These days we all know have put us into a situation that we never thought about before now. Experts see a rise in couples counseling after the holidays because there is often a lot of extra days off and so the couples are spending a lot of time together. Be it while traveling or while the in-laws are at your house.
Yet today we are not on holiday we are hunkering down either because our state is forcing us to, or the businesses that we worked at are closed. Either way, suddenly Husband and wife are having to learn how to live life with each other by their sides. According to a news article 1 in 8 couples relationships is against the ropes. Why are the people who swore an oath to have and to hold till death does them part? The answers are not easy to hear but they need to be said.
There are times that the relationships suddenly fall apart and there is infidelity or you arrive home to an empty house cause she has packed her things and left. What happened? Why did they leave? Many times the phrase I had no clue is waved around as a means to make you look like the innocent one while the person who left is also waiving the innocent or I was a victim flag. Why did they leave? Let’s start here and progress down the potentially sad and heartbroken road. By the end, I hope I can give you some insights that can help you correct the frustration, ditch the victim mindset, and start on the rocky road to reconnecting.
What are some signs that your relationship is in trouble? Well if you really are willing to take ownership and face the music you can point out red flags that you are your wife or girlfriend were drifting away. It could be that you are locked together for a month at a time. You start to notice the little idiosyncracies that your partner has, and they notice your annoying habits.
When you are able to get out you are able to let those habits go. You are able to still see that habit of eating cereal at 75 decibels as somewhat cute.
Then add the stress of the number one killer of marriage, finances. If you are in the same boat as 50% of the US right now you are probably stressing about not being able to make money. Then add on that you most likely are also similar to most Americans in that you have little to no savings at all. So now thanks to this virus you are really feeling the pinch because you have no funds to even buy toilet paper if there was any.
WIth you not able to go out your sweet blushing bride is stress eating like she is preparing for an ice cream eating competition. You are this broodish yutz that is stuck at the house. If you live in Michigan you probably can’t even go out in your front yard out of fear that your neighbor will narc on you and then you have to deal with a swat team arriving to tell you to stay inside.
So with all of the stress you have with outside your house, there is no wonder you have problems inside your house.
The Signs that there could be a problem
Now you may be saying, “yeah we argue a bit more than normal but that is expected.” Yeah, it may be true but are you just ignoring the warning signs that your marriage is actually Heading to the big D and I don’t mean Dallas nor do I mean your Johnson. I am meaning divorce. This is the last thing you want. So I ask that you take the time to look and look for the tale-tale cracks in the foundations of your relationship.
Lack of Kissing
When was the last time you really laid one on the wife? If you are have been married in the last 5 years that is really a good sign that there could be some problems. Maybe you are letting outside life really get in the way and that normally happens after the first couple of years. Yet the times you share a passionate smooch still will happen.
There is a problem, even if you have been married for 23 years when you lean in for a kiss, and you are offered only a cheek at best. You might want to start asking yourself why is that. It could be that you have a bad case of dragon breath. Then again even if you have freshly brushed teeth and you are still being denied a solid kiss then you want to start looking into the reason.
Now I would avoid coming to your blushing bride with a whole lot of whys. That is because the second reason for divorce is sex. If you are able to have discussions with your wife without getting into a heated argument then start asking probing questions. Ask them in a way that keeps you looking like a whiney kid. Ask for the knowledge and accept the answers without judgment. Don’t go in trying to fix the problem because this is only an answer gathering endeavor, nor an attacking conquest. Just listen and take that information.
Women are more cerebral and emotional based. They could be distancing themselves for many reasons. That could be that you said something that created a thought of worry. Then again they may have found the porn stash on the hard drive and they are worried that you are unhappy and they don’t know where to turn.
It is good to still give and receive kisses and yes you may be missing the fun late nights that you just kissed on the porch. Though for what reason there is a lack of connection. So start trying to find where that connection was broken.
Lack of Talking
Do you both sit in bed and do your own thing? Maybe dinner is a silent affair. Talking and communicating are at the base of every relationship you have. If the lines of communication are closed that is a huge warning sign that there are problems.
Have you been quiet because you are worried about what is going on in the world? Maybe you haven’t been sharing because you don’t want to wife to worry that you are worrying? Perhaps your spouse has approached you with her worries and you told her that it is nothing to worry about. That may create thoughts of her being unduly worried and she doesn’t want to bother you. However, the problem creeps up it usually is because we humans are terrible mind readers.
We don’t want to be a pain or a bother and so we don’t say anything. This is the worst time to close off the lines of connection. To help with this it is better to go ahead and express your worries you arent speaking so that the other person will start worrying but more of way to get the thought out in the open.
Again there are other problems at stake if conversations resort into an argument. Even this offers clues as to what the problem is.
Arguments are at its heart a race to see who can be the victim. The blame game when looked at in a mature way shows what is troubling the person who is laying blame. Most of the time they are seeing what is wrong with themselves. The victim is mad and upset because they see the problem they are facing in the other person. So if you can step back and listen to the blame and not join the race to the bottom you can see what they need help with. Not that you can fix it, but you can actually start to sympathize with them and be there emotionally for their problem.
One of you would rather watch TV
This goes along with a lack of communicating. If the other would rather escape into the world of make-believe and watch television rather than having a dialog meant for a deeper connection there is a reason they are wanting to escape. Many times trying to interrupt them isn’t going to work. Yet you can dig deeper when they are away from the television. The rub is to do it without attacking the other person.
You relish the other sleeping in late
Now when I was first married, I fell into this problem. When the wife would sleep in I would do everything I could to not wake her. I didn’t want to face what I saw as scrutiny I thought was going on. There would be tough discussions about how we are going to make ends meet. I was wanting to avoid the discomfort of having to grow with a new person in my life. I could do what I wanted without outside complaints or objections.
This could very well be the case for you. There is a problem where you are avoiding a connection. Why well that could be for many different reasons. From you feeling like you don’t have a say in what happens for the day to complete avoidance. Then again it could be like me where you wanted to enjoy the peace before everyone started asking you to do stuff.
If this later is the case you can always set up a place for alone time, but don’t use it as a means to escape living life with your wife.
You have thought about divorce several times in a short period
We all have thoughts of what it would be like if we were to get a divorce. That thought can rise up from time to time. Especially post-argument, you may think it might e better to just cut your losses and be on your won. The problem is when that thought is always in your head. When you are thinking about getting divorced several times a week. This is when the relationship is really on the rocks and it would do you both a lot of good to find a good marriage counselor.
Daily money fights
If you have been furloughed or laid off because of today’s events money problems can be the perfect tender for fights. This is a problem that is often associated with a scarcity mindset. Yet when you are frighteningly low on funds it is easy to start pushing blame on the other person. Instead of seeing that you may need to find a bigger shovel for the whole, you are in. Perhaps you can look at the situation you are in and see where you went wrong. Maybe you need to start finding a way to build the needed discipline and create a savings account that has 6-9 months of living expenses. The solution isn’t easy especially if you have lots of credit card debt. It takes extra discipline on both parties to decide to cut back or better yet destroy the credit cards and clean up the mess you are in. Yet doing this is one of the best team-building exercises you can do. If you can both work together to get rid of your debt you will both have a better understanding of each other and better communication skills.
Why Do Relationships Fail?
The reason many relationships fail is numerous. It could be from the three A’s that are clear reasons to get out of a relationship. Those three A’s are Affairs, Abuse, and Addiction. Each of these A’s are examples of where the relationship has no room in the priority list. There is also the lack of trust from the offending party, and a relationship has to have trust for it to grow. With no trust, the relationship dies.
Lack of Communication
To have trust you have to have communication. You have to talk and building a solid relationship requires that you talk to the other person on a regular basis. Now this communication has to go deeper than the how was your day. You have to be willing to open up expose yourself.
You also have to have time to communicate without distractions. Take the cell phone and leave it in another room is always a good move. It communicates a lot to the other person that what they have to say is important.
You have to be willing to share times that you are unsure about yourself. Let that person you married fully into your life. Allow them to live life with you. They are not there simply for the ease of sex or a person who also brings in extra income. You chose this person as your companion in life. So talk to them, ask questions, get the judgment that they will think of your questions as dumb out of the equation. They probably will look at the questions as a bit odd at first because you are both using muscles that haven’t been used extensively since you both were dating.
Reaching for deeper communication also helps you have sex more often. That is because of women need that sense of connection for them to be turned on. They need the sensation that they are more connected to their spouse so they can reach a level of desire needed for sex.
This is also a big killer of marriages. This is often due to a lack of communication. One person isn’t telling the other hos much they are spending. Often they feel guilty about spending money or that they don’t like having to face accountability if they overspend. However especially when the money gets tight the stress of the scarcity mindset can really ramp up and the fights will start.
The Victimhood mindset
How many times have you tried to blame the other person for your problems? One of the least sexy things a man can do is walk around like a wounded and abused little boy. Yet how many times have you done just that when you are rebuffed for trying to cop a feel? Me? I have done it for a long time. There were several years of my marriage that I played the victim on a regular basis.
Yet we don’t get our way and because we want to play the victim and not own up to our responsibility for our actions we are in fact being a major libido killer in the marriage. The wife doesn’t want to sleep with a man they want a big strong man to keep them warm. Yet we turn to little boys complaining and whining that we aren’t getting the attention that we want.
So if you want to get your rocks off more often then you really have to man up and take the reins of your life over.
Putting the undue burden on the other Person
One of the big excuses for why a marriage falls apart is that one side of the relationship doesn’t make the other side happy anymore. That is putting an undue burden on the other person.
If you don’t think your wife is making you happy anymore, my response, ”She never could.” The circumstances and events in your life are neutral. They stay neutral till you apply thought to it. That thought then creates the emotions you feel. The keywords are YOU FEEL.
Your wife can’t make you feel anything. The same as you cant make your wife feel anything. Your emotions are just that “your emotions”. Those emotions are not shared emotions. You can feel whatever emotion you want and that is just fine.
I would have to ask if you can’t make yourself happy then why would you want someone else to have the controls over your happiness? They are struggling with being happy just as much as you are, yet here you are throwing more stress on top of someone you say you love by expecting them to make you happy. That for one is really unfair and secondly not their responsibility.
What is their responsibility? The answer is to be there simply for you to love. The same goes for you. You are there for them to love with all their heart. So stop with overburdening them with something they have no control over. Take back your responsibility and own your dirt. Make yourself happy and you can then show them how to make themselves happy.
How do you fix a damaged relationship?
There are several key points to fixing a relationship and for it to flourish while you are in staying safe at home. The main key is to own your dirt. Take full responsibility for your actions. You will never get any further in the quest to fix the problems if you are playing the victim. Remember your wife doesn’t want to take care of another little emotionally immature boy. She needs a man who is sure of himself. So you have to also take action. Not on making the other change but take action on changing yourself.
First off you have to start talking. Yeah, it may lead to an argument but you have to stand your ground and let the other person have their say. If they want to try to race to see who can be the victim then let then do all the running. If they say something to take responsibility for that part you had to play. The key part of getting a person to talk is asking questions if they are not willing to talk, be ok with that. There will be other times to start chipping away at the wall they have built.
As you keep asking questions you will start to work out where they believe they have been slighted. You can then start finding ways of fixing the problem you have created.
If they are making assumptions that you have no control over you can help them come to understand that you cant by making the needed changes in yourself. If all of a sudden they see that you are happy they may start to ask the question as to why you are happy all the damn time. You can then explain that you are in control of what makes you happy. Explaining why you are able to be happy or at least you are willing to take charge and choose to not get angry when someone else is upset at them. All because of knowing that your thoughts make our emotions.
Listen when they are mad or upset
If your loved one is upset and yelling, you don’t have to yell back. Yeah, it may seem like a good idea to get wrapped up in the drama of the moment but you can choose to remain calm.
If you choose to remain calm you can offer yourself a better advantage to come to understand why the other person has chosen to be in a state of high emotions. You can hear what lead up to making them mad and you can come to an understanding that maybe they need sympathy instead of returned volleys of insults and frustration. TO do this it takes a bit of work and applied stoicism yet if you listen they will tell you what is wrong and you can help lead them out of the fog of war.
Be more mature
Why do so many people get so physical and worked up when they are mad or frustrated? The answer is they are more often than not emotionally immature. They are allowing their amygdala to run the show which shuts down their prefrontal cortex. So when they are operating in a state of emotion and drama and you are not you are able to lead your spouse to a state of calm by talking and working through their thoughts.
People want to be around those who are able to remain calm. They look to them for leadership when the fit has hit the shan. You can help them through the pain and frustration they are experiencing when you stay emotionally mature.
Address the continuing arguments
Another way you can help address the problems you are facing when you notice that your marriage is on the rocks is when you notice what your significant other is saying in those repeated arguments. For instance, around money, they could be saying some pretty brutal things but if you listen to what they are really saying is they’re scared and unsure of the situation. If you have a plan on getting out from under that mountain of debt you can explain your plan.
Yeah, they may not agree with the plan but if you talk it out and explain what the plan will fix you both can talk through the problem and come to a concrete solution that will allow you to rebuild the bonds that frayed. You can mend the hurt feelings. It will take time and isn’t an overnight success. You can fix it.
Make a plan
WIth anything worth doing you need to have a plan be it a set of goals or maybe you want to call them something else. Whatever you want to call them you have to have plans on how you are going to execute it.
Make a list
What needs to be fixed? Make a list of all the problems you see and make a list of what your wife sees as a problem.
Separate the wheat from the chaff.
There are going to be worries and problems that are changeable and then there are those that you have no control over. Focus on what you are able to change. Set the problems you cant change to the side. You can complain that a mountain is in your way but there is no way you can move it.
You cant change your wife. No matter how much you want to convince her that sitting on the bed watching television for 12 hours a day you can’t make her change how she feels. Remember you only have control over yourself. You can influence her. You do this by taking massive action and getting yourself into a better position. If you are wanting to get into shape then start doing those things.
If she sees that you are able to do it and she witnesses the change in your energy and attitude she will want what you have and will start her own regiment. Help her if she asks but if she takes your advice and does her own thing be ok with that too. Remember she is there strictly for you to love not to control like a puppet
Take the steps you can take to fix your finances. Maybe you start making money off of the side and applying it to the debt. You might be able to take some of the extra cash you have and build a savings account. That way when you have another skinny season and she is worried about the money you can put her worries to ease.
Fix your body
Get yourself in shape your attitude and health is one of the biggest influences of how well you are doing. If you want to show the wife what is possible you can do so with how much better life is when you are in shape.
FIx your mind
Work on how you address stress and emotions. Work on your mindset. Practice mindfulness and maybe even some meditation. All of this can help you have a more mature and healthier mind. So when the problems arise you are able to handle them better.
Find better friends
Show me your friends and I will show you your future. If you want to be successful then you need to find people who are just a little more successful than you. They will help you in making your life better and you will find the success that has to be eluding you. When you have more successful friends your wife will see what you are capable of and will then be able to relax a bit more. She will also see that you are not just talk and that you are willing to take action and see that action through.
There are times that the relationship is just gone. This can be tough but you can again choose to still love your wife even though she is soon going to be your ex. Whatever choice comes to be you have the choice to be OK with it. You can be either the adult or the child in that relationship. I would ask which one is the most helpful.
So as you start seeing how you can help your marriage take the steps and above all start talking. You will make more headway talking to your wife than anything else. Good luck.