How to Make Marriage Work Part One
How to Save Your Marriage Part 1
And before you know it, doubt creeps in and you wonder if you and your spouse have a future together.
May I ask you something? Has your love begun to wane — is it less than it once was (please be honest)? Does it seem you and your spouse are heading in different directions?
This next one is really important: How committed are you to doing whatever it takes to restore your marriage? And are you open to receiving relationship advice about how to make things better? If so, then I honor you for taking time to read this article because in this five-part series on how to save your marriage, you will discover how to start turning things around.
A common challenge couples face is that one of them wants to work on their marriage but the other doesn’t. So this five part series focuses on what you can start doing by yourself to improve your relationship.
I want to share a case study of a marriage that was falling apart. Let’s call the couple Jim and Sally.
Sally saw a counselor. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she said, “I’m married to my dream husband but I’m so unhappy and miserable.” She swabbed her eyes with a tissue. “It doesn’t seem we love each other like we used to. All we do is fight. And every day it seems we’re growing more and more distant.” Her heart ached. “I love Jim — I really do — and I want more than anything for this marriage to work. But I’m so angry. And I know my anger is driving him him further away from…me.”
“What is it that makes you so angry?’’ the marriage counselor asked.
Sally sniffed and wiped her nose. “I don’t really know. He doesn’t seem to want to spend time with me anymore. He works so much. And even when he’s home he’s withdrawn. He’s either on the computer, watching TV or in the garage tinkering with something. And everything gets worse when I bring it up — makes him even more distant. So we don’t really talk about anything anymore.”
Sally and Jim are not alone. Thousands of married couples are trapped in marital misery, wondering what happened to the love and intimacy they once shared. Many are unaware that lurking deep beneath the surface are two devastating fears that are the likely culprits for driving them apart.
Rejection is the first major fear. It destabilizes relationships because it causes resentment, emotional withdrawal, physical absence, and/or a judgmental, critical attitude.
Loss of identity is the second major fear. This happens when a spouse feels pressured (real or perceived) by their partner’s expectation to abandon their pursuits and dreams. People experiencing this often talk about how they feel suffocated or swallowed up by the demands of their spouse.
As long as these underlying fears remain unresolved, the couple will react defensively to each other.
Sally’s anger was triggered by a sense of rejection, which made Jim withdraw physically and emotionally because he was afraid of being swallowed up by what he perceived to be Sally’s suffocating demands.
Though reactions differ from couple to couple, the outcome is always a vicious cycle. Defensive behavior in reaction to the fear of rejection or loss of identity, creates downward pressure on the relationship, and the result is a growing distance within the relationship. Both parties feel hurt, and blame each other for their pain. Everyone is left feeling discouraged, trapped, and detached.
Many people flirt with the idea of cheating on their spouse at this point – of looking for a way to meet their needs with someone else. But the “problem” really lies within and is therefore naturally brought into any new relationship that is started.
In the end, cheating only makes the spouse feel worse – much worse – and the real cause of the conflict remains.
Sally later saw that Jim was not the problem — there were other reasons deep within that triggered her fear of rejection — and attacking him only made things worse.
This five-part series contains a powerful process to improve your relationship because you will discover how to create and maintain a place of inner safety and strength as you seek to save your marriage by dealing first with yourself.
So, are you ready for your relationship to be healed? For it to be turned around? Then I invite you to begin applying the marriage advice you will learn in this series because you have waited long enough to enjoy the kind of love with your spouse that satisfies you both completely.