Are you fighting more during the holidays? Do you feel more stressed-out than other times of the year?
Yep, history shows us that January winds up being the month that most people start divorce proceedings.
Think about that: it’s kind of weird because the holiday message from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is all about family, love, connection, gratitude, and resolutions about improving in the new year.
Yet, that doesn’t change the facts.
Instead of connecting with our partner more we wind up putting more stress on our relationship:
Money conflict and stress is a leading cause of divorce and the holidays create a perfect storm of financial stress from gift-buying as well as potentially arguing about how to spend on so-and-so.
Traveling to see family can also impose a financial burden as well as involve the typical stressors of traffic and/or crowded...
Do you want to improve your marriage this year?
I’m going to tell you what to watch out for along with specific tips.
One small change, applied consistently, can dramatically improve your marriage. Of course, the trick is consistency. :)
Just think: changing the heading of a plane or boat by 5 degrees over a 1,000 mile journey will cause the final destination to be 87 miles away from the original! From New York to LA would be a 250 mile difference! Or think of that little river which ultimately carved the Grand Canyon.
Consistency is the problem: most people don’t see results fast enough and just “give up”.
And sometimes people try to change MANY things at the same time, which takes a lot (I mean a LOT) more energy, and again: most people give up.
The trick (especially if you’re working without a coach or counselor) is...
Do things seem “stiff” between you and your lover? Do one or both of you tend to be serious? (Maybe even overly so….)
There’s a time and place for seriousness, and that place is NOT creating love.
Often we get serious in response to stress.
And we feel tons (TONS!) of stress from the needs and pressures of work, our relationships, money, home and (if we’ve got them) kids. Believe me, I get it.
But stress (especially prolonged stress) can drive a wedge between you and your partner.
Especially if you’re an entrepreneur or executive because then everything just gets cranked up that much higher (to ‘11’, as us “Spinal Tap” fans say :).
Stress can erode love same as a river can carve a canyon.
WARNING: Do I have to tell you that prolonged stress causes our immune systems to break down and our emotional reserves run dry, making us irritable and short-tempered.
Here’s a BIG secret: the problem is NOT the...
If you want to steer clear of divorce (and believe me, you want to steer clear of divorce) then it’s good to know what the most common cause are so that you can be on the lookout and nip potential problems in the bud.
Men, know this:
Yup. Far and away more women initiate divorce procedings.
Some men are oblivious while others would rather be in an unhappy marriage than back in the dating scene. Either way, the reasons behind initiating divorce tend to be the same.
Women cite feeling taken for granted, put upon, and having to “take care” of the relationship all by themselves as the top reasons for seeking divorce.
It would be inaccurate (as well as sexist) to state the problem as “men always do this” and “women always do that” but even in this day and age there ARE some patterns which are much more common than you might think.
The bottom line: ...
Are you making the absolute #1 communication mistake without realizing it?
We’re talking about the scientificially demonstrated mistake that destroys love and leads to divorce.
I’m not talking about shouting, or fighting, or name-calling, or love languages (though those are all important).
The absolute #1 communication partners make is non-responsiveness. That is, not responding to your partner when they reach out to you, either verbally or physically.
When they talk about their day do you look in their eyes and have an actual conversation? When they ask for help do you jump in? When they touch your shoulder do you smile and touch them back?
Modern distractions like smartphones and TV make it all to easy to not even notice that your love has asked you a question or distract you from bothering to respond to them.
And, if your lives are already busy with careers, commuting (and especially children) then it’s likely that you’re each missing out...
What kind of marriage do you have?
Other posts have described the four kinds of marriages:
You might have noticed that none of them are labeled “happy”, and there’s a good reason for that.
Both “functional” and “thriving” marriages can be happy, but a functional marriage is very different from a thriving marriage.
Most people wind up settling for a disappointing or functional marriage because they don’t even believe that it’s possible to have a thriving marriage.
Now, I specialize in helping people get to thriving, even if they’re currently stuck in a broken marriage. The first step is really all about knowing that level exists and having the courage to reach for it....
Have you ever had to deal with feeling overwhelmed?
Like, where you literally didn’t know what to do next? Maybe even feeling like you’d never climb out of it?
Overwhelm puts us at our worst. Our worst at work, and our worst at home with our spouse (and if present, children).
Some people wind up lashing out and others withdraw, unable to deal with anyone or anything.
In order to successfully and consistently get out of overwhelm you have to understand how you process the world.
Once you know how you process you can use that information to help tame and bring order to the overwhelm.
Some people are mostly visual, some auditory and other kinesthetic (NB this is a bit of a simplification but good enough for right now).
Visualize everything you need...
Are you dealing with criticsm from your partner?
Are you hurt? Frustrated? Feel like giving up? We look to our partner for support and love, and our relationship is where we expect we can be free, vulnerable and accepted.
So, criticism can be especially damaging to a relationship. The good news is that it can get better.
Before you can improve an environment of criticism you’ve got to understand the context; that is, where the criticism may be coming from.
Is your partner going through a personal crisis like stress at work, loss of a job, death of a family member or a health issue?
Stress tends to make us be our worst selves, and we often lash out at those who are closest to us (emotionally and physically).
This may sound weird but is very common.
When one partner (instead of the couple) gets involved in personal growth they often start having different expectations of what their life and relationship can be like, even what they think they should be...