The paradox of intimate relationships in trouble is this: why, when two people claim they love one another and want for their relationship to be as close as possible, do they insist on doing those things that will ensure they grow further apart?
Think about it: how can we get closer when what we’re doing is creating chaos, hurt feelings and resentment?
People often call to ask us their most pressing questions about their marriage. They share with us their relationship stories that often take years to unfold in a couple of short paragraphs, and then they ask, “What should I do?”
In most cases, it took years for their marriage to give birth to this question and the cause of their circumstances lies in the roots of their marital and personal scripting. Nonetheless, they want an answer now and they want it in a short reply.
In the age of Fed Ex, high-speed internet, and 7-day diets, it’s quite common for people to want to “microwave” their marriage to renewal. That will never work. When it comes to things, you can be efficient. When it comes to relationships, there are no short cuts. It takes time.
Ironically, the search for a quick answer to your marital situation delays the process you will eventually have to go through. When it comes to your marriage, slow is fast and fast is slow. In other words, if you try to go too fast and skip-over the necessary steps, you’ll slow down the whole process. But if you go slow and rebuild your marriage one step at a time… that’s the fastest way.
I know you have questions. Good questions. Deep questions. But give those questions the respect they deserve. Give yourself the time and resources it takes to formulate lasting answers. Don’t waste your time looking for a quick fix. Take the slow road to repairing your marriage.
Were your mom and dad happily married? Is your marriage like theirs was? If you’re having marriage problems, the chances are good that your parents struggled in their marriage too. Research shows that if your parents divorced, then your marriage is more likely to end in divorce as well.
Freud documented well the impact that heredity and upbringing has on a person’s fate. We create memory “tapes” early-on that we play again and again oblivious to how they control (and destroy) our lives. But does that mean the destiny of your marriage was determined years ago? Does that mean your fate was sealed by your genes and your childhood?
There is no doubt that you have deeply rooted relationship instincts. But those instincts do not have you. Your past constantly vies for control of your future, but at the end of the day you have a choice. Your domain is this moment, and every moment, when you can decide to write a new script. At any time, in every time, you can decide to be the master of your destiny; rather than a victim to your past.
This, by the way, is the real value in understanding your past and your childhood roots. So that you can consciously reject what you know doesn’t work and replace old habits with new ways. This, of course, is no simple task. Not only because it’s hard to break old habits and learn new ways, but also because most people are more comfortable doing what’s familiar yet destructive rather than what’s constructive but unfamiliar. In other words, most people are happier doing what they know doesn’t work than they are working on something that they don’t know.
But that’s what it takes to be a “transition person.” A transition person is someone who breaks free from unhealthy relationship patterns that have been in their family for generations. You are by no means a product solely of your heredity or environment.
There is a third element: Your decision. And that trumps all past events. By the way,
this is usually the real meaning of marriage education; educating someone to acquire the ability to choose their behavior. A successful marriage is not something that just happens; you have to craft it. It’s a result of deliberate and conscious decisions to make a new way in your relationship.
At some point, it happens to everyone: You wake up one day and suddenly your once-blissful relationship is shattered. The spark is gone.
If you’re willing to work on yourself, you stand a much better chance of repairing this relationship or ensuring the relationship problems do not continue to follow you.
There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Life isn’t all sunshine and buttercups. But a happy relationship is a very real thing, and you deserve a happy, healthy relationship.
You remember the feelings you shared when you first fell in love. When it was impossible to look at each other without smiling. Just spending time alone together was the perfect night. And the animal attraction between the two of you was white hot.
You were happy together once. And if you were happy once, you can be happy again.
Almost everyone encounters some sort of relationship problem from time to time. The reason is simple: You were given absolutely no training!
In every other area of human development, we are given some formal training. In school we are educated about everything: health, science, literature, mathematics; but no one ever explained relationships to us.
So, in essence, you are left to fend for yourself. Ever since the day you were born you were forced to develop relationships with people. And we spend the rest of our lives bouncing in and out of different relationships but never learning how to make them work or how to improve them.
Are You Guilty Of These Relationship Destroyers?
Because no one ever taught you how to maintain a happy relationship, it’s only natural to make some mistakes. Unless you know how to quickly correct them, these mistakes often destroy the relationship. Ironically, these mistakes seem like the right thing to do. But if you are trying any of these common (but destructive) tactics, you are slowly killing the relationship and pushing your partner further away:
- Asking friends and family for advice
- Trying to reason with your partner
- Promising him or her that you will change
- Hoping or wishing the relationship will survive
- Offering your partner reassurance
- Telling him or her that you love her
- Trying to work on the relationship
You should never, ever base a relationship on sex, money or laughter – trying to base a relationship on this is like building a house on quicksand.
If you want to know more, go to our website, www.DynamicDiscovery.ca – we’d love to hear from you.