Marriage therapists are much more likely to see a couple after the marriage reaches the breaking point, rather than early in the process of breaking down. Both partners at this distressing juncture will often be experiencing despair, and they’ll ask the therapist’s opinion about whether they should “just end it.” The real feelings lurking behind such a question actually sound more like this, “We’re so tired of trying the same old things and getting nowhere in our relationship. Can’t you give us something new to try?” The answer is yes, if you’re willing to work hard at it, and learn the signs of marital trouble. Divorce remains at historic highs compared with the 1950s. According to the U.S. Census, one-half of the first marriages of baby boomer couples will end in divorce or separation. Both men and women experience marital disaffection or the dying-out of love between two spouses. The process is painful for everyone; sometimes as agonizing for one or both partners as the death of a loved one. What’s also true is that many married men and women come to the conclusion that their marriage is over prematurely. That is, they give up from exhaustion and despair when there are still things that can be done to save the marriage. When a relationship begins to turn sour, inevitably people blame their partner. Being right and making the other wrong starts to hold more value to each spouse than the goal of maintaining love, peace, and harmony in the relationship. Underlying whatever the couple is arguing about, be it housekeeping, an affair, or one partner’s long hours at the office, there are deep unacknowledged hurts and disappointments. A woman often feels unappreciated or unloved. A man feels nagged or neglected. The danger is that the couple never goes below the surface of the antagonisms reigning in the present, never knows what they’re actually fighting about, and each blames the other for the standoff that results. In this scenario of battling spouses, the ego reigns supreme and love begins to die. When harsh words, physical distance, and immature behaviors such as irrational spending have replaced the gestures of love, it’s sometimes difficult to understand what’s actually going on in your marriage. It appears to have fallen completely apart and you can’t recall why you ever “fell in love” with this person in the first place. From an article by Stephen Martin, MFT, and Victoria Costello http://www.netplaces.com/happy-marriage/danger-signs-in-a-marriage/dont-give-up-too-soon.htm
It is not a
lack of love,
but a lack
Stop missing out on enjoying time with your partner, by worrying about something that hasn’t happened, with people that aren’t part of your relationship. …stop focusing on that which you DON’T want to happen, and spend more time creating what you DO want. The universe doesn’t understand that what you are thinking about all the time is something undesirable. It takes any thought you create as a request and conspires to manifest those requests. So, if you constantly focus on the negative thoughts around your relationship, chances are you will keep inadvertently creating negative situations between you and your partner. Changing your thoughts, and letting go of the fear, makes room for more thoughts about what you really want to create in your relationship. It’s a much better way to use your energy and if you focus on how to give more love, how to strengthen your bond and create more intimacy, you’ll find you easily manifest the good loving you really desire. All of this is not to say that you should be ignorant of any intuition or signs of infidelity. If you have a feeling things have gone astray, or there are obvious signs that your partner’s focus may have shifted, then you should trust your own intuition and be willing to address your concerns. Having an honest, adult, and somewhat vulnerable conversation with your partner about what you’re worried about can be the difference between realizing you had the wrong end of stick and getting on with loving each other, or letting your mind run away with the worst case scenario and having that fear ruin your relationship. Open, mature conversation about boundaries and expectations is the only way to really approach the fear of being cheated on and a much more promising way to build a lifetime of love. From an article by Rachael Lay http://www.rachaellay.com/why-worrying-about-cheating-is-pointless/
For a marriage relationship to flourish,
there must be intimacy.
It takes an enormous amount of courage
to say to your spouse, “This is me.
I’m not proud of it — in fact,
I’m a little embarrassed by it —
but this is who I am.”
We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being. Hermann Hesse
The loneliness you feel
with another person,
the wrong person,
is the loneliest of all.
When you are born…your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk, and crusty things, and dirt, and fear, and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in a while, you have to scrub it up and get the works going, or else you’ll never be brave again. Catherynne M. Valente
Play is the highest
form of research.
Life changes. You get it all lined up just the way you like it and then something beyond your control comes along and bumps you off-center. How nice it would be if you could get everything just the way you want it and say, ‘Okay, now, stay.’ But nothing stays the same. You grow up, make friends, lose friends, go to college, lose track of people, meet new ones, and sometimes you ask yourself why. But all I can tell you is the every single experience you go through like this changed you in some way. Every new person who comes into your life changes you. Every moral dilemma or emotional experience you come up against changes you. It’s your job you decide how. That’s how character is developed. From “Hollie’s Quotes”
Character is, for the most part,
simply habit become fixed.
C. H. Parkhurst
When I began to get better and my recovery from codependence was showing good results, I became fairly self-impressed. My thinking included “look at me and how well I am doing”, “you should be proud of me for all that I have accomplished”, “look how far I’ve come”, “you should love me more now that I am better” and so on. It took time, but I came to see framing my thoughts in such a manner was actually dysfunctional. All I had accomplished was some level of becoming “normal”. Millions of people are “normal” every day and don’t get merit badges for it. I shouldn’t either. Being pleased with myself for accomplishments in recovery is healthy. Expecting others to fawn over me because of them is not!
Don’t show off every day, or you’ll stop surprising people.
There must always be some novelty left over.
The person who displays a little more of it each day
keeps up expectations, and no one ever discovers
the limits of his talent.
Any job worth doing is worth doing poorly I heard Pia Mellody speak on a recording of one of her workshops about codependence. Seems those attending must have had trouble getting the meaning from the words as I did because she repeated it and then explained. Generally, she said some things are not worth doing any better than poorly. No amount of perfectionism applied will make the task more meaningful. The fear of doing something poorly can also make us not try new things because we think we have to get it right the first time. We have to try, fail and try again. That’s how we learn best. But we don’t have to do it perfectly!
Action and reaction,
ebb and flow,
trial and error,
this is the rhythm of living.
Every man needs it. And anyone who claims that’s not true, either is lying, mentally ill or both. A good bit of my life has been spent believing that everything is all about love: looking desperately for it, trying to get rid of it, or not knowing what to do because of it. I have experienced love from many angles and come to know a great number of its faucets, even though I have acted very poorly at times. My conclusion is there are unique women I get along with better with than others, but I do not think there is only one person on Earth that ‘completes’ me. In short, my belief is a woman I can love is uncommon, while not being outlandishly rare either. My issue has not been opportunity. My problem has been my inability to see love clearly until it was past and behind me. Love is fun, yet painful; it is a roller coaster that can bring complete happiness, absolute desperation or both at the same time. It is often difficult to fight between what I think and what I feel. Such contradictions appear too frequently. But the gained knowledge that allows me to truthfully admit myself here shows I am making progress.
Falling in love is not always
a happily ever after story.
Most of the time,
it’s just once upon a time.
There are many things dreamed of, places I want to go, experiences imagined and memories I hope to make. I hesitate making them come true while saying to myself “someday” or “not yet” or even “that’s a stupid thing to want”. Then the voice of my being says “It’s your life and should be lived as you dream and hope”. Yet I stop short, somehow believing I can’t, don’t deserve it or simply find courage lacking to be true to myself. After all, who am I to want the life I want? Codependency can rob one of the confidence needed to live life parallel to their needs and desires. Instead time is used mostly living for and through others. For family and those we love, sacrifice is necessary for the balance necessary for a working relationship. But denying ALL my greatest hopes and dreams is beyond what is healthy for me and is nothing to be admired. After a point, I do best for others when I am first loyal to my own aspirations and greatest wishes.
On the plains of hesitation
Bleach the bones of countless millions
Who at the dawn of victory stopped to wait,
And waiting, died.
The better I understand myself, the better I’m able to accept or change who I am. Being in the dark about who I am means continuing to get caught up in my own internal struggles and allowing outside forces to mold and shape me. Such was my life for a long time. Self-view began to clear a little when I started asking questions of myself and sticking with them repeatedly until pieces of an answer appeared. Who am I? Where am I going? What pleases me about myself? Who would I like to be? How would I like to change? What do I like about myself? In what ways can I improve my life? Am I living up to my potential? Getting to know myself better began and continues as a quest, one that will last the rest of my life. As long as my desire is genuine I am capable of being all I want to be.
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
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