Occasionally a marriage will end as a result of one single incident, such as infidelity. But more often than not, it’s the day-to-day hurtful words and actions between a couple that dissolve a marriage slowly over time. And almost nothing can chip away at a marriage more directly than one or both partners’ need to be right when there’s a disagreement.
The desire to be right is something that was taught to us at a very young age. When we get the answers right in school, we get better grades. We went out into competitive working environments and those ...continue reading...
“Each night ask yourself…when did you withhold love when you might have given it?” Marianne Williamson
My client, Marilyn, told me it had been at least 5 years since she and her husband had sex.
She said they fall asleep each night lying next to one another, but feeling a million miles away from him.
Through tears Marilyn shared that she hadn’t been held in at least that long.
That’s 1825 days without affection.
1825 days without physical closeness and connection.
1825 days without feeling seen and understood.
1825 days without emotional support, intimacy and vulnerability.
1825 days ...continue reading...
“The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection, and not a fountain; to show them that we love them not when we feel like it, but when they do.” Nan Fairbrother
“I can sit next to him, but I cannot lean on him or put my head on his shoulder. I can hold his hand, but he will drop within about five minutes. We haven’t had sex for a year and he hasn’t kissed me in months. Every time I try to initiate some physical closeness, he has a reason why now is not ...continue reading...
“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” Epicurus
The average American spends 2160 days in school, and based upon the average life span, that’s 12% of all the days of our lives spent in school. During that time, we learn about things such as math, science, reading, writing, languages, etc. These are all important topics to help us function in the world and become productive adults.
But at the end of our lives, when we’re lying there close to taking our last breath and reflecting ...continue reading...
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” Khalil Gibran
My clients, Jenna and Steve, have been together for 12 years, a second marriage for them both. She’s very clear that she wants more connection, more intimacy and even more fun in their relationship. She wants to feel like a priority, she wants more communication and she wants more time together. And she’s told him again and again in a variety of ways what she wants.
So why hasn’t he done it?
It’s not like it’s difficult.
It’s not like she hasn’t been clear.
He should want that too, ...continue reading...
“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” Elizabeth Gilbert
April 19th. Today would have been my 19th wedding anniversary had I stayed married. I left eight years ago, but it seems like a lifetime. I remember being tormented by indecision – scared to leave the marriage and scared to stay; scared to hurt my husband, scared to disappoint my family, and scared to make the lifelong decision to suck it up and accept the marriage for what it was and likely all that it would ever be.
That was my thinking at the ...continue reading...
“If you withhold love as a form of punishment, who is being punished?” Donald L. Hicks
Here’s how most relationships work:When my spouse is doing the things that I want them to do, I show them love. When they’re not doing those things or doing things that I would prefer they NOT do, I withhold love.
My spouse will clearly feel the difference and will adjust their actions and behaviors accordingly so that the love spicket will once again rain upon them.
That’s not love, that’s attachment and manipulation.
We are taught this from a very ...continue reading...
The Mature Marriage: Five Signs of a Marriage in Trouble
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami
Even though divorce rates for younger couples is on the decline, the rate of divorces in mature marriages is increasing. As a matter of fact, the divorce rate has nearly ...continue reading...
“Waiting hurts. Forgetting hurts. But not knowing which decision to take can sometimes be the most painful.” Paulo Coelho
The thought of staying feels hopeless, but the thought of leaving and breaking up my family is terrifying.
I’ve heard this in various ways probably hundreds of times over the years of doing this relationship work. And every time I hear a woman speak those words to me, I can feel the amount of pain she’s enduring. It’s a place of genuine confusion. It’s the place of feeling stuck and lost. Confusion and indecision feel horrible.
In business, confusion ...continue reading...
“You can only see what you believe, nothing else is possible.” Byron Katie
This week I had the experience of being able to speak with the husband of one of my long-term clients. He was open, honest, introspective and sincere. His wife is a good woman. He is a good man. And they’re at the crossroads of trying to figure out if they can be what each other needs or if it’s time to call it quits.
As they say, there are two sides to every story. That’s because all of us – everyone – can only see and ...continue reading...