Let me paint the picture.
Your communication is awful. Either every little thing turns into an argument, or you just don’t talk at all.
You feel like everything else is a priority before you. You are so starved for attention and nothing you try seems to work. In fact, it seems like he’s pulling back from you.
You feel completely disconnected. You might as well just be roommates living in the same house. You don’t spend time together, and sometimes go out of your way to avoid each other.
Your sex life is non-existent. You are too tired, too stressed, and just plain not in the mood.
You are so unhappy you can hardly imagine what it would feel like to actually get along. You can’t even remember the last time you actually laughed together or just had a fun time with each other.
You’ve let things get to the point where something has got to change (like NOW), but you are not quite sure what to do. You’ve tried to everything you can think of, but somehow nothing has made a difference.
You’ve talked about counseling, but no one has actually made an effort to look into it. You need some help, but he’s only pointing the finger at you, and it takes two to make things better.
Believe me, I know exactly how you feel.
These are all the classic signs of a marriage falling apart. A dangerous place where if things don’t turn around, you could get stuck in a state of being completely miserable, or worse. You could be headed for divorce.
Listen, every marriage goes through their troubles. But the ones that make it are doing something you may just not be aware of.
It goes beyond talking about your issues and making a plan to do things differently.
It’s more than working on your communication skills and learning to listen to each other.
It’s much deeper than talking about your expectations and trying to meet each other’s needs.
The key to truly turning your marriage around is learning how to have a marriage mindset.
And once you can do that, you’ll experience your marriage in an entirely different way.
OK, so you are probably asking, what is a marriage mindset and why have I not heard about this before?
You wouldn’t have heard about it before, and that’s really not your fault. If everyone knew this, the divorce rate would be A LOT lower!
Unfortunately, we are not really taught the habits and ways of thinking and being that lead us to unknowingly create unhappy marriages.
So, you respond in the ways that make sense to you and seem to protect your heart.
Because that’s all you know to do.
If he’s not paying enough attention to you, your feelings get hurt. And then you pull away from him and keep more to yourself.
If you feel like everything you say will lead to an argument, you stop talking about important things and eventually stop talking at all.
If he constantly disappoints you with his behavior and attitude, you stop caring and give up hope that he’ll become the husband you want.
There are a set of predictable patterns of behavior and ways of thinking that lead you day by day, decision, by decision closer to divorce or a life together that is truly miserable.
On the other hand, a marriage mindset is set of principles and agreements you make with yourself that enable you to transform how you and your husband think, act and respond to each other. Here are six of the essential ingredients:
#1. It involves first recognizing the patterns of behavior that lead you to no longer enjoy being together so you can change them. You have to be able to see what’s going on and going wrong in how you are responding to each other. What have become your regular habits are not working and you can’t change them until you see them clearly in a variety of situations.
#2. It includes discovering how the thoughts and beliefs you have literally create the exact thing that you want to avoid. Whatever you think about grows and everything that happens in your relationship is filtered through the thoughts you have about each other. If you constantly find yourself thinking the worst about your husband, you get used to it, and it becomes the new normal for your life.
#3. It’s learning how to motivate and inspire the behaviors you want to see in your husband instead of trying to convince and complain your way to those changes. What you’ve been trying has not worked, and instead there are ways to provide your husband with the positive motivation so that he wants to change instead of feeling like he’s just meeting your demands.
#4. It’s figuring out how to step outside of yourself and see things from a new angle so you can finally get off the crazy cycle that has lead to the place where you are now. There are different ways to being and interacting that you may have thought of, but just don’t have the tools to actually put into practice.
#5. It’s identifying and focusing on the things you can control within your relationship so that you can manage your emotions in ways that make you feel good. You want to put your energy towards the things that actually matter and that you can actually influence so you stop feeling so frustrated when you can’t make progress.
#6. It requires you begin to concentrate on the things that are going right so you can learn how to create more positive interactions together. If you are looking for the bad, you’ll only see the bad. But if you train your mind to look for the good, you’ll be much more at peace and have the right perspective so you can actually solve problems instead of creating new ones.
I know so many things have changed in your marriage over time. Your lives have gotten so busy, the stresses keep piling on, and you’ve really just let things go. Sometimes you look at your husband and wonder what happened to the man you married. You ask yourself, “how did we get to this place?”
And now, you really don’t know what to do.
All the problems seem to start with him, but when you really think about it, you know that there are things you could be doing differently too.
Neither one of you really listen to each other.
You don’t always see his perspective and it’s frustrating when he seems to be so stubborn and insensitive.
Your perception of him is so different than it was before.
And now, here you are. Feeling frustrated. And lonely. And wishing you had that man who was your best friend.
I want to encourage you and let you know, things really can get better.
Yes, right now you may be experiencing a lot of harsh words and criticism, lack of affection, the silent treatment, finger pointing and so many other things that cause you stress.
Unfortunately, you both have gotten into bad habits and ways of interacting with each other that have now caused you to see each other one specific way. And that way brings heartache, sadness, anger, frustration and a whole list of other things you really don’t want.
But it doesn’t have to stay that way. You can begin to work on your issues in a way that feels good and really moves you forward.
Start to develop a marriage mindset.
Become aware of what he does, how you think about what he does, and how you respond to what he does. Just begin to pay attention. And then ask yourself if there are different ways of seeing things and different ways you want to respond. It doesn’t mean you have to change things overnight! Just asking the question brings new things into your awareness.
And then find one small thing that’s positive in your marriage. Hold on to that. Keep it front of mind. And then, get to work on rebuilding a better relationship with your husband.
We can do this together! I have a private Facebook group that I’d love for you to join me. I’m there daily offering encouragement, support and inspiration to help you create a marriage that you love. We’re over 1,000 members strong! Request to join us and receive more motivation and tips on how to create your marriage mindset! CLICK HERE TO JOIN US!
Dr. Chavonne Perotte
Relationship Expert & Coach
P.S. If you are looking for a professional to personally help you develop a marriage mindset, I’d love to invite you to consider scheduling a consultation call with me. I have a few spots open in my signature coaching program, Getting to Happily, which provides a step-by-step plan for turning your failing marriage into a marriage that is your greatest source of joy. These consultation calls are usually $150, but you can schedule one at no cost if you use the link below.