Three Lessons That Saved My Marriage
There is nothing more dis-empowering than giving away responsibility for your happiness.
One of the most common laments I hear from clients when they first reach out to me is “I’ve tried everything, nothing has worked.” By the time they are able to vocalize this fear they are pretty much admitting to themselves there is no hope and Divorce or Separation is inevitable.
Some throw the Divorce word around with ambivalence, some are voicing their biggest fear for the first time. My job is to help you ensure that you are making the right decision for you based on all your self knowledge.
I get it, I was there. My journey began by admitting to a very wise friend that my marriage was all but dead, the only thing that was keeping me hanging on was:
- financial fear and money fights which would be yet more fodder on the battlefield;
- my children and a guilt I owed my children a secure two parent family and finally but perhaps most importantly
- I had lost my self confidence in the midst of my unhappy marriage. I fix problems, find solutions and yet with all my best efforts and intentions I hadn’t been able to resolve this one.
On further inspection, I had lost trust in my judgment; it was more than questioning my very ability to make the right decision — after all I truly believed this man was the other half of my whole, he had come into my life to help me become the best version of myself and vice versa. Had I made a monumental error? If so then surely my thinking wasn’t to be trusted.
They say hell is worse, but for me this limbo was unbearable — the coexisting and nothing more, I need connection and limbo didn’t give me that. I was disconnected from my husband and also from any joy of living. What it gave me was a sense of “Is this it?” point scoring, hurts, disappointments, feeling marginalized, disrespected and unloved — I know what my husband felt was defensive, he likened it to living in a war zone where he had no idea the rules of engagement.
Admitting the extent of our unhappiness was an act of surrender, giving up the need to solve the problem is sometimes the turning point in your marriage. When you give up fighting, admit defeat it opens up the opportunity to take a different approach. It is so liberating and empowering you give up trying to change things and just accept how things are. This is where the change can really happen, in you marriage, your life and in your world. It is the one thing you haven’t tried — so before you throw in the towel why not give it a go?
Accept everything just as it is.
Your best efforts haven’t resolved the problem, so why not just accept things as they are. We can’t change people or situations that are not to our liking, but isn’t that exactly what you’ve been trying to doing when you wish that he would love you more, judge you less; she would be more romantic, less controlling. When we focus all out attention on what needs to be changed we have lost sight of the person we fell in love with. They become no more than a series of problems and defects that needed to be corrected and that is exactly what we try to do when when decide that our happiness will be achieved when someone changes.
Easy right? After all that is what we have been trying to do by fixing the relationship. Here is a different approach. You are hurt, angry, upset, how you react is your responsibility. You can’t blame your partner for that. The relationship is merely mirroring you and how you feel about yourself, so instead of blaming lets look within, why am I hurting? What is this behavior making me feel and what can I do about it? I am responsible for my own happiness after all, and no that doesn’t mean you tolerate bad behaviour, but it leads to the question why have I allowed this behaviour to enter my relationship. What can I do about it?
Here is a very simple exercise:
Write down what you don’t like and ask yourself what can I do to change it:
- eg. I would liked to feel more loved — What do I do to show myself love? What do I need to do to love myself more,?
- I’m sick of having my feelings ignored. — When did I last last listen to my body or my emotions?
- I don’t want to be constantly judged — What is the “shitty committee my head telling me? How can I judge myself less?
How empowering is that? We no longer need outside validation to attain happiness. I can let go of the need to change the world, and focus on what I need to change in me.
Willingness to go Inside
Love is an Inside job, I live and work by this. The solution will never be found outside of you, it will take time, love and care to get inside of you and begin the relationship with yourself that you have been trying to mold with your partner.
That love affair you dream of, those happy lazy days sharing and supporting each other begin with you and your love affair with yourself.
Nobody will love you better that you can love you. No one will treat you better than you treat you on the other hand no one will love you less than you love yourself. You see you do have the power to change the world, but only when you are truly willing to build a deep loving connection with you , stand in your power and be in charge of your happiness.
Or to get working immediately, why not download her 5 step worksheet to help identify where you can begin to make changes? Click here: http://eepurl.com/b_6tTb
To get to know Allison join her Facebook Community: Love is an Inside job https://www.facebook.com/groups/Loveisaninsidejob
Originally published at www.yourtango.com on September 27, 2016.