Improving Your Marriage
Relationships don’t have to be in crisis to need improvement, yet most people wait until their situation is intolerable before seeking professional advice. As a general rule, people wait approximately six years longer than they should to seek help.
Unfortunately, at that point, it’s sometimes too late to repair the damage that has been done.
Early education and intervention for an unhealthy dynamic can make a tremendous difference in whether or not the couple comes out of the experience as a single unit or just single.
Learning About Your Relationship
I have found that once a couple understands the mechanics behind their relationship - specifically, why they were attracted to each other in the beginning and why they now have marital problems - they can often do more to improve their situation.
You can’t change what you’re not conscious of, so a big part of working on yourself and your relationship is “looking under the hood” to see the inner workings of how this machine you call your “marriage” operates.
There are three basic reasons why we are attracted to and stay with a partner:
- To find comfort
- To find balance
- To heal old wounds
Often, this information is hidden from conscious awareness so most people are not only at a loss of how to change the patterns, they don’t know what needs changing.
This is where a trained, objective professional can guide a couple to healing they may never reach, or that would take much longer to arrive at on their own.
Knowing What You Need
Like it or not, you have needs. We all do. We would hardly be human if we didn’t. In my work, I am often surprised by how many people, men and women alike, either try to deny their needs or don’t know that they have them.
These unmet needs are the leading underlying factors behind most disputes and disappointments couples have. The more disputes and disappointments you have, the more tumultuous your relationship, therefore, the more likely you are to divorce.
When people have unmet needs in their marriage, they either go without and suffer or they get their needs met somewhere else. Gaining clarity on your personal and marital needs will have a huge impact on the direction you take in your marriage.
In order to get your needs met you must:
- Acknowledge that you have needs
- Clearly identify your needs
- Know how and where to get your needs met
Learning About Your Relationship & Knowing What You Need, are excerpts from Chapters 3 & 4 of Contemplating Divorce, A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go.