I can teach you how to completely change your marriage by the end of this message.
That may seem like a wildly unbelievable claim.
You may think I need to get to know your particular situation. Ideally, you want to spend a few hours telling me the details of your story—the history between you and your partner, and all the twists and turns that got you to where you are now.
Particularly, you want me to know exactly what your partner says and does—or doesn’t say and do—that has brought you so much frustration, pain, and even despair.
You want to tell me the ins and outs of what you’re fighting about, particularly the stubborn issues that just won’t go away.
But I don’t need to know any of these details to give you one piece of advice that can get your relationship unstuck.
Picture a big white space with one tiny black dot in the middle.
That big white space is your relationship.
The tiny black dot is your problems.
Now wait, you might want to close this message. You don’t think your problems are tiny. In fact, they’re substantial. They keep you up at night. They keep you fighting, maybe even for years. Perhaps they’ve driven you to consider divorce.
But what I’m trying to get at is that most struggling couples are living their whole relationship inside that black dot. So that black dot feels like all there is.
In other words, they’re stuck in the problem and ignoring the solutions—completely ignoring the white space because they’re inside the black dot.
I can tell you this after over 40 years of counseling couples. No matter what the problems are—and no matter how unique your relationship problems may feel to you—I can practically guarantee that you’re stuck in the black dot and not even aware of all the solutions that exist around you.
Men especially can resonate with being stuck in the problem.
They feel defeated by repeating the same conversations with no change.
See, women love to talk about their problems with their girlfriends, and it strengthens their bond to do this.
But it’s not this way for most men, who hear it as one more reason he’s failing.
Instead of feeling more bonded by all the sharing, a man can start to pull away, but it’s not for the reasons a woman might think. When a man withdraws, he’s often trying to protect a woman from his anger which is numbing his feelings of failure. The problem is that if he withdraws too much, it leads to disconnection, which is deadly for a relationship.
Talking about relationship problems can make things worse when there’s no movement toward what can be done about the problem.
Not only does the couple get sucked into negativity, there is the tendency for the man to withdraw to protect himself and his partner.
There’s a much more efficient formula for success.
To get out of this downward spiral (the black dot), conversations about issues should be geared toward solutions (the white space).
Most men naturally want to please a woman. If she reframes her concerns in the form of requests he can carry out, then the man feels possibility and wants to step up to the plate.
“Would you please stop at the grocery store on Mondays on your way home?” is something he can feel confident about doing, as opposed to:
“I’m tired of always being the one to have to keep the household running.”
You may feel you’re short-changing yourself with this type of request, as if he should be explicitly told how much pain and frustration he is causing you.
But think about your ultimate goal. If it’s to be more connected and have more help around the house, this straight-forward request gets you to the kind of relationship you ultimately want to have.
If you’ve been in your relationship for years, you’ve likely developed habitual ways of relating, so this kind of approach may feel very foreign to you. And that’s a good thing! Because when you try something new, you create a very different kind of relationship.
In my program Wake Up In A New Marriage, I’ll teach you better, healthier ways of relating, including a three-step method for reframing complaints so that both of you avoid getting stuck in go-nowhere problems that only create frustration and disconnection.
When couples come to me for therapy, I teach them a solutions-based framework—an approach that is radically different from the stuck-in-the-problem climate the couple has been operating in.
When you’re in the black dot and stuck in the problem, connection just isn’t possible. And connection is what keeps love alive. Once you step into the white space, connection blooms once again and love comes flooding back.
This is what Wake Up In A New Marriage is all about. In 5 hours of video, you’ll learn the same critical communication and connection skills I teach the couples I work with in order to live their relationships in the boundless realm of the white space.
You’ll learn proven techniques for escaping the trap of the black dot so that you move forward toward solutions quickly and can spend more time enjoying your relationship—which is how it’s supposed to be!Feel Excited About Your Relationship Again
Staying stuck in the problem doesn’t feel good for either of you. Step into the realm of solutions, and you open the door to a new relationship.
May you have an extraordinary day,
P.S. Part of Wake Up In A New Marriage is learning when to shut up.
Talking can actually make relationship problems much worse. Conversely, there are specific body-language activities you can do that can increase your connection in a way that will astound both of you. Here’s how:Let Your Bodies Fall In Love