Hollywood is bursting with romantic films, we have all seen them…
the perfect looking man meets the perfect looking woman, they fall in love and live happily ever after.
The story usually features whimsical music which makes you experience how beautiful and perfect it all is.
This media influence is everywhere.
You only have to turn on the radio and after a few minutes there will be a song full of emotion about love and perfection.
The fact is, this is not real life.
Marriage guidance usually isn’t thought about until after there’s a problem. I have not met anyone who does not have some relationship gripes to contend with or come to terms with. It’s a natural part of any marriage. We all experience ups and downs in our journey together.
The difference is some couples find the journey much more of an out of control rollercoaster. They stop talking and the only solution seems to be divorce.
Divorce does not solve problems, it is likely you would meet someone else, marry them and face annoyances with them. The pattern can continue. Giving yourself marriage guidance is a natural part of making marriage work for you, rather than against you. Marriage is not a prison sentence, it is a journey, sharing the highs and lows of events, helping and supporting each other.
PRE MARRIAGE COUNSELING
Do you remember ever been asked about attending pre marriage counseling? If you’ve never heard of this concept, let me explain. Premarital Counseling is designed to reduce typical stresses and gives you and your partner a better foundation to your new life together.
In reality, as you find yourself drifting further and further apart and arguing with increasing intensity, anything you absorbed as theory becomes difficult if not impossible in practice.
As you are both unique individuals sharing a journey through the highs and lows of life you know that you have to experience marriage before the reality of it takes effect. It’s a bit like sitting a child down and explaining in great detail how to ride a bike. You have to experience riding a bike in order to understand the movement and motion.
SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL
You remember talking so positively with each other when you first met? The twinkle in their eye when you would meet each other for a date… all feels like a distant memory. It is likely that you feel judged and criticized, unsupported or alone.
Maybe your partner has had an affair or you’ve seen a text message from another person which makes you suspicious. Maybe there’s nothing happening involving another person and you simply feel your marriage is in a fast, downward, uncontrollable spiral and you need a break! STOP… take a breath, take a few deep breaths and think back to when you first met, when life felt simple. Try these two ideas.
• How can you get a small piece of this time back? One fun approach is to look at photographs. Get out, or print out some photographs of how you both were when you met. What fun things did you do together? Create a photo montage in a frame for the wall to remind both of you of this happy time.
• What could you change in your week to bring a small spark back? Even if it’s promising you’ll sit down together once a week and eat dinner together. Those five, or ten minutes are the starting point to propel you in a new direction as a unified couple.
Using one or ideally both of these is giving yourself positive marriage guidance and outlook on the future. Positivity creates more positivity. For this reason, these strategies can open up communication within your relationship.
RELATIONSHIPS AND DEPRESSION
You have hit a rocky patch in your relationship but that doesn’t mean it’s the end. It is extremely typical for a person struggling with marriage woes to feel depressed. This is natural.
Do you find yourself getting angry even over little things? That pile of clothes always left on the floor, the dishwashing never done to your standard which winds you up? Maybe it’s being told they’ll be home from work by eight o’clock and it’s always after nine. Whatever it is that annoys you, it is bound to have a detrimental effect on your mental health.
Recognize these thoughts and how you’re focusing on the negative. Make it a point to counteract this kind of thinking with an appreciation of your spouse for all the small (and big) things that they do to make your life wonderful every single day.
STAY OR LEAVE
It is also typical for your fight or flight instinct to be activated. Back in the time of cave men and women the fight or flight instinct was fundamental. If you were approached by a large animal you had to make the split decision for your very survival, do I fight or do I run. The easiest reaction is to run and that’s what lots of people tend to do. It’s safest and easiest.
The ‘fight or flight’ analogy within marriage guidance is asking yourself do I stay and work things through and help myself find a better future with my partner… or do I take the seemingly easy way out. And, just to clarify, splitting up, separating and ultimately divorcing is the furthest thing from an easy way out.
You owe it to yourself and your relationship to learn how to restore your marriage and rekindle the romance that was once glowing. It’s easier than you think. Start by watching this video and be on your way to a better life together.