The Best Marriage Advice You’ll Get

The effort required really isn’t very much.

It’s the energy that matches what you want that has to be exact.

If I bring you love, if I bring you peace, if I’m grateful for what you’ve done and are doing,

Will that help?

If I’m empathetic to your concerns and opinions, if I value what you do, what you say, and who you are,

Won’t that also help?

If I keep myself solid emotionally, while being patient with how you process and able to give you what you need, that also helps.

With minimal effort I can be trustworthy, kind, considerate of your feelings, and genuinely grateful for what you do and have done.

With every little effort I can listen, and wait to speak more thoughtfully.

  • I don’t have to avoid you.
  • I don’t need to fight and argue.
  • I don’t’ have to be submissive because you’re angry.

Can’t I be happy that we’re together? Happy that I’m doing something to make things better?  Happy that possibility still exists? Happy that with the changes I’m making in myself and how I respond differently to you?

I can be happy because I want to be, and focus on all the reasons and evidence that exists in my life that’s good.

I don’t have to put you down or criticize you, or complain to all my friends and family about you.

I can be more reasonable when we talk.

I don’t have to point out everything you’ve done wrong, even though I’m perfect and always right. J

I can help us more than I am.

I can be a good reason to stay together, and a good reason to believe that much better days are ahead.

I can love you better than I am.  And I don’t have to wait for you to change to do that.

If I care at all for you, I can show you I do because life is a fragile thing, and I’m not ready to lose you .

And I can get help, because I may not have the knowledge or understanding to do this as fully as I want to.

I can admit I don’t have all the answers for us while I do a little better at loving you, ad making you feel that I value you in my life.

Thank you for having this talk with me because I needed perspective. And that’s always a good thing.

Now I can choose differently so we have a real chance at happiness together.

I’m eager to get rid of some stress and I know you are too.

I can even read this to myself again, and anytime I lose sight of what I want with you.

 

Hidden Gems in Conflict Resolution

People can disagree and argue about almost anything, but there are only two real elements in conflicts:

1.  Who is more right?

2.  Who is more important?

As you think about this for yourself and your partner, can you think of any other reason that your conflicts exist?

It’s always going to be some version of those two things.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Sometimes people choose that being right is more important than having a happy marriage?

Years ago I remember being in a specific argument with my wife where I figured this out.

I had just proved that what I knew or thought, was more right than whatever point she was trying to make. And after a series of escalated words back and forth, the conversation ended.

Was she happy?  Definitely not.

Was I happy?  Not at all.

I realized in that moment that being right about whatever that thing was, wasn’t so important after all. In fact my attempts to prove I was more right had actually diminished the feeling of connection between us. 

That’s not at all what I wanted. It became a defining moment in our marriage that allowed me to completely shift my focus in conversations with her.

Let’s imagine that you want to talk to your partner about something important.

What’s your outcome? What do you want to happen as a result of the conversation?

Besides having a clear outcome, here’s a more important element I discovered.

  • How do you want to feel during the conversation?
  • And will that feeling help you to be more effective?
Under extra stress and pressure we all default to habitual emotional patterns that aren’t going to be supportive or resourceful.
-Some people get noticeably angry and irritated

-Some people get anxious and overwhelmed.

-Some people feel defensive and argumentative

-Some people shut down or feel sad.

So I realized I needed to choose the feeling I preferred to have before the conversation.

If you aren’t consciously choosing a more empowering emotion for yourself before

engaging in the conversation, you will repeat your own emotional patterns that may

not serve you, or having a happy marriage. 

When conflicts increase in marriage, people can waste alot of time blaming communication

when the source cause is the disconnected feelings between you both.

Reach out to talk with me if you’d like to learn more about repairing your marriage.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  -Dr. Seuss
I

The Only 2 Real Marriage Issues to Fix

Having a great marriage isn’t a hard thing to do. Telling ourselves the truth is more difficult. And that’s what keeps people stuck in unhappy and unfulfilling marriages.

  1. You don’t how to have a happy marriage-

This was an unpleasant truth that I had to tell myself years ago.  I really didn’t know what I was doing, even though I wanted to blame my wife for everything wrong in our marriage.

  • Did I know how to prevent conflicts or resolve them peacefully? Nope!
  • Did I know what to do to keep our chemistry and intimacy high? Thought I did, but not really.
  • Did I know how to keep communication open and easy? Definitely not!
  • Did I understand what she needed from me the most? Absolutely not.
  • Did I know how to affair proof our marriage? Not a clue.

Why not?

Who was going to teach me all of these things? My dad who left when I was 15? The couples counselor we went to who blamed me for everything wrong in the marriage, and suggested we get a divorce?

You may know there are over 50,000 traditional couples counselors in the US, yet over 2 million divorces each year. Many are not teaching people what works and what doesn’t very effectively.

  1. You and your partner look at life and marriage differently-

Another truth that I had to tell myself was that:

I didn’t understand women very well.

My wife and I had different rules for love. Different rules for what being married meant, and different needs.

We certainly didn’t see eye to eye on lots of issues. Did talking about her version and my version of events with a couples counselor help us?

No! It only caused us to feel more separate and bitter.

When I solved these 2 real marriage issues, our relationship went from unhappy to amazing.

In my opinion, most people don’t need couples counseling. They need to be educated on what works and what doesn’t, and why.

They need simple skills, tools and strategies to have happy marriages that lasts forever.

That’s what I teach.

Reach out to me here if you want to solve these issues for good. I’d like to help you do that.

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. 

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss

 

My Personal Plea to You About Your Partner’s Phone

Do Not Take Your Marriage For Granted

It’s the Ok marriage that often leads to pain.

I have to warn you.

I am seeing an increase in clients who discover their partners are having sexting affairs.

Just in case you don’t know, Sexting is the texting of images and/or words that are sexually explicit.

Imagine that you discover your partner has been sexting with another person. You pick up their phone and see nude images and words to describe a variety of sexual acts that your spouse wants to have with this other person.

You’re not going to feel good about it.

Sometimes the sexting is rationalized as; they didn’t have physical sex, and it’s really not that big a deal. Sometimes the sexting they admit has been going on for years.

You’re definitely not going to like that.

Other times the sexting is the tip of the iceberg to a full blown affair that has been going on for a long time.

Now you’ll have to decide what you are going to do.

In every one of these situations that I deal with, I always ask about the state of the marriage before these affairs were discovered.

In almost everyone one of these situations, the marriages are described as Ok, or alright.

Here’s the ugly truth:

When I dig deeper, the marriages were far from Ok or being alright. Most of these people who have been betrayed admit that they had thought about getting a divorce years prior to the acts I’ve mentioned, but things were mostly Ok so they didn’t.

Couples are all too often sleep walking through life together, and the discovery of sexting and physical affairs is the brutal wake up call.

In my opinion, the sexting and the affairs are all symptoms of a marriage that has been struggling for some time. But the partners didn’t see any urgency to fix it and things seemed mostly Ok.

Please be smart:

Can you access your partner’s phone? Will they happily give you their smartphone and password?

This should not create a disagreement. If you are in happy, deeply connected, and trust filled relationship, there will never be an issue using your partner’s phone.

My wife has access to my smart phone any time she wants. She uses it often even though she has her own phone, which she can’t find from time to time. And I have access to my wife’s phone and password.

I want it to be that way. There is no valid reason on earth why I would need to hide my phone from her, nor should she feel the need to hide her phone and password from me.  The moment that occurs, trust has been lost, and the relationship despite all good appearances, is entering dysfunction.

If you find resistance to being able to access your partner’s phone please share this article with them.

If your marriage is simply Ok, or less than Ok, I urge you to reach out for help.

An Ok marriage is always on the edge of not being Ok.  An Ok marriage will not become happy, or great, or even good by itself. There is no upside to an OK marriage without effort to change it.

Without help very little happiness is possible.

 

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not. –Dr Seuss

 

Answers to Couple Communication Questions

How do we improve our Couple Communication?

That’s the most common question I get.

I struggled with this myself early on in my marriage; blaming my wife mostly for the many misunderstandings and disagreements.

What I didn’t know at the time was that it wasn’t our ability to talk with each other or to understand each other that was the problem.

I simply didn’t understand my role in my interactions with her.

That was a big problem.

If you’ve read my book The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle you know that I am not a fan of working on couple communication with the partners. In my experience and opinion, it’s a waste of time.

I believe that communication conflicts are a symptom of a larger issue in the relationship.

What is needed is restoring the feelings of being connected.

This FEELING is what diminishes communication conflicts. This feeling is what allows couples to be able to understand each other clearly. This feeling is what facilitates the resolution of other challenges in the relationship.

I facilitate this by teaching people what to do in their roles of masculine and feminine to restore and sustain the feelings of connection with each other. You might call this chemistry or feelings of being in love.

When this feeling doesn’t exist, neither does the feeling of being deeply cared for.

You already know what happens when you don’t feel deeply cared for.

You cannot talk your way back into restoring feelings of connection.

You can only do that by changing behaviors.

And if you don’t understand your role within masculine and feminine in building connection, you will struggle to improve couple communication, and fail to improve the marriage.

Talk with me.  Reach out to connect with me if you’d like to learn how to improve your marriage.

 

What you do and fail to do is always reflected in the outcome of your marriage.

3 Choices in Couple Communication

In my opinion and experience, the root cause of communication conflicts in marriage is due to a decreased feeling of connection between the two partners.

And that cannot be improved by simply talking about it.

Behaviors have to change in order for the feelings of connection to improve.

Because many of our behaviors are habitual, we often find ourselves in an exchange with our partner that isn’t helpful to the feelings of being connected with them.

In any human interaction, you are doing one of these 3 things:

  • You are Diminishing the interaction,
  • Supporting the interaction,
  • Or Elevating the interaction.

You may want to consider that for a moment.

I’ve certainly been guilty in the past of diminishing the interaction with my wife and causing an escalation  in our disagreement.

How do you relate this to your own interactions with your partner when arguments or misunderstandings happen?

In what category do you find yourself most often?

You might say that you are simply reacting to what they said or did. While this might be true, you also have other choices.

  • You can react and escalate… which often happens….
  • You can stay calm, cool and collected, and listen…
  • You can apologize and soften your tone, even possibly reassuring your partner of your love, support, their value in your life, etc…

This simple understanding was transformational in my own marriage.

If you have read The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle, you understand some of the things I personally did that directly relate to these 3 choices.

If you’d like my thoughts on how to improve your situation, simply reach out here.

 

Remember, what you do and fail to do is always reflected in the outcome of your marriage.