When you first fell in love with your partner, you probably thought they were perfect for you.
You felt so loved, so supported, so SEEN.
They wanted nothing more than to see you happy, and vice-versa.
So, you made a commitment to each other and looked forward to a long and happy life together.
But since then, maybe things have not been so peachy.
Something has changed, because you have these recurring arguments and conflicts that you didn’t have when your relationship was new.
He’s not proactive about helping out enough around the house, no matter how much you bring it up.
She isn’t being responsible with money, or her career, or her health, and you worry about the future.
He spends all his free time watching TV, sports, or on his hobbies instead of wanting to spend it with you.
She flies off the handle at you and makes everything into a big drama.
He just does his thing or makes major decisions without checking in with you first.
You’ve brought this up with your partner numerous times.
They apologize, get defensive, blame you or tell you “this is just the way I am.”
Things don’t seem to get better, or resolved, no matter how much you talk about it or express your disappointment and anger.
You don’t feel respected or supported in your marriage. In fact, you feel pretty much alone.
Your partner doesn’t seem to want to change or do better, and you’ve become resigned to the fact that this is now your reality.
Nothing will ever change, and your life will be this way forever.
But a new question has started to surface in your mind lately:
What’s really wrong with your marriage?
Is it that you failed to see that you had fallen in love with a person who was brought up differently than you were, and that’s why they don’t want to help out more around the house, or be more frugal with money?
Is it that you were different people when you met, and you’ve both changed?
Maybe you used to love going downtown to try new restaurants, see shows or to go dancing, but now you’re content to stay home and relax, while your partner goes out with friends.
Is it that you’ve stopped being interested in each other? Your partner used to love having long, intimate conversations with you, but barely seems interested in what you have to say anymore.
Is it that passion wanes with time? And that’s why you haven’t touched each other in months?
Is your marriage unhappy because you’ve had to pick your battles for too long, or suppress your own needs and feelings?
If you think any of these kinds of thoughts, chances are, you’re going to be resigned to a life of disappointment and loneliness.
You’ll probably ask yourself why you picked THIS person, or whether it was the right decision to marry them.
You’re either good together, or you’re not.
And no amount of talking, working on it or compromising is going to make things better.
I can see how you might believe that.
But what if I told you that based on my 40+ years of clinical experience as a couple’s counselor and therapist, most likely, you’re incorrect?
When I used to have a private practice, couples would come to me all the time complaining of a myriad of problems. Problems much like the ones I mentioned earlier in this article: Not being helping out enough, not being supportive enough, acting selfish and inconsiderate, being too absent from the marriage, making threats to leave or acting irresponsibly.
Almost all of the couples wanted me to validate them in some way—take sides, in other words, so they could feel they were “right,” and their partner was the one in the “wrong.”
Sometimes they would be so fed up with their partner that they wanted me to agree that it was hopeless, because they probably married the wrong person.
But I couldn’t do that.
I couldn’t do that because what I saw almost each and every time was that what they thought was their problem wasn’t the REAL problem.
They had been focused on the smaller problems that they failed to see the much bigger, broader issue in their relationship.
Whatever the details of their “problem,” the real problem was that there was a fundamental flaw in their “operating system” as a couple.
And NO, it wasn’t that the problems were impossible to fix or that they ended up with the wrong partner.
Because what I knew, from both my clinical experience and from scouring thousands of pages of research on relationships, is that almost ALL problems fall within 5 major areas.
And these are areas, or “systems” that can be addressed and resolved, but not in the usual way that couples were going about it. Not through incessant arguments, talking it to death, stonewalling, criticizing or blaming.
That’s because it’s not about solving the smaller problems, it’s about addressing the flaw in how you and your partner behave, how you organize your relationship, and the underlying assumptions you make about how a relationship should function.
Therefore, the way to get underneath all your problems, and transform your marriage from the inside out is to address the underlying bigger issue, and from that, all your smaller, annoying “problems” will stop destroying your relationship.
Don’t worry, there’s a simple way to do this, and I can show you how.
You’re not doomed to spend the rest of your life with a partner that can’t make you happy, just because you have problems that never get better.
That’s because there’s a way to get a brand-new perspective on what your problems are, and take steps to transform your relationship.
Once you and your partner get that perspective, your entire marriage shifts in a positive direction.
You begin to work together toward common goals, you stopped bickering over the small stuff, and you made choices that are in alignment with the greater vision for their marriage.
I spent my 40+ year career as a clinical practitioner in marriage and family therapy, and I’ve heard many couples say that they thought they had married the wrong person, or that their relationship was broken because their partner had changed.
Once I helped these couples realize that that wasn’t the case, and instead there was a different—but fixable—underlying issue in their marriage, they were very much relieved.
That’s when they realized that instead of going around in circles trying to solve these “symptoms,” all they need to do is address the relationship system to effectively solve this issue.
When couples learn what’s really behind relationship dissatisfaction and conflicts, such as not feeling seen and heard, not getting enough help with household chores, feeling bored or dissatisfied in the relationship, or intense, dramatic fighting, they experience a huge “AHA.”
They finally see WHY what they’ve been doing to solve their problem hasn’t worked.
When they learn what they REALLY need to do instead, they finally have hope that they can create an equitable, fun and supportive relationship that lasts.
But if you can’t see what’s really wrong, it’s nearly impossible to know what to do to fix it. That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost all couples can benefit from these insights and tips.
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Don’t give up on your marriage before you learn everything you can about what’s really wrong, and do everything you can to make it right.
I promise you; you won’t regret it.
May you have an extraordinary day,
P.S.“Date Nights” don’t work.
Have you experienced this? They don’t work to bring you closer long-term. They don’t fix the problems you have in your relationship, and they do nothing to make you feel more alive when you’re back at home together. At least, not unless you know what underlying flaws in your marriage are causing you to even WANT a “date night”.
What works is to find ways to inject more aliveness into your relationship without having to hire a babysitter or reserve a table at an expensive restaurant. I’ll teach you many ways of doing that—don’t wait, sign up now: