that as human beings we all have individual beliefs and values based on our experiences. What you believe to be true may not what your partner believes to be true. You may both ‘be right’ based on your beliefs. What you see isn’t what your partner sees. What you hear isn’t what your partner hears. What you feel isn’t what your partner feels.
Problem 5 – He/she doesn’t want to be intimate. I don’t feel loved.
Solution 5 – Understand that under daily pressures it’s easy for intimacy to become a chore rather than a pleasure.
It’s also common for couples to ‘deprive’ each other of intimacy if they are experiencing conflict within the relationship.
Problem 6 – “He/she doesn’t enjoy doing what I like doing”.
Solution 6 – Do what you love doing without your partner and allow them the freedom to do the same.
Just because your partner doesn’t like doing something or going somewhere, it doesn’t mean you can’t.
Never be afraid of your own identity and interests.
Find people who enjoy what you enjoy and spend time with them. It is very possible to maintain a loving relationship with your partner and still pursue your own enjoyments.
Choose to want your partner in your life rather than need them.
Problem 7 – “We just don’t have any fun anymore”.
Solution 7 – Have fun. It’s that simple. I’m a huge fan of the quote, “If you want your relationship to never end, do what you did in the beginning and it will never end”. Think back to what you did with your own partner at the beginning of the relationship.
My guess is that you:
Why not make a plan to do all 3 of the above? Ask yourselves:
Create a plan and commit to trying this for at least 2 months. You may be surprised at the results.
Many give up on marriage because the pain becomes so great that they perceive divorce to be less pain.
Why not apply the above solutions to your marriage/partnership to alleviate your pain and possibly experience more pleasure?
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