A little explanation: for years, my son said he wanted to skydive when he turned 18.
That was years ago.
Last week, he turned 18 (what happened to those years??).
Time to follow through.
My wife spent a great deal of time and effort for us to be able to take the leap on his 18th birthday. But the weather had other plans. A rainy, yucky day canceled the jump. . . .
Until the next day. A beautiful, sunny, cool fall day.
We drove out into the middle of nowhere. And we jumped.
The pre-recorded disclaimer by the attorney said it all. He stated, and I quote, “I have no idea why someone would choose to jump out of a perfectly good plane. But you have chosen to.”
The ride up was no big deal. I kept rehearsing what needed to happen.
But that one moment, precariously balanced on the wing, staring down 10,000 feet to the ground, I had a thought, “What am I doing?” Then, I recommitted, and we jumped.
That jump made me think about one thing: there has to be that time when you fully commit to something. That moment when there is no turning back. There is only going forward, leaping into the unknown and hoping for the best.
Working on your marriage requires that leap!
Sometimes, we get so caught up in becoming an expert in some new pursuit that we forget to jump.
If you want to save your marriage, you do need to gather some basic information and begin to create your strategy. (If you need help with that, grab my Save The Marriage System.)
But then, at some point, you have to commit and leap.
You can’t keep planning. You have to get started.
Once you get started, you can work on fine-tuning your plan, learn more, and continue progressing.
Take a listen to my podcast, and if you are ready for some coaching “on the way down,” drop me an email! Email me here.
Then, Julie began to tell me a story about growing careers, a big social life, passionate pursuit of hobbies, and then children. Three. All within 5 years.
One day, when the youngest had just started school, Julie’s husband dressed for work, dimpled his tie, turned toward Julie and said, “I’m not happy, you are not happy. This is not working.” Then, he left.
Julie was shocked that he was so matter-of-fact. Could he really drop that emotional grenade and head to work, acting as if nothing happened? Julie reeled through the day, lost in her painful thoughts. Hadn’t they been in love at one point? Wasn’t this supposed to be “happily ever after?”
Then, Julie saw flashes. Times when each chose something else — a hobby, an activity, friends, work, children, even the iPhone, over spending time with each other. Julie realized they had stopped kissing goodnight, stopped holding hands at church, and stopped telling each other about their days.
Oh, Julie had known this. But she kept telling herself, “When the kids are older. . . ,” “When he gets that promotion. . . ,” “When the triathlon is over. . . ,” “When summer/fall/winter/spring comes. . . .” She just knew they could reconnect then.
But after each new stage of life, they just continued on the well-worn path of disconnection.
Julie and her husband had drained their battery of connection. Sure, it was well-charged when they married. But they kept draining it over the years, neither noticing the battery was nearing being drained. Then one day, Julie’s husband spoke a truth they both knew: they were disconnected. In fact, they were so disconnected that he could say the words and go to work. He might have know Julie would be caught off-guard. But he was disconnected enough that he didn’t care.
Connection is like your cellphone battery. It may carry you through a day or so. But the more you drain the batter, the longer it will take to recharge. Keep draining it, and at some point, it will simply shut down.
Let’s look at the 5 myths of connection in this week’s podcast. See if you are falling into the myths — and headed for trouble.
If you are already there, please grab my Save The Marriage System RIGHT HERE.
If you want even more advanced training, drop me a note: Lee@SaveTheMarriage.com
Connection is the nourishment of every marriage. If you break the connection, you starve the relationship.
So why are so many marriages connection-starved?
Most people don’t realize how important the connection is. So, life gets in the way: careers, friends, hobbies, interests, children. Over time, the distractions build up.
Until one day, you realize that either you do not feel the warmth toward your spouse or your spouse does not feel the warmth toward you.
By then, you may already be a couple of stages into the disconnection spiral. And you may have never seen it coming!
Just a couple of days ago, “Sue” told me she thought the relationship would take care of itself. She thought she and her husband built the connection during their dating days.
“Somehow,” she told me, “I thought the marriage would just roll along. We would be happy and all would be good. I forgot to reach out to him. He stopped reaching out to me. Now, there is a huge, cold divide between us in bed. I don’t even know how to move forward. I am beginning to think he doesn’t even like me anymore. And I have lost all respect.”
Take a look at the graphic to the right.
You will notice that Sue has identified 2 stages in the process of disconnection: dislike and disrespect.
Where is YOUR relationship?
In today’s podcast, I explore the very typical (but very tragic) pattern of disconnection — a process that takes many marriages right to the brink of divorce and separation.
If you know the stages, you can understand the process. And the process is reversible. The earlier you start, the easier the process. The deeper the hurt and the lower the stage, the more difficult the recovery process.
Are you ready to reconnect? Please grab my Save The Marriage System RIGHT HERE.
If you already have my System, but want some more intensive training, shoot me an email: Lee@SaveTheMarriage.com. I have some audio training that will transform you and your marriage.
These are common questions I hear when I speak with people.
Why is it so hard to define this?
One simple reason: it is a gray area of connection. A physical affair is much more clearly defined. A physical boundary has been violated. So, while there may be some difference of opinion on what constitutes an affair, it is clear when it becomes physical.
Not so with emotional infidelity. In almost every case, it starts innocently enough. . . so innocently that the involved parties continue to proclaim that nothing is wrong, no boundary has been violated, and there is no problem with the relationship.
Yet emotional affairs DO threaten marriages. Emotional infidelity sucks the limited emotional resources a person has, leaving the marriage floundering without connection. The emotional pain for the spouse who is losing the connection to someone else can be as extreme as if there was a physical affair.
Unfortunately, this often falls outside of the understanding of the spouse involved in the emotional relationship. He or she will often continue to justify, argue, and refuse to acknowledge anything is wrong. . . until everything falls apart and the truth is overwhelmingly evident.
In this podcast, I take a look at emotional infidelity and give some guidelines to help distinguish “just a friend” from a relationship that has crossed the line.
Listen below and let me know what you think in the comments area further down.
When “Janie” came to see me, she was lost. She could not understand HOW her husband could be so wrapped up in his affair. “Doug” was discovered at a lunchtime rendezvous with his mistress of 6 months. A friend saw them sneaking into a motel room, and quickly called Janie.
Doug was ashamed, swore he would break it off, claiming it had only happened a couple of times. While Janie didn’t really care how often they had met, Janie also didn’t believe him. Doug had been distant for some time. In fact, his distancing was at about the same time he began texting and chatting with the other woman. Janie knew something was wrong; she just couldn’t imagine Doug would cheat.
In fact, few would have believed it. Doug was always at his kids’ games, was in church every week, and was a civic leader. He was also deeply involved in a very unhealthy relationship — one he seem completely unable to break from.
“What is driving him? Why is he acting this way?” Janie pleaded.
Affairs seem to burn so hotly. It can baffle the people involved and the spouses hurt by the relationship. And it can be a fire that is tough to squelch and hard to escape.
Do not confuse the heat for love.
Rarely is love hatched in the midst of dishonesty and deceit.
Janie told me she just didn’t get it. The other woman was less attractive, more needy, less successful, and just did not match up with what Doug proclaimed he wanted in life. Yet there they were, deeply involved and proclaiming the “truth” of their relationship.
I pointed out one thing I want to point out to you: affairs are not about the other person. The other person is an object, a projection of lots of other things. But it is really not so much about that other person.
Very frequently, after the affair is ended, the cheating spouse says to me, “I have no idea what I was thinking. I don’t even LIKE that other person.”
Unfortunately, it can take time to get to that level of disconnect.
In this week’s podcast, I want to share with you the mixture that creates the “rocket fuel” of the intense feelings involved in an affair.
Take a listen and let me know what you think!
Statistics on infidelity are a bit difficult to come by. Estimates range from 30% to 60% of marriages have some episode of infidelity during the marriage. That is a large span, from a minority to a majority of relationships. One study found 22% of men and 14% of women admit to cheating in their marriage.
Let’s be clear: statistics don’t matter. What matters is what happens in YOUR marriage. Just know that if infidelity is or has been a part of your marriage, you are not alone.
But infidelity does not have to end a marriage. In fact, many couples find it possible to not only recover their relationship, but actually build a stronger marriage after the affair. An affair can become a “wake up call” that things need to drastically change.
Are you wanting to save your marriage after infidelity? I have prepared several resources to help you.
Mental models. We all have them. It can help us make sense of the world. . . and keep us stuck. Every mental model is really a shortcut in understanding reality.
A mental model is simply a way we understand something. Politics are a mental model. Each political view has a certain viewpoint on many topics and issues. But given the wide array of political views, it would appear that each viewpoint has shortcomings — information that is missing or ignored.
The same is true throughout our lives. Every mental model we have gives us both strengths and weaknesses. And we rarely examine why those models are there, or where they come from.
Many of us grew up with the “tough it out” or “screw it, I’m out” models of marriage. The lessons learned by watching these two models can keep us stuck and limit our possibility for change in marriage.
Are you ready to make a shift in your mental model? Allow me to offer yet another model. I think you will find my model has more potential than either of the other two models.
In this week’s podcast, I cover the 3 models and give you help in making the shift. Let me know what model you had growing up, and how you are changing it now. Just leave a comment in the area below.
If you are ready for a new model, but are not quite sure how to get there, please grab my Save The Marriage System RIGHT HERE.
I remember when I first took a personality test years ago. It was the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI). I answered a bunch of questions and received a four-letter designation (not to be confused with 4 letter words that have been used to describe me!).
What amazed me was how accurate the description was for that particular type (1 of 16). The designation helped me think about how I processed the world.
There is one problem, though. That particular profile has lots of moving parts, making it a bit complicated for the typical person who is trying to figure out how your personality and your spouse’s personality makes your marriage more or less difficult.
Today, I want to offer a much simpler approach. This approach, the Personality Matrix, has only 4 different types. And you don’t even need a test to tell you where you fall. When you hear my descriptions in the audio (below), you will quickly locate your primary type. You will also quickly assess your spouse’s type.
You will also discover your greatest strengths and weaknesses — and how to escape your vulnerabilities.
More than that, I will share with you how to speak to your spouse’s type, so that you both feel more understood — and more capable of navigating the stuck points of your personality.
I invite you to leave a comment below, with the type you discovered and how you are going to make a shift away from your natural weakness.
His opening line said it all: “Tell me what I can do right now! Don’t tell me about some plan for the next 3 months. I want to know what I can do RIGHT NOW!”
I can tell yo what Bob was looking for: some trick, technique, or tip that he could do without any effort. He wanted something quick and easy — something that required no energy or real effort on his part.
Results. That was what he wanted. But really, what he wanted was “results without effort.” We all get tempted by that.
I will tell you what I told Bob: there are some things you can do, and you can start doing them right now, this instant. But they aren’t little tricks. They aren’t manipulation.
Instead, they are ways you can approach your marriage and your life, making an instant shift, that could create incredible change.
IF you were to do all 3 things I suggest in my audio, I guarantee your life will radically change for the better — and so will your marriage!
These shifts are simple and direct. And they mostly require you to make an internal shift. You don’t have to know any “secret language pattern,” or understand any “sneaky brainwashing tricks.”
In fact, all 3 things I suggest you do only takes you to a place of MORE authenticity.
Bob contacted me a couple of months later. He told me that when I first responded, he was “ticked off” (cleaned up version), and thought about sending me a searing email.
The next day, he decided he had nothing really to lose. He was out of ideas. Every other technique had backfired, so he thought he might just want to give my ideas a try.
Bob took on all 3 items I describe in the podcast. It took a little time to get unhooked from his automatic actions. But what he noticed right off was the shift within him.
He responded differently, interacted differently, and carried himself differently.
His wife took note. His life took a turn. How about you?
Are you familiar with the term? It describes someone that asks a question, but is a jerk with the answer that is given.
Just observationally, I see couples do this in 6 ways. One or the other asks a question, gets an answer, then disregards the answer. In fact, sometimes the answer ends up being a weapon.
Do you do that? Do you ask a question and then misuse the response?
Discover the 6 ways you could be an “ask-hole,” and then learn how to do it differently.
Don’t be an Ask-hole to your spouse! Please listen to the free audio below the infographic: