I have spent many many years working only with couples who are in crisis and on the edge of divorce.
What I’ve learnt during this time is what works and what doesn’t that will enable a couple to learn if it’s actually possible to rebuild their marriage.
If you are struggling then this list below is the list I wish I knew when I was starting out with my own relationships. With this knowledge I could have saved my self a lot of time and discomfort.
So here are 10 rules…
1. Get on the same page with your partners true perspective.
If you want a relationship to work, or you want to start to get your relationship out of a crisis, then you must hear what your partner is really saying to you.
I watch many couples listen to their partner perspective and tell them what they are thinking is not true. Is that response going to help them feel they are understood or misunderstood? Misunderstood people don’t feel good and they attach that pain to others.
Essentially getting on the same page and aligning with your partner’s feelings and why they are feeling this way is critical.
Far too many people are far too interested in facts, and being right. Those are the people that end upright… but usually alone!
The skill of listening is how to listen to what they are really saying. This skill is mission-critical if you want their true perspective and a step in the direction of the truth in your relationship.
Without this level of alignment, the connection is too challenged.
2. Learn what drives/motivates them good and bad.
You can’t motivate someone using only what you want to happen.
If you want to move your partner, then you must understand how they work, what they need, and what they fear most.
Change in another person only happens in their mind so you must learn how it works and make this your mission if you want to influence them positively.
Once you align with their perspectives in the relationship and you really hear them, then you can position yourself as a potential support.
Add into that support understadning their core motivators of pleasure and pain, and you become a more valuable supporter of their life and mission.
This is some of what can rebuild trust which is a critical focus if you want to be valuable
3. Change those patterns that are destroying the marriage.
There are three frames where patterns exist in every relationship. Your own patterns, your partners’ patterns and the relationship patterns.
Understanding and changing any destructive patterns is critical if you’re going to build a successful marriage for life.
The patterns must change to reflect what the couple/individuals value most. So if what you say is essential is not reflected in your behaviours then you are not reflecting the best of YOU in your marriage.
So if you can’t trust you to be you, why should your partner trust you to look after them?
Good patterns to get rid of are judgements, assumptions, rules, mind-reading, to name a few.
This is critical to learn to avoid resentments taking hold.
4. Learn how to see your problems differently.
The reason so many couples start to shut down is they trap themselves into seeing the relationship problems as impossible to solve.
When a couple starts to see their problems in ways that are solvable, then the couple can begin to become active again as hope is reignited.
A typical presentation is we are incompatible. That’s a dead-end statement. BUT to be clear all couples are incompatible if they are not themselves in the relationship.
Incompatibility can be reframed as loss of energy, boredom, loss of connection to self.
Again this is down to aligning with what the person who is stuck is experiencing and helping them see the same stimulation differently.
You, of course, can’t do this if they don’t trust you, so you must have their best interests at heart, which is why earlier steps are critical.
5. Learn what it really takes to be an attractive partner.
One of the critical functions in any of my work is helping both individuals to become attractive to their partner again. In my view, unless attraction is part of any intervention, the couple’s problems are likely to resurface.
So learning what equals attractive to your partner is significant if you want a chance to build a life together.
When we first meet someone attraction for many is just there, but fast forward a few years then couples have replaced attraction and passion, with disconnection through challenges such as misunderstandings, miscommunication, mind-reading and assumptions.
These are all foundations of resentments and a source of what creates disconnection.
6. Help your partner become more of who they really want to be.
One of the most valuable gifts you can give to your partner is to first learn about them and then free them. You must allow them to be all of who they want to be within the relationship.
So many people want to get out of their marriage because they feel they can only be themselves outside the relationship.
So free them and help them understand who they are.
Encourage self-discovery and never ever kill their dreams.
7. Create a safe environment for an authentic emotional connection.
Many people in marriages don’t have the one thing that will keep it alive. Emotional connection is critical to learn to have together.
Without it, there is no platform for emotional expression and sharing in a way that connects the energy that breeds attraction.
The emotional connection as a foundation has to be there to navigate everything from conflict to deep sexual desires.
Unless both people can feel safe to be all of who they are, the relationship can feel blocked, stuck, or the person could feel, rejected, alone or isolated.
8. Build a secure foundation through what you both value
All of what we discussed so far is going to be different for every couple. So understanding how to build all this through what’s essential to both people is so important.
What do you value and what has to happen for those values to be met? Help someone in a relationship to consistency be disconnected from what they value most will help them feel pain, and they can attach that pain to you.
So sharing and understanding what someone values most enables them to feel good more often, which they then attach to you.
9. Always move the marriage towards a higher purpose.
Whatever action you take, there must always be a bigger goal. For example, if someone is upset, it’s important to help them experience warm support, strength and love.
You see, all couples have problems, and the key is to repair those problems quickly in a way that enable both people to let them go.
I see so many people with the pattern of you are upset, so I’m going to be angry at you being upset at me. This pattern only makes both people feel worse. There is no higher purpose.
So what is the purpose of the behaviour behind the upset and how can you meet that need?
This is a critical question…
10. Plan a future that’s purposeful and exciting for you both.
Most couples don’t plan well enough. They don’t plan the life they want; they don’t plan the relationship they want, they don’t design who they should be in the relationship.
So the relationship becomes vulnerable as there really is no shared future to get excited about or lose.
So it’s critical to become a team in every aspect of a couples journey through life together.
All of the above stacks the odds in favour of the couple. If the couple makes these 10 areas a focus and prioritises their relationship shifts of perspective are more likely.
Sadly many people only prioritise the marriage when their partner wants out.
By learning and applying the principal above, couples are reconnecting not just to each other, but to their true selves. When this is achieved, this is where lasting success lives.
You see the goal(s) is never to change the essence of the person; the goal is to help the person(s) become a better, attractive and a far more magnetic partner.
Many of my clients are finding the path to real success once they have the right information, and it starts with learning how to become a valuable partner.
Next step is up to you…