For most of us, marriage is hard work. Really hard work. And it seems with the divorce rate of over 50%, that a lot of us think marriage should be something effortless, like the old fantasy speak when people talk about finding your soulmate and never ever arguing for the rest of your lives together.
I wish it was true. But, after 27 years as a counselor and a life coach I can tell you that most successful marriages come about when people are able to ask for help, reach outside of themselves, to take care of the resentments and issues that may have been with a couple for a very long period of time.
About 10 years ago a woman came in to work with me after being in a dysfunctional marriage for a number of years. Everything came to a head, when her and her husband got into a physical altercation in their home.
A restraining order was placed upon him, and because they had a small child, the only way they could meet was on a very limited period of time in a very public setting.
During our sessions she would often wonder aloud if she should ever consider taking her husband back. He had been through anger management counseling, by then the restraining order had been dropped, and they were seeing each other a couple days a week mainly so he could see their young child.
I told her that number one she would have to take full responsibility for her role in the physical altercation that lead to her husband being taken to jail, and the concept of divorce was very real and in their faces.
Within a couple weeks she had done just that. Even though she wasn’t the one who had started the altercation, she accepted her role as someone who would push his buttons many times, in this case one too many, that helped push him over the edge.
Within another month or two he contacted me and said that he wanted to start working with me as well since he had completed his court ordered counseling.
Now to the average person, there is not even a question here. Divorce him now! As a matter of fact that’s what most people in her family said would be the best option, but she wasn’t so sure.
Due to this experience, his mind was wide open. He followed everything I asked him to write about, read about, he showed up on time for sessions and even did extra homework that I had never requested.
She did the same thing. She continued to come and work with me for over a year, as they tried to make a decision that would be best for them and best for their young child.
At the end of the year of working together they asked for my opinion. It was easy for me to look at both of them together in one session and tell them I thought they had what it took to bring their love back together, because we had already examined what led to the confrontations in the first place.
Their marriage grew stronger. Their love grew stronger. There was nothing getting in their way, and they created the most incredible love relationship out of something that seemed like absolute hell.
Regardless of how difficult your relationship might be, when both people come to the plate with an open mind and are willing to do the work necessary to heal their love, healing can take place.
You might be reading this and think that in your marriage, even though it’s filled with drama, it’s nowhere near this bad. But, if you want a great relationship instead of a mediocre one, that’s when we reach out for help.
I am so proud of this couple. I’m so proud of the thousands of couples I’ve worked with that Have created something beautiful in love, when they are on their backs hitting bottom.
If you’d like a few steps to help improve your marriage or relationship, whether it is seriously on the rocks or just not meeting your expectations , Please do the following:
Number one. Write down all of the things that attracted you to your partner in the beginning. What was it about them that made them special? Unique? A good fit for you?
Number two. This will take some deep, honest, soul-searching. How have you let your partner down? What have you done that has not been in the best interest of your relationship? Is it passive aggressive behavior? Have you become resistant to their needs? Have you become selfish with your time? Are you struggling with an addiction, that you need help with?
Number three. When you look at the above responsibilities that come from your side of the fence in this relationship, create a list of action steps that you can do to improve how you act with and around your partner. Don’t fall into the victim mentality state, where everything that’s gone wrong with your relationship is their fault. It rarely if ever is.
Number four. Ask for help. Whether it’s with a counselor, coach, minister, rabbi or anyone else in the world of relationships… Don’t do it on your own. Reach out for help. Even if it means that you go alone, because your partners not interested, many relationships have been healed with just one person reaching out for help.
If I can help you in anyway whatsoever go to our website www.davidessel.com/relationships and we can create for you, the same thing we helped this other couple create…
Deep, abiding, lasting love.