Kaizen is the idea of slow, constant change. It revolutionized the Japanese auto industry, and can be applied to your life. You can look for those places of growth, opportunities for change. They don’t have to be earth-shattering. They can be gradual.
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Rhoberta Shaler. Rhoberta has worked for over 3 decades with couples and individuals around the world. She has expertise in high-conflict relationships, and is skilled in helping people deal with passive-aggressive behavior.
Dr. Shaler has an intimate understanding of passive-aggressive behavior, having witnessed it in her own family as a child. This has given her empathy for people who act in passive aggressive ways, and those whom must deal with it.
More recently, Rhoberta has developed a system for couples to use, who wish to break through old patterns and form more healthy approaches to their relationship.
In her book, Kaizen for Couples, Rhoberta gives a full methodology of how couples can shift their patterns of interaction, to be more genuine and honest — and to better meet each other’s needs.
In our discussion together, Rhoberta and I talk about high conflict relationships, dealing with passive aggressive behavior, and how to make constant changes toward growth in a relationship — even if only one person wants to take on the shifts.
Join me as I interview Dr. Rhoberta Shaler.
Not an idea, floating around in your head.
But a plan.
I have been asking this question for years, especially when someone tells me their marriage isn’t turning around.
90% tell me they DON’T have a plan. I tell them, “that is the starting point.”
If you don’t have a plan, you don’t have a map. If you don’t have a map, it is tough to get to where you want to get.
I know: you have books, CD’s, DVD’s, study courses, articles, and all sorts of other information on how to save your marriage.
Information is just data. When you take that information and process it (think and ponder about it) about your current situation, you arrive at knowledge. Contrary to popular opinion, knowledge is not power. It has no power until you apply it.
When you apply knowledge, and you keep applying it — learning from it and allowing it to transform you, then you arrive at wisdom!
But if you have no plan — no written plan for how you plan to save your marriage — the information is just information. Interesting. But not transforming.
In this week’s audio, I discuss several reasons why a written plan is so important, and how to get started on your plan.
Remember this quote, as it applies to having a plan:
Consult your plan, not your emotions.
Whenever you allow your emotions to call the shots, you will end up with those who see no change. But when you consult your plan (you do have a plan, right?), new possibilities emerge.
Time to make a plan!
Here are the resources I mention in the podcast:
The Save The Marriage System (if you don’t have this, you need it, so you can start making your plan!)
Finding Your Why
Lee@SaveTheMarriage.com (If you are interested in the Virtual Coaching Program — limited availability!)
Your spouse told you your marriage was in trouble.
You did your research, perhaps found some information, and decided to save your marriage.
Now, you are beginning to wonder, “Is this marriage ever going to improve? Will it turn around? Can I save my marriage?”
Sometimes, people put forth some effort and see some immediate results. They see improvement in their relationship and in their own lives. It seems that the marriage crisis dissipates as quickly as it descended.
But others, countless others, find this not to be the case. They put in effort, they keep working on themselves. . . and nothing seems to be changing.
In my experience, there are 3 central reasons why a marriage has not (yet) turned around.
What if you could deal with 2 out of 3 in a straightforward way? What if the 3rd can be addressed, even if it is far less in your control? Would that be important information for you?
Here are the 3 reasons:
- The Depth of Damage
- No True Change in Patterns
- There is Someone Else
Let me tell you about these 3 reasons, and what to do in order to have the most successful outcome possible.
I usually get the same response: “love.”
In your mind, please now hear the “Buzzzz” sound, indicating that answer is wrong!
Please understand: I am not opposed to love. I deeply love my wife. I do not believe that a loveless marriage is the aim.
I simply do not believe that love is the foundation of a strong, enduring, lasting, forever marriage.
Here is why: when love is seen as the foundation, you have nowhere to go when the feelings of love ebb. Those feelings DO ebb in every relationship. It is just the nature of such intimate relationships.
And, if you want the real secret, the 4 foundations, when followed, DO lead to love (both the action and the feeling).
What do I mean by “foundation?” Over the weekend, my wife had HGTV on. So, by default, I was “watching” the show (I will admit to nothing more than that!).
As is prone to happen on this particular show, they tore down the walls to rebuild — and discovered that things were amiss! The foundation was failing and the house was sinking.
The foundation is what supports the rest of the structure. Without a strong foundation, the structure of the house (and a marriage) begins to sink and crumble. The stronger the foundation, the safer the structure (your relationship and your family).
Here is the good news: when you understand the foundations, you can spot the weaknesses and either rebuild or reinforce.
Ready to discover the 4 foundations of your forever marriage? Listen below.
Note: I mention 2 interviews in the podcast.
HERE is the link to my interview with Gary Chapman.
HERE is the link to my interview with Bob Grant.
It’s a great question. But there is something else you need to ask first: “What’s my why?”
In other words, WHY are you wanting to save your marriage? This is the starting point.
That single question is fundamental to your process, whether you are watching your marriage teeter at the edge of destruction, or if you are just starting out.
When you ask yourself “Why?”, you will discover two types of reasons.
Of these two types, only one will move you forward. The other type will fall away.
Yet most people are using this type of “why.” Which is why those efforts often fall short — eventually, the efforts are abandoned.
When the other type is your reason, the motivation stays. This type of “why” serves as a GPS for you through the difficult moments. It tells you the direction to go, as you put together your “how,” your plan to save your marriage.
Listen below to learn how to discover the reason “why” you want to save your marriage, and then how to use that in your plan to save your marriage.
Ready to learn how? Grab my Save The Marriage System HERE.
It seemed that all I could do was ring the bell and end a round. “Be civil,” I would tell them.
Then, the gloves would come off and they were sparring again.
“Be civil,” I would tell them, more emphatically, but still in my best therapist’s voice.
And still, they would go after each other.
One day, a man turned to me and said, “Is that all you can say? ‘Be civil?'” I looked at him, and in my most “therapy” therapist voice said, “That would be a really good place to start.”
Being civil IS a great place to start, an excellent place to continue, and a terrific foundation to any relationship.
Here is the irony: on a daily basis, we are civil to many, many people — some we probably don’t even like!
And then, to the one most important person in our lives — our spouse — we let it fly! Civility is out the window.
Let’s decide, together, that as a foundation, civility is a great starting point.
Here are 4 steps to bringing more civility into your marriage — regardless of the conflict level right now.
Sometimes, the email tells me one thing different: the person knew he/she was controlling — but thought it was OK.
Controlling behavior is yet another dynamic that erodes the connection of any relationship — but is amplified in marriage.
Some people recognize they are controlling (and even brag a bit about it), and others simply don’t notice.
And for every person who is actively controlling, someone else has to be controlled. These two roles are allowed and accepted by both. And in the process, the foundation of the marriage is slowly crumbled.
Here’s the problem: controlling behavior impinges on the freedom of choice of someone else; it undermines the judgement and thoughts of one person, while elevating another person’s actions and thoughts.
Sadly, many people miss the underlying cause of controlling behavior. Instead, they feed the behavior and allow it more power. In the process, they create a cycle of continually more and more controlling behavior. At some point, a spouse decides enough is enough.
Don’t get to that point! Learn how to step back from being controlling.
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!!!”
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.
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?
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.
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?
- Feeling wanted.
- 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.