Don't settle for an unhappy marriage!
I read a lot of articles and books on self-help and leadership. I’m regularly amazed at how pertinent the advice given in these materials is to marriages.
I recently read an article attributed to the late Jim Rohn that has wonderful advice for an individual to improve their life. But what I think is even more interesting is how this same advice is helpful for improving a miserable marriage.
Here are his 13 tips for how to improve your life and how I believe they can improve your unhappy marriage:
- Face your fears. If you’re honest with yourself, one of your biggest fears is that you’ll always be unhappy in your marriage and that your dreams of happily ever after were just pipe dreams courtesy of Disney and all the other fairy tales you heard as a child.
This fear, like any other, doesn’t disappear just because you try to ignore it. You need to face your fear and conquer it. Either you put your all into making your unhappy union better or you continue to live with the disquiet of knowing you are settling for what is because you’re too afraid (lazy?) to do differently.
- Exercise your willpower to change direction.…
Read more: 13 Ways You Can Improve Your Unhappy Marriage
Men, here's your mini-instruction manual for the woman in your life!
If you're like most men, there are times you wish your lady came with an instruction manual. Sometimes we are confusing and just plain bizarre. Right?
Well, I believe the reason you think this about us women is you’re assuming we think and feel exactly like you would in the same situation. And when we don’t, you’re left feeling shocked and confused.
Now I’ll bet you’re a really great guy who really wants to help when the woman in your life is having a bad day. You’ve probably tried solving her problems and even distracting her with presents or activities because that’s what works for you.
But instead of her being thankful, somehow all your efforts just seem to make things worse. And, to top it all off, you’re left feeling frustrated and lonely.
First, let me put your mind at ease. Chances are her bad day has nothing to do with you. (She would tell you if it did, right?)
So there’s no need to feel frustrated, hurt or even defensive when she’s just not her usual self despite all your efforts to make things better. She’ll be back to normal soon…
Read more: How To Cheer Up Your Wife: 4 Things You Should Do When She's Having A Bad Day
You need to fix you to make your marriage work.
Most of us marry for love. We naively assume that because our love is different or we're more determined that we'll be one of the lucky couples who will arrive and remain at the magical place of “Happily Ever After” from the moment we say “I do.”
At least that’s how my first marriage started out. And I’m not alone. 99% of couples walking down the aisle for the first time believe they have arrived at the mythical land of “Happily Ever After” and that all they have to do is start enjoying the magic of it.
OK, I totally made up that statistic up because I couldn’t find any data on it. But seriously, the number of couples who believe their married life will be blissful has gotta be huge! Right?
If you’ve been married beyond the rose-colored haze of the honeymoon phase, you know that marriage is not always happy. In fact, there are moments when marriage is absolutely hell on earth.
It’s in these moments (or hours, but hopefully not days, months or years) of hell that you’re most likely to question whether or not divorce might be worth it.
Before you start…
Read more: "Happily Ever After" Isn't A Destination. It's A Daily Commitment.
Use these 3 steps to forgive yourself and set yourself free.
Yes, I struggle with being over-responsible, so I know what I'm talking about. (And, please, don't judge me.) Over-responsibility is a trait most women are either trained into or gifted with at birth.
But it's not found exclusively in women! Men are also over-responsible and come by it just as naturally as women do.
Us over-responsible folks experience the world a bit differently than others do. We know on every level of our being that we are
responsible for making things work out and take care of everyone else. If we don’t, we feel anything from discomfort to misery at shirking our perceived responsibilities.
It’s our overbearing sense of accountability that can hamper or even derail our divorce recovery. We habitually assign ourselves blame when things we’re involved in don’t work out or simply don’t go as planned. It’s the guilt from being at fault that keeps us from healing.
When your marriage ends in divorce it’s way too easy to blame yourself primarily (if not exclusively) for its demise. You spend hours thinking, “If only I had _______” where you fill-in-the-blank with impossibilities. Not things that are impossible to do, but things that…
Read more: Over-Responsible? 3 Mandatory Steps For Your Divorce Recovery
Non-sexual touch is extremely powerful (healing to both bodies AND relationships)
We've all heard communication is key to a thriving relationship and we we put extra effort into learning how to speak and listen to our partners with as much compassion and love as possible.
But the truth is that effective communication, the kind that really divorce-proofs a marriage, takes a whole lot more than paying attention to the words we use. Some researchers have said that non-verbal communication counts for 70-90% of the information expressed.
One of the best non-verbal means of communication for spouses to share is ... touch.
And one of the most pleasurable forms of touch is massage. Massage releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin and reduces stress-related hormones like adrenocorticotropin. Massage also increases intimate connection. Skin-to-skin contact communicates a lot - even if the skin-to-skin contact is hand-to-hand or even hand to foot.
Massage is also pleasurable for both partners because it allows them each to focus on the shared goals of relaxation, connection and intimacy.
Several years ago, intrigued about the benefits of massage, I decided to earn my massage license. I've discovered first-hand that couples can share massages that aren't full body or require a massage table and yet are…
Read more: Can A Massage Per Day Help Keep Divorce Away? (Yes, Seriously)