Your Marriage Is Broken. What Next?
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Regular readers will know that this blog doesn’t focus on just one thing. It covers a wide variety of topics, because we human beings have an equally wide variety of interests.
In light of that fact, I share the following.
The 7 Secrets of Fixing Your Marriage
By Mort Fertel
Author & Founder of “The Marriage Fitness Program”
SECRET 1: PUT YOUR PROBLEMS ASIDE
My wife and I started out deeply in love. I remember staying up all night talking, surprising each other with thoughtful gifts, and speaking to each other in code words. You know the feeling of really being connected? That was us.
But then something happened that destroys most marriages. We had a son who died when he was just one week old. And then we had twin daughters, who also died as newborns.
Understandably, my wife became depressed. I coped by immersing myself in work. We ran from each other emotionally.
Your situation probably was not so tragic, but something happened. What was it? How did you lose each other? Or maybe you can’t put your finger on why things aren’t the same anymore. That’s common too.
For us, after losing 3 children, everything felt different. Instead of talking all night, it was a chore to talk for a few minutes. Instead of using our code words, we used curse words. Our relationship consisted of screaming matches and silent treatments.
Somewhere deep in our heart though, like you, we knew we didn’t want to lose each other. So we made a commitment to work on our marriage. Sometimes I tried and my wife didn’t. Sometimes my wife tried and I didn’t. Sometimes we tried together. We went through different stages of “trying.”
What did we try?
We tried the obligatory, “Honey, let me repeat what you said to make sure I understood you correctly.” We applied conflict resolution strategies. My wife learned about Mars and I learned about Venus. We even went to counseling to wrestle with our problems. But guess what. Nothing changed. Nothing worked.
Because all the advice we got (books, counselors…whatever) asked us to confront our problems. But that just made us feel worse. And fight more.
As long as the “right” way wasn’t working, why not be dysfunctional? So we tried to convince each other of our way. You tried that too, right? Obviously, that doesn’t work.
Finally, we had a breakthrough.
We decided to SET ASIDE OUR PROBLEMS. We didn’t talk about them at all. We didn’t bring them up even once. Instead, we put our energy into trying to connect. We used certain relationship techniques that transformed our marriage. Not only did we resolve our differences; we fell in love again! And we did it not by dealing with our problems (as serious as they were), but by establishing new relationship habits that brought positive energy to our marriage
This is the solution to most marital situations – to STEP AWAY from your problems and spend your time and energy building your relationship through positive actions.
It’s counter-intuitive, but if you do this RIGHT, your problems will dissipate, the threat of divorce will go away, and the other people invading your marriage will become irrelevant. Slowly but surely you will come closer together again.
Before you deal with your problems, you first have to build good will with your spouse. And this is doable even in the most difficult marital situations. If your marriage is stressed, do NOT tackle your problems. Stop talking about the affair, the attention you’re not getting, or whatever. If your timing is off, trying to solve your problems will damage your marriage and make it LESS LIKELY that you’ll ever find resolution. The key is NOT to fix what’s wrong. The key is to make new things right.
From The Marriage Fitness Program
NEXT WEEK: SECRET #2