In other words, “I don’t have confidence, and until I do, I don’t want to take action.”
I consistently answer the same way: “Confidence is the wrong place to start. Confidence is not the starting point.
Fear grips everyone. Here and there, we all find ourselves caught by fear, seemingly unable to move, feeling unable to act.
If you know that feeling, I want to let you in on a little secret: confidence is NOT the starting point. It is part of a cycle. But waiting for confidence will be a long wait — it may never come. Unless you decide to take action, follow the cycle, and get to the point of confidence.
So, what are the steps toward confidence? Listen to learn the “confidence cycle,” and why NOT to wait for it to get started!
And so, I often have the question asked, “Should we separate? Will a separation save my marriage?”
Can a separation save a marriage?
Short answer: yes, it can.
Longer answer: a separation can save a marriage, but it is statistically unlikely. And in my experience, a separation is a step in the wrong direction.
Fairly recent statistics show that around 79% of couples who separate end up divorced. In other words, 8 out of every 10 couples who separate will divorce.
I view separation as an absolute last resort to save a marriage. It is, in my opinion, that unlikely to help.
But here is the thing: if you are stuck in a conflicted and hurting marriage, it can be a very appealing solution. And yes, you can find “fans” of separation. There are people who tell you it is an important step in restoring a marriage.
Those people are ignoring the statistics.
They are appealing to your sense of relief that can come from a break in the conflict.
But are there better solutions? Absolutely. Here is one.
In this podcast training, I tell you why separation is problematic — so that you understand that. I also tell you how to structure a separation, if it is inevitable and a last resort. Listen below for help with separation.
No tingles, no butterflies, no desires. Is it you? Is it your spouse? Were they ever there?
Those feelings of attraction and romance are not well understood by most people. So, when they aren’t there (or are at least in short supply), many believe it to be an indication that the relationship is wrong, destined for failure, or maybe permanently broken.
There are 5 root causes of why those feelings might be missing. The bad news is that there is nothing you can do about 1. The good news is you have a choice about the other 4.
Learn what happens to those feelings. But more importantly, discover what to do about it.
Perhaps with hat in hand, you sit down with your spouse and let your spouse know, in your most sincere and concerned voice, that you know you have fallen short. You know you can do better. . . and you promise to change.
What you expected was a spouse who is supportive and hopeful, smiling at you, and proud of your efforts.
What you get, instead, is anger and frustration. Maybe it is the silent treatment. Or maybe it is yelling. Through clenched teeth, you may hear your spouse say, “I DON’T BELIEVE YOU.” Or maybe, “We’ll just see about that.”
You feel shot down. Maybe hopeless. That did not play out the way you thought it would.
Don’t blame your spouse. Choose to fix it. Choose to make the change.
Here is what to do, when your spouse doesn’t believe you will change.
I admit I was a magician in my younger years. But I never did much with mental magic (tricks that make you think I am reading your mind). And I never really got into hypnosis (although I do love a good performing hypnotist – nothing like a person barking on stage!).
Which is why it cracks me up when people have accused me of trying to brainwash their spouse.
I used to deny it. Swear that I was doing nothing to brainwash, hypnotize, or manipulate anyone (or their spouse).
But I gave up.
So, today, I have a confession. Yes, guilty as charged, I am trying to brainwash your spouse. But you may just like what I am doing! (Or you may not, if you don’t believe in commitment, growth, security, concern for family — things like that.)
Here is my confession — for anyone and their spouse that is concerned I am “brainwashing.” (And trust me when I tell you that you seriously overestimate my skills on that one!)
My confession is below:
(And if you are interested in the book I mention, here is the link: http://savethemarriage.com/book)
Yet, for the most part, we humans resist change.
Let’s assume you have now listened to my series on What Happy Couples Do Differently. Let’s further assume that you think it might be even a good idea to move in that direction.
That does raise the question of how to change. You’ve already decided to change.
So, for the next couple of weeks, lets talk about this change.
Not just making it look like you are changing. But truly changing.
That change starts from the inside, and works outward. The level of change we are talking about is changing your beliefs, your paradigm, your understanding of the world.
Are you ready?
If you are, let me invite you to learn about my KNAC Protocol of Change. This protocol describes the 3 arenas of change, and how each one builds to a real change.
Listen in on the podcast as I describe the KNAC Protocol and how to begin the process of change.
What Happy Couples Do Differently, Part 1: Conflict
What Happy Couples Do Differently, Part 2: Connection
What Happy Couples Do Differently, Part 3: Companionship
The Save The Marriage System
Then comes the “shake-up.” You discover things are not going well. Your spouse is unhappy, frustrated, and angry with the situation.
From here, I can predict the direction. At a certain point, you will have to choose whether things continue to spiral toward break-up, or if you will move to make-up.
There are a number of danger points and mistakes along the way.
Can I tell you about the path in front of you, and how to avoid the pitfalls?
But they do some things differently. And those differences in how they do conflict, connection, and companionship, make all the difference.
Changes in action lead to changes in trajectory. That leads to changes in outcome.
But what if you could extrapolate those differences, and add them into YOUR relationship.
Well, for the past three episodes, that is what we have been doing.
In this week’s episode, we turn to how happy couples treat each other differently, as individuals. This is about how they treasure their companion and protect their relationship.
Successful couples see themselves as a team, a unit, a WE (as I call it). But that WE is made up of two individuals. Those two individuals create the strongest WE when they are strong, themselves. When they develop and grow, the bring that growth and energy into the relationship.
More than that, happy couples create and maintain boundaries around their relationship. They protect and treasure the relationship. They support and treasure each other.
Learn how happy couples treat their companionship in this week’s podcast episode.
Success leaves a trail. Experts have been saying this for decades. If you want to get somewhere, look at people who have gotten there. What do they do differently? How have they managed to get themselves there?
Happy couples are not special. They are no better trained than other couples. They don’t have some special “coupling” gene. They don’t come from better homes. They aren’t “relationship geniuses.”
In fact, they are like all the other couples — except they do some things differently. And those differences result in happy relationships.
So, what are those differences? They are the focus of this series of free audios.
Over the course of the next three podcasts, we will examine 11 things happy couples do differently.
By taking a look at those 11 things, you can see the path. You can see the trail. And you can follow their map.
Over the years, I have noticed a truth: 100% of couples have struggles. Around 50% find a way to work through those struggles. But that doesn’t mean that 50% of couples are happy. Only that they have chosen to stay together.
Couples really fall into 3 categories:
- Decide to bail because of the difficulties.
- Decide to “hang in there,” and just be miserable.
- Decide to learn from the struggles, grow, and build a great relationship.
This series is focused on how couples get to category 3. This is not about “sticking it out,” nor is it about bailing, hoping to find a better option. It is about building a great relationship, where you are and with your spouse.
In this episode, we take a look at 3 ways happy couples deal with conflict differently. Learn their secrets and apply it to your relationship.