Know one of the most common issues I see from the emails I receive?
“I’m not sure I’m in love with my husband/wife anymore …”
“I’m lost in my own life because …”
“I feel like everyone has a better relationship than me …”
“When I’m at home, I feel distant and lonely …”
Every year I offer a marriage course that presents a completely different way to view what happens in marriage – Blow Up My Marriage. I see it as my job to help get married people out of an overwhelmed or lost state and moving forward into a full and great relationship. And as each new group gets settled in and starts to approach the material in this course, I hear a lot of versions on this theme …
Well here’s the good news.
If you aren’t at least a little freaked out about your marriage during tough times, you may not be paying enough attention.
It’s ok to be nervous, worried, anxious, or just … confused.
Guess what? It’s overwhelming
What started out so full of passion and energy and joy can easily turn into a draining, isolated, and painful relationship, even without one of you possibly doing something damaging or intentional.
And when you reach the really rough patches in married life, it’s overwhelming to try and find a way out. Maybe if we’d just talk more. Go on dates again. Have more sex. Go to counseling. Read a book together. There’s a myriad of paths to choose from.
And if you try to tackle all of your struggles at once, you’ll choke. No human being can process that much that fast.
But the good news is, there’s a dynamic at work that helped get you into the muck, and the same dynamic can help get you out. It all boils down to how you view what happens in relationships, AND THEN what you do based on that view.
You know (because you’re smart) that there’s no such thing as an overnight fix. True and lasting improvement in life and marriage is a process.
In order for the process to really work, the first thing you need to do is make sure you actually see a viable path. Chasing down rabbit trails gets old fast.
And the second thing you need to do is …
Discover where you are on the path, then – take a little step forward.
When you adjust your view about what’s happening between you and your spouse, you begin to see the areas to work on. It may not be particularly comfortable or sexy or appealing. That’s ok.
When you get lonely and frustrated, find a community of fellow married life travelers who can help get you over the rough spots. You may find some people who are in the same situation and your path may be very similar. A coach is great too, someone who cares about your success and will help keep you focused and accountable.
For me, the final lesson pretty much summed up all that was/is going wrong with myself, my marriage and my life. Wow. I suddenly see very clearly where I’m taking the wrong turns. My whole life – my ideas for writing and business, my marriage, my sex life – had pretty much turned into “masturbation” – watching, doing things only in my mind, for myself, not “showing” anything to the world, avoiding rejection and risk. “Penetrating the world” is a very powerful image for me and my way forward.
I had a great Blow Up My Marriage member who said this in the comments in the early days, and ever since he did, I’ve repeated it pretty much every year.
Don’t wait and hope that things in your marriage will magically get better. Figure out how to begin a conversation again. Or how to forgive. Or how to speak your mind in a loving and honest manner. From there you’re off to the races.
A lot of the teaching I have been doing for the past couple of years has revolved around the principles of understanding the system at play in your relationship, then harnessing its energy to create something better.
That’s what Blow Up My Marriage is all about.
It’s Simple Marriage’s comprehensive course on how to create a great married life. There’s no “one size fits all” — in fact, there’s no step by step guide either. But there is a dynamic already at work in your marriage.
The choice for you is, how to you want that dynamic to play in your relationship?
If you want to harness the energy already present then consider signing up for Blow Up My Marriage.
We’re enrolling now.
Look forward to seeing you there.