What sits at the core of the most successful marriages. What is it that makes the difference. What is it that helps couples stand the test of time? What is it that helps couples make it through all the ups and downs life has to throw at them?
Is sex at the core for a successful couple? Many say this is the barometer that tells us how they are really doing? Are couples happier when they have more money? Is it they never argue or they like the same things?
What is it what the core ingredient?
This was the question I was looking for when I too was lost failing in my relationships?
In yesterdays post I shared this very secret with that lady and it changed how she looked at herself and her husband. If you missed you can read it here.
There is also a heartbreaking
letter from a client to read at
the end of this post.
Initially, when I shared the secret she pushed back rolled her eyes gave me the same story I have heard a thousand times, but she was missing a vital ingredient that made her sit up and listen.
It made her change the way she looked at herself, her relationship, it’s past and how she saw her husband.
This small shift didn’t suddenly fix the marriage, this isn’t Disney.
What this shift did was it give her another choice.
You see many couples create the thinking that leads them into a dead-end. This is why so many people divorce for the wrong reasons.
He’ll never change, she’ll never be happy, the love is dead, we’re incompatible.
This lady had practised dead-end self-talk at how the problem was her husbands for years. This self-limiting thinking had lead her into thinking there was no hope. She hated who she was becoming and she started to hate him and that meant there was only one choice open to her.
This is critical to know if you feel you only have one choice. People with only one choice will be cycling through the same self-limited thinking so the result is always the same, a dead-end outcome.
What I wanted this lady to experience were more choices and safer ones so her thinking needed to become expanded to reflect the truth.
I asked her for her understanding of what her husband needed and I drilled down in specifics. I wanted to know what she knew about him.
I wanted to know what she did to get the best out of him and what she gave to him that would help him be constantly successful with her.
Now, this lady was totally ready for the question relating to how awful he was but these new questions created a struggle within her to answer.
You see the secret to what created this shift in her was her new understanding that contribution was the secret, but it only worked if that contribution is rooted in how he really needed it.
She told me (as many people do) she spent her life-giving to him which is why in the end she stopped. But she never knew the missing ingredient was to give to him in the way he needed.
As she tried to answer my questions she discovered that she didn’t know what he needed and for the most, she was giving to him actually what she really needed without thought.
She discovered her husband was living in a needs deficit and he was suffering too just like her.
As he suffered in the marriage it was compounded by her judgment of him, her negative attitude towards him and the constant snipes designed to wake him up but done in a way he would only see as negative hatred of him.
Her judgements of him, her assumptions, expectation he should mind-read her needs was fast helping her to become someone she really wasn’t – negative, mean, judgmental.
This from a lady who is so loving at her core.
Her historic thinking meant she had to change to protect herself from what she thought he should know. I updated her to understand he was not a mindreader so her thinking was unfair not just on him, but on the relationship.
I told her that I knew she was a good person at core and whilst her thinking was normal, it also wasn’t helpful to him or her or her future because she would have done this again with someone new.
She started to see what had gone wrong and how without knowing she was apart of the problem.
Now to she had a lot of questions, she wanted clarity on the differences that men and women have that are not common knowledge.
She needed this to make the most critical shift.
The internal story of her marriage had now changed.
The new story became – “they were both lost not understanding how to make their marriage work.”
This set the foundation for a new choice to explore what they were capable of together with the right knowledge.
Life is far too short – Due to this virus, we are constantly being reminded of our own mortality.
This virus and the thought that life is too short reminded me of a heartbreaking message from a different client I saw a few years ago.
Her message helped me choose to never waste another second again, I hope it will do the same for you.
I wanted to write to thank you.
My husband Michael was completely out of the blue diagnosed with cancer. At the age of just 43 we were both completely shocked.
It spread faster than the doctors had ever seen, and last week, he died in my arms in our bed.
I am broken. My pain is immeasurable.
But, strangely, in some ways I am at peace.
In the last 5 weeks of his life, the one thing that Michael and I continued to come back to for strength was our marriage.
And this was not because we felt desperate or in a time of panic.
Rather, we had never been more connected or in love since the work that we did with you.
Michael left this earth knowing that, unequivocally, he was an excellent husband and father.
He was able to express his love for me, and I was able to do the same for him.
We were genuinely happy before this all happened, and to know that we were parting in such a state of love and alignment gave Michael peace.
I am sad that the one thing that I want more of – time with Michael – is an impossibility.
It feels cruel that we have been torn apart just when we both felt like we were moving together from strength to strength.
But, such is life I suppose.
Thank you for helping give us a chance at being in love again.
Thank you for helping me let Michael back into my heart, and thank you for helping him understand how to be a better partner and father.
The days that he and I had together were far too few, but knowing how much we loved each other at the end, I would not change it for the world.