The answer to this question is you must find a way to see your problems in solvable terms. Many people are looking at their relationship problems as impossible to solve and it’s this thinking that helps them give up or break a relationship that could have worked.
If you are a regular reader you will know I don’t think all marriages can or should be saved. What couples in trouble should do is become curious to understand the root of their marriage problems so they don’t make a mistake they’ll regret.
Below are some brief situations that looked impossible to solve until they really understood what was happening and what to do about it.
A gentleman came in to see me recently convinced he wanted a divorce. He was right to be in pain because he had translated his wife’s years of lack of love for him as bad for him and the relationship so he had no choice but to leave her.
He had stacked resentments towards her and had now had enough. He was right to feel this way but should it really be the end?
I helped him see that his wife’s’ lack of love was not due to the relationship being wrong she was stuck in an emotional pattern that had made her feel unsafe to give to him emotionally.
Essentially she was emotionally paralysed she had no idea she was in this place or how to tell him how to help her.
His frustration at her over the years had simply made her worse without realising.
All she knew is she felt wrong and closeness and especially sex just didn’t feel right.
Both these people now had a new responsibility: Him to help her feel safe to get out of this stuck place and her to understand it so she made sure this never happened to her again.
A lady came to see me telling me her husband had no empathy and wasn’t capable of it. She couldn’t live in a relationship like that any more.
She was right, she was going to suffer in that type of relationship.
What she was not seeing is her husband was actually suffering from not understanding what she was actually trying to communicate so couldn’t possibly be empathetic.
So it’s not that he was incapable of empathy he was suffering with how to translate what she was trying to say to her.
To him, she made no sense.
As he kept mistranslating her she became more and more upset with him and so over time he shut down now seeing communication as him failing and a massive source of pain.
Naturally, his need to protect himself and the relationship through shutting down made her assumption more real.
Once he had the tools to hear her then his empathy could be reinstated and she could be heard.
A lady was suffering from depression for years. Her depression had affected their marriage to the point they were both wondering if the marriage was wrong for them both.
It was hard for him to live with someone so depressed and it was exhausting for her.
It would be easy to see this situation as unsolvable.
The problem was they were not seeing was the true purpose of the depression? Why was she depressed? She was depressed as a means to protect herself from deeper pain.
The moment that deeper pain could be understood and supported by building a stronger marriage the depression was no longer needed as a tool to protect her.
The point of sharing these examples is in so many cases there is a solution to a couple’s problems.
Their real problem comes from a place of not being able to see a solution and seeing the relationship problems as impossible to solve.
This over time helps the couple give up.
There is no doubt that without understanding relationships they are complex, but there is a way to make them simple to understand.
The key is to understand the few things a couple has to do that will make 80% of the difference. This investment in life-changing knowledge can impact not just them but generations to come.