Are you someone who has gone through a painful divorce? Maybe you have been through more than one divorce and feel like a failure because you and your beautiful bride couldn’t make your marriage work.
You may feel that you did everything you could to make things work only to have your love for one another fade and one or both of you call it quits.
You may have been married and raised children together and now you find yourself separated from both your wife and your children and you feel like a future happy marriage is not possible for you.
If you find yourself listed in one of the above categories you are not alone. 50% of all marriages end in divorce and the most commonly reported major contributors to divorce were lack of commitment, infidelity, and conflict or arguing. More participants blamed their partners than themselves for the divorce.
What is even more astonishing is that the real cause of your divorce is not you or your spouse’s fault.
Now I’m not talking about situations where you or your spouse made the choice to have an affair, If you had an affair your spouse has every right to make the decision to end your marriage because you broke your wedding vows.
I am talking about two people who still deeply love each other, have said hurtful things to one another, don’t know how to share their true feelings for one another, and believe it is impossible to ever recapture the love they so powerfully vowed to have for one another on their wedding day until death parts them.
It’s not your fault you were never taught the skills to communicate in a way that displays and nurtures love and respect for each other. The only skills and examples we were given were the ones that were modeled to us by our parents. It’s not your fault you were taught how to read write, spell, arithmetic, and learn history in school but were never taught how to communicate effectively. It’s not your fault your parents were not taught communication and relationship skills by their parents.
This subject matter never crossed my mind until I experienced it for myself. My wife and I had been married for over twenty years and we still loved each other very much but we both felt like we were relating to one another more like roommates than a married couple. I remember my wife Valerie telling me how she felt one night as we were getting ready to go to bed that evening.
We were in the bathroom brushing our teeth and she turned to me and said I feel more like your roommate than your wife, we don’t do the things we used to do like cuddle together, go on dates, we don’t connect like we used to. My immediate response was I felt frustrated and caught off guard, I wanted to avoid the topic altogether because I did not know how to talk about how I felt or change our situation.
After a lot of prayers, I began to search for some answers, and what I discovered surprised me. A friend of mine invited me to an introduction to learn about a weekend seminar that really made a difference in her life. I attended the event and when I heard the results the speaker shared of people who had attended I was intrigued me and I told my wife about what I learned. We both attended the next introduction Hosted by the same friend and signed up for the next event in February hosted in San Jose called the Landmark Forum. By the end of the five-day seminar, we not only discovered some really cool tools to help communicate powerfully, but we also learned how the beliefs and patterns of communication that we adopted from our parents were some of the reasons we did not know how to talk about our feelings and listen to what was been said with judgment or a prepared rebuttal.
Our marriage relationship did not change overnight it took practice and time to break the old habits of hiding, defending, and blaming in order to create a foundation of love and respect. I feel closer to my wife today because we applied these practices to our relationship and I would like to share them with you.
The practices we used to open up new ways to communicate.
- Choose to forgive yourself for relating to your spouse in a way that was modeled for you. You are only able to relate to your spouse given the skills that were taught to you knowingly or unknowingly by your parents.
- Live a life of integrity. Do what you say you are going to do. When you can’t keep your word notify your spouse as soon as you can. If you say you will be home by 6 pm, be home by 6 pm or call and give them the new time you will be home.
- What stories have you created about your spouse, other people and, continue to collect evidence around that cause you to withdraw? Choose to share with your spouse any or a person the negative thoughts or beliefs you have toward them right away don’t live in your head. Reaffirm your intention for your relationship.
- Share with your spouse that you love them every day just the way they are and show it in practical ways. If you are making breakfast or a cup of coffee ask your spouse if they would like something.
- Remember for things to change you have to change, by changing your actions your spouse will react differently also. Take personal responsibility for you and your progress and encourage your spouse to do the same. Don’t pressure on another but respectfully encourage each other, we each have our own baggage due to the challenges we have experienced, overcome, or are still processing.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what I shared by leaving a comment I what your experience is in your relationship or you can connect with me through my website http://mentalktoyurwoman.com