“I do 10 things right, but I only hear about the one thing I did wrong.”
I’ve developed a reputation for understanding men and what they need in their marriages. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a husband say the line above.
They feel defeated, as if all their efforts amount to nothing. Gradually, they start losing interest in doing all the “right” things. Then, inevitably, the connection between the partners weakens, and tension, distance, or fighting becomes the norm.
This is a dangerous place for a couple. Like an unattended wound, connection hemorrhages from the relationship. If this is not stopped, the couple will grow completely apart.
If you’re a woman, and you’re guilty of focusing on that one little thing that upsets you about your man, please don’t feel I’m placing the blame all on you. But I do want to wake you up.
Because if you understand what I’m about to tell you, you’ll know the secret to getting what you really want in your marriage.
Yes, you can find yourself waking up in a marriage that’s more connected, more passionate, and more in tune than you’ve ever experienced.
You can be so in sync with your partner that all those things that used to bother you don’t even annoy you even more.
It all starts with understanding what’s driving your complaints in the first place.
See, underneath every complaint is a desire for something different.
For instance, there is always a desire behind nit picking. If he forgot to stop at the supermarket on the way home, perhaps there is another desire there—that he not work so late and spend time with you.
If the two of you had more date nights together, him forgetting to pick up groceries may not bother you so much. But because you’re feeling a lack of connection, the grocery incident triggers this. And then it does exactly the opposite of what you want, which is to get closer.
Remember what it was like when the two of you first fell in love?
You both had an abundance of positive feelings for each other. The little things never bothered you. You stayed focused on all that was right about your partner. If something was a little off, you chalked it up to being human. Everybody’s got something!
Criticism and complaining are universally absent from courtship. If the two of you had harped on each other about negative things, you probably wouldn’t have gotten together.
That’s why, if you’re tempted to complain about something now, look to the courtship stage and ask yourself if you would have brought it up then. Chances are you would have turned your attention to all the things he was doing right.
And yes, I understand that maybe HE’S not keeping up his end of the bargain. Maybe he has slacked off and not done all those little things that made you fall in love with him in the first place.
Here’s where you have to be smart.
Isn’t P.M.S. the dreaded “time of the month”?
In this case, P.M.S. stands for positive, measurable, and specific.
This is your new code for how to ask your husband for what you want without him feeling like he does nothing right.
P.M.S. is right in line with my teaching that the way to eliminate negatives is with positives. In other words:
For example, “Quit ignoring me” is not only a complaint that creates even more distance in your relationship, it’s also open to interpretation.
“Quit ignoring me” means different things to different people.
You need to be more specific in order for your partner to know how to do it right.
So, it would look like this:
“Please check in by text with me once a day.”
This is positive, measurable, and specific. You’re telling him what you want him to do instead of complaining about what he doesn’t do, and you’re doing it in a way that leaves no guessing.
I’ve had so many couples come to me in a really tough spot and they have had such a hard time staying positive.
They would try to be positive, but then inevitably bring in a “but”:
“Oh, you did a great job on your mom’s birthday, but if you’d only remember to…”
Or they’d give a compliment and then say, “If you’d only do it more often.”
Again, you’d never think to say these things during the infatuation stage. But as you’ve settled into your relationship, you’ve both become more careless. And this only leads to disconnection.
I help couples recapture the magic of the early stages while building the skills that result in long-lasting love. In my program, Wake Up In A New Marriage, you’ll learn the same methods at home, including how to ask for what you want and need from your partner in a way that doesn’t create needless friction or distance.
These communication skills are important, because without them, talking can actually make things worse. This is why you can feel so drained and disconnected after trying to talk through an issue together—or why your partner keeps doing that thing you don’t like even though you’ve mentioned it a hundred times!
In fact, what you DON’T say is just as important in creating positive feelings. That’s why throughout the program I’ll teach you exercises you can do using only your body language, as well as a skin-on-skin routine that will jump-start and sustain the flow of good feelings between you throughout the day.
You’ll also learn how to create a positive climate in your relationship through conversation prompts that allow you both to feel loved and appreciated—the way each of you wants to be loved!
Everyone has their own unique way they feel loved. What’s important to you may not be so to your partner, which is why it may surprise you when your partner reacts to something you said or did.
When you take the time to get to know your partner’s own “love language,” and vice versa, each of you can be sure you’re being the best lover to your partner you can be.
If all this seems like too much work, consider how much more work goes into a disconnected relationship—the tension, the weariness, the constant complaining—to each other and other people.
Couples I’ve worked with get tears in their eyes when they talk about how their efforts have been worth it in order to get a better relationship:Fall In Love Again For Life
Getting what you both want in your marriage is so much easier when you recognize you both want positive acceptance and deeper connection.
May you have an extraordinary day,
P.S. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love takes science, skills, and stories—and you’ll find them all in this program.
You’ll also get specific tips for approaching your partner with delicate topics so they don’t feel ambushed—and so that you actually get the outcome you’re hoping for.The Science And Skill Of Staying Together