When I see advice for couples in struggling marriages, it often includes things like “make a deposit in their emotional bank account.”
Or “focus on the positive.”
Or “go on a date night.”
Or “get over yourself and only worry about the WE.”
Well that’s all fine and dandy, but they’re not going to save your marriage. Those things are going to nurture a marriage that is a little injured but not one that’s already limping along on its last leg.
Sending my husband an “I love you xxoo” text when I’m boiling with rage inside isn’t going to do jack for my marriage. Subconsciously I’m just going to add it to the list of things I resent him for. This jerk hasn’t lifted a finger for me in weeks and now he gets a little message too like everything is just hunky dory?
This wouldn’t fix my marriage any more than him showing up with a dozen roses would. Thanks, but I’d be just as content buying my own damn flowers.
I remember watching my dad make a big deal out of the roses and cards he gave my mom. I remember watching him draw a big heart on the front of an envelope or three once. I think this was one occasion where flowers were delivered every day for however many years they had been married.
Then… BAM! Divorced shortly after.
Flowers and cards and texts don’t work when the marriage is on its deathbed.
That kind of marriage needs radical change.
That kind of marriage is asking for major growth.
We can only play a role so long before we’re exhausted by it. We can only give everything we’ve got before one day we wake up totally depleted and even our bodies are saying, “No more, man. We can’t do this anymore!!”
Some of us play the empath role. The Who me? Oh, I don’t have needs sweetie. You go ahead and take everything I’ve got, it’s fine. I’m FINE! Everything’s fiiinnnne!! role.
And others play the narcissist role. Those are the Where are all the people that are going to meet my needs? people. The Who here is going to build me up and make me feel awesome today? Is it you? Nope? Fine, I’ll go find someone that will. guys.
And those roles and the dynamic they play together takes months if not YEARS to change.
So how do you change them?
Radical personal growth. Radical self-acceptance. Radical courage to withstand the storm while you change…. The tantrums, the fits, the guilt, the drama that all show up when you learn that you, in fact, do not freaking want to go have a beer at the bar with him tonight. Or you don’t, in fact, want to stay home because he doesn’t feel like going with you to visit your best friend.
You figure out what is true for YOU and your partner slowly adapts while you start DOING it.
And you just keep changing it. You keep accepting and living in the moment, not engaging in the drama, shifting your intention to wanting the marriage to work, and one day, maybe even in one sudden moment, everything clicks.
I like to think of evolution in a long-term relationship like the hour hand on a clock. The minutes slowly tick by as we change from one number to the next, then we click into place and we start anew. It could take several “hours” before your relationship feels GOOD again, or completely changes by dissolving, but you have continued your progression forward. It’s when you take out the batteries and let the hour hand stay stuck because it’s familiar and comfortable that the relationship begins to die as well.
People are constantly evolving and if we stop our forward momentum, our situations will crumble beneath us and force us to move again.
This is true for jobs, homes, and relationships. Life only lets us sit in “comfortable” for so long. Then it’s time to answer the call forward.
Getting you from stuck to damn, I’m happy in this marriage is my job. If you’re ready to feel good about showing your partner love again, book a free consultation today. I have three openings left this week. Just click here.
- How to Live Happily Ever After - June 5, 2023
- 45: Why Creating Marriage Health is Good Parenting - May 28, 2023
- 40: What Men In Failing Marriages Need To Know - March 19, 2023