Only a matter of time.
Pains, tragedy, unknowns, and disappointment affect close personal relationships. This will happen to all people. Why does it seem that some people will work through and become more happy, more financially capable, stronger? Why do some people quit and fail? We might think of luck, or intelligence, or hard work. Realistically, it is love, and how to use love to move and motivate. Love, that should be so easy, that is the source of happiness, can also drive us awry.
Some challenges are going to happen just by moving two people into a home together, even though previously dating for long times. There are things that will come up that you never anticipate. Sometimes impasse is based on rules and bias and ways you were raised to handle certain situations & circumstances that differ from the rules and meanings that your spouse held. Maybe at first, it is a simple fix. But what happens if we allow lots of little events add, accumulate, or become a focus of our attention?
Throw in the fact that many marriages today are blending families: children, hurts, failed expectations, from previous relationships & divorces and you can understand some of why there are multiple challenges to face. You might think that if only these challenges would creep in one at a time, it would be better. Life does not seem to work so easily.
One family might have a style of handling problems by trying to immediately communicate all feelings. They might yell and get it over with, or might face each other down and immediately pour out their souls.
Another family might have a history of stepping back and waiting on things to dissipate. Then maybe, sometime in the future, have a discussion that is more calm. Or maybe, it will just go away if unattended. Others seemed to do so.
Another family history might be of sulking, or “getting” away. Each partner is trying to turn into themselves for solace, or for the joy of depression, or anxiety. But is this not supposed to be a partnership?
Now none of these things are to be judged right or wrong here. They are, for now, just to be understood as differences in how we have previously been taught, or have rewarded ourselves, experienced ways, that we deal with issues. What happens when one member communicates as they have learned, but the other takes the communication all wrong. Have we just experienced compounding problems?
It is import to communicate. And often, we think we are communicating. We understand what we think is happening. But does our partner really understand? Are they trying and “thick”? Are they ignoring the issue? Are they hurt, or trying to hurt you, by the meanings they give or actions they take?
Once, in the boot department of my retail store, a customer was trying to say something I could understand. They had a real need to communicate, and so did I. We had the same goal, but couldn’t get it across. He needed some cowboy boots and I wanted him to have them. Problem was that the gentleman was trying to communicate in Spanish. I was trying to communicate in English and neither of us was doing well. Just for the heck of it, frustrated, I asked, “Parle vous Francaise? Mais Qui, he happily replied! Communication issues were quickly resolved. We found a language that was perfectly understood by us both. All we had to do was keep trying until we found similar meaning. We were both so delighted that we did not give up on us!
Almost no one who marries ever expects the relationship to turn south. We all desire to have a relationship of love and understanding. Just sometimes our understandings have multiple meanings, different beliefs, or sometimes blocks are thrown in the way of resolution by just not having the skill sets to more easily resolve personal difficulties. But if and when a “breakthrough” moment happens, there is joy beyond all previous frustrations. There is significance and growth and contribution shared in overcoming the difficulties. We then find that we are blessed by the experiences. This is why we call it a “Breakthrough”.
Part of having a coach is to assist you when you need skill sets in negotiating. Partly, to be a third party who might be sure that each person in a relationship has a fair chance to really understand the feelings and needs of the others in your relationships.
We have all heard the expression of “walking a mile in my shoes.” We have heard of the man who complained that “he had no shoes, until he met a man with no feet”.
If you have been close enough to get into the body, sensually, intimately, sexually, of your spouse, then you have the responsibility of taking a time, often, to place your self into their emotional place. Be inside them for a time. Really be them, in their shoes, as they try to deal with issues at hand. Have presence and understanding by at least role playing from their position or point of view. Feel from their perspective. Take a time to not be who you normally are. Man up and listen; Man up and look into their eyes deeply enough to know their pain, their trials, their frustrations.
I say man up. Ladies will often comment on putting on their “big girl panties”. Knowing, ladies that your man feels respect by your letting him know that he is making you happy, and that all the bitching in the world will not be as effective as allowing him to make you “light up”, and that a man has been raised in our culture, all his life, to listen for the gist of what he understands to need fixing, immediately going into “problem solving mode”, and that you must encourage him to become better at not doing what he might think is what a guy is supposed to do. He has not been raised to know how to enjoy giving you presence. You hold a part in your happiness within your marital relationship. He get’s frustrated when he cannot have immediate solutions. He will tend to go into frustration, or doubt. By experiencing this for yourself,you better understand the emotional roller coaster he is trying to ride.
Guys, If you want that woman to feel that you are listening, keep in mind that you have “two ears and one mouth”. Concentrate on her needs to be feeling understood. With most instances, she needs to feel understood more than, certainly before, she needs a dilemma to be resolved. You are “fixing” things all over your life zones. You dive in fast and use what you know to get things back on track. What you don’t know will harm you! Take a deep breath. Relax. Hear. When you are with your lady, the tool you need is to be able to feel as she feels, while she is pouring out her needs to be heard to you. Take your emotions of masculinity and pour them all into your concentration, just as you would if you were at work. You can do this while you watch a sports event. You get into the game. Get into the game with her. This is the first step to bringing your relationship back to the romance you both deserve. When you feel her emotions, you better understand that she is working through many of her own solutions as she is discussing with you listening. The female parts of partners can find relief in talking though expression. Guys, you might not need to worry, work, drain yourself, so hard. Just concentrate and feel her, be with her, as you do when deeply in concentration. Enjoy the trust you are building, the feeling of security you provide by being 100% with her, when you are with her.
Once both parties have placed themselves into the others’ feelings, There is truly a level of understanding that can allow renewal of the relationship.
There is no embarrassment in presently not having the skill sets to renew your relationship. Most people do not understand the skills they could employ! The embarrassment only happens when you find that there are skill sets that can be used to bring “breakthrough” moments to your family, but you refuse to, or are afraid to try. Remember, most 5th graders find a time that they want to quit school for some reason. They don’t feel understood. They cannot see a light at the end of their tunnel. But, they are not allowed to quit, and many of them by further education, become doctors, and business people, and even teachers.
There is only harm in not learning the skill sets you need to bring ultimate romance and feelings of belonging, of oneness, back or even for the first time, into your relationship. I can attest. Prior divorces prove that I did not have these skill sets. Praise God, I have found them now. When you are not used them for a time, they do not feel so natural until we exercise them some. It may seem like brushing your teeth with a left hand, when you write with your right. Awkward to begin. Almost hilarious as the toothpaste goes all over the top of your lips, onto the side of your face, and you start to hold your arm still and move your head up & down. Once practiced and accomplished, and still together, stronger in union than ever, you might even laugh at how silly it was to not have this passion all along. On the other hand, once gone, it takes more effort to overcome the pains of failure, than to recover the love with that person whom you admired before.
I can remember, many years ago being so frustrated when friends, a married couple, called me to try to help them get through a tight spot in their relationship. Both are good people. Both are God loving, family loving people. They simply reached frustration levels that intensified beyond their capabilities to recover. Knowing I loved them both, they called me over to help. I was so frustrated, because I did not have the skills to help turn them back toward each other. I only had my prior poor experiences and cliches that were better left unsaid.
If only… If only… Instead of living a life of “if only”. Wouldn’t we rather live a life of passion with the person we already share children, time, values, assets, vacations, memories, together? Passion is only a small time away. I believe your lawyers would rather make their livings by helping you with estate planning, than through divorce court payments. Chances are really good that even if this relationship does not work, without the proper skills, your next relationship will end the same. So, unless there has been harsh abuse, save all the things you have been through together. You can learn to use the good and the not so good, to grow stronger, more loving, more understanding, more worthy of love.
It does happen, every day. Help is available for you. So, are you ready to fight into a lot of hard work and disappointment? Or, would you rather spend the rest of your relationship in joy and trust?