Transforming Your Marriage

Photo By: rvnix

Transforming Your Marriage

By Andrew Rusbatch

Recognizing you have a marriage problem is the first step along the road to transforming your marriage, and for most couples simply acknowledging there is a problem shatters the marriage myth. According to love stories, movies, and fairytales we are supposed to live 'happily ever after'. But what happens when Snow White develops a drinking problem? What happens when Robin Hood's long working hours start affecting his marriage to Maid Marian? What happens when Cinderella says she has 'fallen out of love'?

We are taught in school how to do sums, how to read and recognize Shakespeare, and how to conduct scientific experiments, but what do we really know about the greatest social experiment of all, namely our ability to keep the love alive in our marriage?

The fact is we know surprisingly little, and from the moment we say "I do," we are literally flying by the seat of our pants. We don't get a manual or a textbook telling us how to get it right, so our marriage becomes an evolving set of experiments, learning and discovering more and more about ourselves and each other, and figuring out what works and what doesn't. Some say if we don't make mistakes we don't really learn, but what do those mistakes cost us, and is the cost too high for some couples?

That's why I have 3 ways to instantly transform your marriage. These are 3 things that you know will work and will help you get your marriage back on track. Let's call this your error-free way to redeem yourself and your marriage in the eyes of your partner and show them that you are committed to making positive changes in your marriage.

The first key to transforming your marriage is to stop looking at your issues on a case-by-case basis. Couples that try to solve arguments by going into the small details of every argument are never really going to deal with the big stuff. I'm talking about the issues that REALLY matter in your marriage, and the issues that keep coming up in every disagreement.

Spend too much time at work? Partner feeling unappreciated? Don't make love as much as you used to? Either of you feeling unfulfilled by your lifestyle or the relationship? Is the communication poor in your relationship? Does your need to always be right override the feelings of your partner? Spend less time worrying about the details and more time examining the issues and themes behind your arguments.

* The issue is your job. The theme behind this may be balance between work and home life.
* The issue is you not doing enough chores. The theme behind may be that you are being invited into making a greater contribution into coupledom.
* The issue is your partner being grumpy with you all the time. The theme is your partner needing to feel validated in the relationship

If you have a greater understanding of what the key themes are behind your marriage issues you are better able to develop effective solutions that will really make a difference.

The second key to transforming your relationship is to examine your beliefs about marriage. It's okay to not have the fairytale marriage. Even the best couples don't always get it right. But what makes the imperfections good or bad is how you choose as a couple to deal with it. When you disagree about something, do you sit down and talk about it, or is your first instinct to deny that there is a problem and hope that it will all go away?

You need to understand that it is okay to be imperfect. In fact, admitting this to yourself and your partner can be one of the most liberating actions you take in transforming your marriage. Admitting your imperfections exposes a vulnerability that can bring you closer together as you find ways to get some meaning out of your issues. Acknowledging that you do make mistakes can open the door to acknowledging that there is a better way to do things, and one of the lessons we are called into as a couple is finding that solution together. Make a list of things that you have learnt since you got married, and a list of areas that you as a couple can both improve on. Then try sharing that list with your partner and ask them to contribute their thoughts.

The third key to transforming your relationship is in recognizing the differences between men and women, and acknowledging the importance of both roles in the relationship. Just because your partner views something different to you doesn't make them wrong, and the same goes for you. There are often several interpretations of the truth, and the key to marriage success is in recognizing that women and men have key fundamental differences in the way they view things. For men, their view may be a much more task-oriented approach to fixing an issue, where a woman may focus more on the emotional process as you both navigate your way through marriage issues. While both approaches are different, with compromise they can both achieve the same result.

Write down 5 themes or issues. Then I want you to write down 5 task-oriented ways of trying to solve the situation. Then list 5 thoughts-based ways of communicating your way to a solution.

The first step to transforming your marriage is in transforming YOU. Being married can be scary enough, but having marriage problems and not knowing how to fix them can be paralyzing! All it takes is the ability to step outside your day-to-day issues and look at different ways of viewing your marriage. Every marriage problem invites you into growing and offers you and your partner the opportunity to learn.

Now it's up to you to take what you have learned and apply it to YOUR marriage. You too can have a fairytale marriage!

For more Marriage tips click here.


The Fight Women Can't Win

Photo By: Robert in Toronto

The Fight Women Can't Win

By Bob Grant

When it comes to fighting and disagreeing with men, women frequently make a critical mistake which ends up causing them to feel hurt and lonely. When I see a female client for Relationship Advice I frequently encounter this scenario. During a routine conversation there is a disagreement between the woman and her husband/boyfriend.

It starts out in a logical manner with two competent speaking adults simply talking about a problem or disagreement. Then at some point in the discussion that woman gets her feelings hurt and responds in an emotional manner. All of a sudden the entire dynamic of the conversation has changed and the man feels he has been betrayed.

While the discussion was logical and factual, it had the similar feel of a business meeting where everyone has the sole goal of finding the answer to the problem. No one would dare interject their feelings into such a discussion for fear they would be viewed has weak and childish. In the business world, accomplishing the task is the primary goal, not making everyone feel good.

This is how a man views a discussion that is logical and factual. He believes that if her idea is so good then she should be able to prove it. "She wants to prove her point so I'll prove mine. May the best man win," is how he thinks and has no idea that she only wants to be heard/understood.

When women interject their feelings into a discussion that has become competitive, it makes men feel as though they are being blamed for being logical which causes them to react in anger. Men say to themselves, "She ask me to prove my point and when I do she gets her feelings hurt!" He has been blind sided by the one thing that makes him feel powerless, a woman in pain.

The man feels tricked by acting strong only to pull the feelings card out when she was starting to loose the argument so now he feels entitled to punish her. That really is how most men think in that scenario.

If you are a woman, a practical rule when discussing a topic is that if you want to debate, prove or compete with your boyfriend/husband then stay in that role throughout the discussion. If you want to be understood or nurtured, then relate to him by sharing how you feel about the subject.

Don't switch to becoming a soft, feeling and vulnerable woman after you have presented yourself logically. All that will do is encourage him not to discuss things with you in the future. He'll be afraid of you dropping the feelings bomb.

Most of the time I would suggest that you start off softly by speaking to him about how you feel concerning the issue so he can recognize your feelings which will signal to him that you are not trying to be competitive.

On the occasions you do need to prove your point, hold your ground regardless of how you feel. Remember it doesn't matter as much which way you relate to him, the most important thing you can do is not to combine the two.

For more Marriage tips click here.


Questions for Upcoming Married Couples

Photo By: willowjuanjowedding

Questions for Upcoming Married Couples

By Cucan Pemo

Marriage is still very sacred to many and there is still a hint of religious morals that will affect the person's thoughts on marriage. You should know that getting married is more than just a piece of paper; it is the beginning of a new life. Marriage is something that you will not just be able to toss away, although, divorce now is more popular than marriage. When you agree to marry someone who are agreeing to share your life with them. It is very important that it is more than just love. It is waking up every day to the same person and not feeling one bit different about them. It is about unconditional love. There are some questions that you will want to ask yourself before you marry.

1) As yourself why do you want to get married.

There is always reason other than love that one would want to get married. You have to be open to yourself and to your partner about the real reason why you may want to take the plunge. Some people feel that it is their duty. Some people feel that it is just right for them. Others feel that they would like to start the family chapter in their life. What is it that is pushing you to feel like you really want to get married?

2) What do you love about your mate?

Are things going to get annoying in time? If they changed 'these things' that you love about them would you're love for them change as well. These are all good related questions that you will need to know answers about. You need to ask yourself such questions because you need to know if your love is conditional or unconditional. If it is conditional, you will know right away when you begin to think about it. Unconditional means things can change. The world can change, but nothing will ever change the way that you feel about the person. If change does exist, it is because you have fallen more in love them than you ever could image.

3) What are the things that you truly hate about the person?

They are to be a few things that you hate about the person. Things that truly grate on your last nerve, however, if you can accept all of their faults to still want to get married, and then you really do love unconditionally.

4) The saying, "I love you, but I don't have to like."

Is there anything in the world that this person could do to make you love them any less. Things other than the obvious like cheating, lying, deceiving, and such. If there are things that are not the unacceptable behavior by most social standards, you may want to rethink the marriage, but you may still eventually be able to say, "yes," to marriage.

5) Are you ready to be husband?

Have you two discussed your role in the marriage? Some people will find that they jumped too quickly into marriage and then they ended up not realizing what that intended. You should tell your mate what you expect from them as your married partner. You need to have this conversation so that married life does not end up being a shock to you.

6) Ask yourself is if this is something that you can make the commitment to.

Is this something that you would be able to keep going for the rest of your life? Remember, saying "I Do," means more than just right now. It is a life changing experience. It is something that you are going to have to live with for the rest of your life. Divorce does not mean anything. It just means that you legally are not obligated to see the person anymore, but then there are the holidays and special occasions. You do not have to think that you can feel okay with marriage, because if it does not work out because of divorce you should want to get married because you want to spend the rest of your life sharing it with someone special.

7) How you feel right now?

Do you feel right now, like this is right? Let your heart, guide, but allow your brain to think things through. You will want to make sure that you feel right about the choice and that you can live with this.

When it comes to marriage, you have to think about things that most people think about after the wedding. It is important to understand the reasoning behind your actions and how you feel about marriage and the person that you love. When it comes to marriage it is scary and overwhelming, but it is worth every feeling in the end. It is worth everything that you ever go through because marriage has so many good things that you hardly care about the bad things. Marriage in general is the way that you can be happy with the one that you love and want.

For more couples advice click here.