“I’ve Changed” And 3 Other Things NOT To Say

4 things NOT to say.It can be frustrating.  You are trying hard to change yourself.  You are learning about yourself and relationships.  You are growing and know you are NOT like you were.

But your spouse doesn’t seem to notice.  In fact, your spouse keeps on reacting to the OLD you, even while the NEW you is doing something different.

You want to SCREAM:  “I’VE CHANGED!!!”

Don’t.

And while you are NOT saying that, don’t ask: “Why don’t you love me?”, “What did I do?”, or say “Please don’t leave!”

Want to know why?  Want to know what to do, instead?

I discuss this on the Save The Marriage Podcast this week.

Listen below.

 

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The Ghosts of Relationship Past: #71 Save Your Marriage Podcast

Is your marriage haunted by the Ghosts of Relationship Past?The past can hold you hostage.  The “ghosts” of the past can hold your marriage hostage.

Sit back and let me share a story with you.  It’s Christmas Eve.  Chris and Holly are trying to sleep.

They can’t.  Their disconnection has never felt worse.  Isn’t it that time of year for love and family?  Songs sing of love and warmth.

Instead, Holly and Chris only feel bitterness and cold.

The stockings are hung, the presents are wrapped.  Night has come, but not sleep.

Every day, Holly and Chris feel haunted by what “should be,” and the reality of “what is.”

Can anything change?  Can anything be better?

Chris and Holly, terrified!Tonight, Chris and Holly are haunted.  Not by their thoughts, but by the Ghosts of Relationship Past.  These apparitions have important lessons to learn.

Will Chris and Holly learn before it is too late?  Listen below to find out.  (If you would rather read, you can find the article at YourTango right here.)

Want more help on Forgiveness?  Check out this Audio.

Want more on connection?  Check out this Resource.

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2 Necessary Feelings and 3 Ways You Hurt Them: #70 Save Your Marriage Podcast

2 necessary feelings:  wanted and accepted.Feelings.  We all have them.

Sometimes, we have the wrong feelings.  And we try to get away from those feelings.

In a relationship in trouble, you can guarantee that someone is not feeling the way that he or she wants to feel.  So, that person tries to get away from what is making them feel that way.

Unfortunately, that “something” is more a “someone,” the spouse.

Are YOU making your spouse feel something that is causing him or her to want to get away?

There are 2 primary feelings that must be in a strong relationship.  The opposite of those feelings tend to push couples apart.

Those 2 feelings?

  1. Feeling wanted.
  2. Feeling accepted.

You may not feel wanted or accepted.  If you are working on saving and improving your relationship, let me suggest you set that aside for now.  Focus on how you can help your spouse feel wanted and accepted.

In this week’s podcast, I talk about these feelings (and their opposites) and 3 ways you may be hurting those feelings for your spouse.

Join me as we explore these 2 necessary feelings and 3 ways we hurt those feelings.

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“Give It To Me Straight, Doc. Can This Be Saved?” #69 Save Your Marriage Podcast

“Can my marriage be saved?”  That question is echoed in email after email, voicemail after voicemail, and conversation after conversation.

“Just give it to me straight,” Jerry told me.  He was more direct than others.  “I know you are supposed to say, ‘Of course it can,’ but do I have a chance?”

To be clear, I am not supposed to say anything.  Most people tell me I can be a bit too direct.  So, I never pad my response.  The problem is, I cannot tell, with 100% accuracy, whether a marriage is going to turn around.

You see, I have no way of predicting whether Jerry will carry through with his plan — whether he will react, in a moment of weakness, and fall short; or whether he will simply NOT act.

Also, I have no way of predicting how Jerry’s spouse will respond to Jerry’s plan.

But, as I told Jerry, I do know this:  if he does not act, I can guarantee the marriage will continue to crumble.  And most crumbled marriages end.

There are very few guarantees in life (other than taxes and death).  So, I can’t guarantee.

So, how do we raise the odds?  How do we get things moving toward the potential of a saved and restored marriage?

That’s my topic in today’s podcast.  I offer some reasons why things can be more complicated.  And I give you some direction on how to move forward.

After listening, if you are ready to get started, Here Is My Save The Marriage System.

If you have already started with my System, but are ready to take your efforts to the next level, email me about my Virtual Coaching Program.

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Love Languages and Marriage: An Interview with Dr. Gary Chapman

Maybe languages just aren’t my thing.

In high school, I took French.  I switched to Spanish in college.  But my grades weren’t where I thought they should be (foolish me!).  So, I tried out Latin.  THAT was a massive failure!  And since I needed to make it to a literature class before graduating, I went back to French. . . and stumbled through it.

Then, graduate school.  In my Master’s program, the Seminary required Hebrew and Greek.  Youch!  Even the letters were unrecognizable!  In fact I made a deal with my Hebrew teacher.  I promised that if he passed me, I would NEVER use Hebrew, or even admit he had been my professor.

Okay, I DID master a computer language in high school:  BASIC.  That was long before Al Gore (or anyone else) invented the internet.  But I did get that one down (and it is long gone from my brain!).

So, suffice it to say I am now illiterate in 5 languages!

But love languages.  That is a different thing!

Dr. Gary Chapman

Dr. Gary Chapman

There are very few books that I recommend without reservation or explanation.  One such book is The 5 Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman.

Dr. Chapman’s idea is elegantly simple, easily grasped, and very implementable.  All elements of a useful resource!

Over and over, I have referred people to Gary’s best-selling book (over 11 million copies sold around the world).  And I even reference his material in my Save The Marriage System.

So, I decided it was time to sit down and chat with Gary.  I wanted HIM to explain his concepts to you.  And I wanted US to discuss how his ideas can radically transform (and even save) your relationship.

But more than that, I wanted to discuss how Dr. Chapman’s ideas apply to all relationships:  family, parenting, work, friends, and spouses.

What finally “lit the fire” for me was a conversation with my daughter.  I discovered that she had been taught about the 5 love languages at college.

What I discovered was a kind, warm, gentle, and insightful person in Dr. Chapman.

As you will hear, Dr. Chapman has a background in anthropology.  He also trained as a religious educator, and received his Ph.D..  Dr. Chapman discovered, in his early days of ministry, the deep need for healing in families.  So, Gary shifted his focus to counseling.

The 5 Love Languages CoverAnd it was “in the trenches” that Dr. Chapman realized how many people were feeling unloved by spouses desperately trying to show love.  Upon looking over his notes, he saw their were 5 categories, languages, of love — ways people understand, feel, and show love.  In our interview, Dr. Chapman covers each one.  But here is a list:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

(If you are trying to decide on your love language, you can take the quiz at 5LoveLanguages.com )

Listen in as Dr. Chapman and I discuss these 5 love languages.

Toward the end of our conversation, Gary and I discuss a Marriage Experiment.  You will hear us discuss it at length, but I want to invite you to take on the experiment.

Gary and I have created a document that will walk you through the entire process.

CLICK HERE TO GRAB THE MARRIAGE EXPERIMENT GUIDE.

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How Gratitude Can Transform Your Marriage (Thanksgiving Message)

Happy Thanksgiving!Thanksgiving Day, in the United States, is upon us.  The day we turn our attention to “thanks” and “gratitude.”

What does that have to do with your marriage?

LOTS.

Gratitude can transform your marriage.

I discovered this a few years back, when I gave a couple an exercise that transformed their view of each other.

Gratitude is the language of connection and friendship.

Criticism is the enemy of connection, and the opposite of gratitude.

Learn how you can integrate practices of gratitude into your own life and into your relationship.

Wishing you a meaningful Thanksgiving, wherever you are!

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3 Ways To Stay In The Game When You Want To Quit: #66

ReadyToGiveUpSmall

We all hit that point where we just want to give up.  Remember that poster with the cat at the end of the rope?  We get it.  We’ve all been there.

While working on your relationship, you may have already hit it.  Or you may feel close.

This is normal.  Working on a relationship can be frustrating, painful, scary, and defeating.  That is part of the process.  This is especially true if your relationship has been falling apart for awhile.

You see, many people finally realize their marriage is on the rocks as the ship is taking on water.  You keep on bailing, but it seems to keep on filling.

So, when that feeling hits, what do you do?  How do you stay in the game?  How do you keep moving forward?

Today, I want to give you 3 ways to do just that.  These 3 strategies will help you continue forward, in spite of the feelings you may have of wanting to quit.

Since you are here, that tells me you have a commitment to persevering.  Let me give you some strategies to do just that.

Let me know what you think in the comments are below.

And if you are ready to get your plan together, visit me at SaveTheMarriage.com.

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The Science of Saving Your Marriage: #65 Save Your Marriage Podcast

Turn toward your spouse.Sometimes, it all just seems like opinion.  Lots of people with lots of opinion on what you should do to save your marriage.

But what DOES science tell us about saving your relationship?

It turns out, LOTS.

Today, I want to cover one small piece of the puzzle.  This is one piece of research you can IMMEDIATELY apply to your relationship.

Better yet, you can apply this researched response, regardless of what your spouse chooses to do (or not do).

This one piece of information was proven to be 94% accurate in predicting whether a couple stays together or divorces.  That’s pretty strong evidence!

Listen, and start applying today!

If you are ready for even more help, all based on the most current science of relationships, email me at Lee@SaveTheMarriage.com and I will link you up!

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Connection and Disconnection: 5 Powerful Resources for Healing

HealTheDIsconnectionSmallOver and over, I hear the same story:  pain and conflict, disconnection and anger, resentment and distance.

In my book, I note the 3 steps to saving a marriage:

  1. Connect with your spouse.
  2. Change yourself.
  3. Create a new path.

Connecting with your spouse is HUGE.  In fact, the leading issue with marriages is that disconnection.  Heal the disconnection, and the relationship can stabilize.  It does not do away with steps 2 and 3.  In fact, #2 needs to be concurrent to reconnecting.  But #3, “create a new path,” is much easier when the connection is healing.

So how DO you do that?

Let me point you to some resources that will help you begin the process.  Below are links to the resources, so that you can quickly access and heal your relationship.

5 Myths of Connection 

This is a great starting point.  You can begin to understand the ways we have misunderstood connection, so that you can move in the RIGHT direction.

7 Stages of Disconnection

This will help you assess where your relationship is right now!  How deeply disconnected are you?  Once you know this, you can begin to create your plan to reconnect.

How to Heal Disconnection

This resource will help you start the process of reversing the disconnection and move toward reconnection.

Being Courageously Compassionate

When you are hurting, angry, and frustrated, it can be difficult to even work on the connection.  But YOU may be the only one ready to work on it.  Courageous Compassion can help you choose a better path.  This resource will help you move in that direction.

Show UP!

One other resource is about showing up.  When you don’t show up, you don’t connect.  And here is the great thing:  you can ALWAYS show up.  You can always decide you will show up in your relationship.  Find out how!

 

If you are ready to really step up and heal your disconnection, you may be ready for some more advanced training.  If you are, please email me and I will tell you how you can access that.  Email me here:  Lee@SaveTheMarriage.com

 

4 Steps To Not Ruining Today With Yesterday: #64 Save Your Marriage Podcast

Don't ruin today with yesterday.I have heard too many spouses say, “I would love it if we could save our marriage.  But you have NO IDEA about what has happened!  There is no way for us to move forward!”

Or how about this one?: “Do you have any idea what he/she did?  How can I ever forgive/trust/move on/reconnect/love again?”

As far as we can tell, we humans are the only creatures capable of looking at what has happened and reformulating what is to come.

We are the only ones who can thoughtfully say, “Well, that didn’t work.  I think I had better learn a new way/decide on a new path/try something different.”

And as far as we can tell, we are the only creatures that continually live our lives caught in the past, living in the land of “what has been,” while failing to note “what is happening right now.”

This is why I love Dr. Gary Chapman’s quote so much:  “I am amazed at how many people ruin today with yesterday.”

Where do YOU live?  Where does your spouse live?

You DO have a choice.

Today, I want to talk about 4 simple practices that will help you leave the past where it belongs — in the past, and how to move into what is, this present moment.

By following these 4 simple practices, you can escape the trap of the past, while still learning from it and changing for the better.

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