Don’t Blame Valentine!
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Don't blame it on Valentine. Why romance kills marriages.Let me just say, from the outset, I AM a fan of romance.

That said, I DON’T like when “romantic feelings” are used as the yardstick for a marriage.  If you are dating someone and have no romantic feelings, ever, that is a reason for concern.  If you have been married for awhile and are not feeling the romance… that is something to work on.  Not a reason to walk away.

Which brings us to the last couple of days. Today (the day this episode comes out) is Valentine’s Day.  According to tradition, it honors a priest, Valentine. During the reign of Emperor Claudius II in third century Rome, Valentine disobeyed the emperor.  Claudius had decided that young single men made good soldiers.  Not so good when attached to a love.  So, he forbade marriage.

But Valentine persisted in marrying young couples in love. And according to tradition, he paid the price of disobeying with his life.

There are other twists and turns to the history of Valentine’s day.  But the fact remains that the day is in honor of St. Valentine.

Which is the point I think we miss.  He stood for marriage.  Not just romance.  Marriage.  He didn’t condone love.  He supported marriage.  He married those in love.  It was not him trying to get people to fall in love.  He was marrying those in love.

Why does that matter?

Because of how we have elevated the feeling of being “in love.”  Otherwise known as infatuation.  An unsustainable rush of excitement and adrenaline that acts like obsession and addiction.  But has somehow become the yardstick of a successful marriage.

Is it great when those emotions resurface throughout a marriage?  Absolutely.

But when they become the yardstick… trouble.

Listen to the podcast for more.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Kill Cupid
Connection
Adrenaline vs. Endorphin Attraction
Save The Marriage System

5 Reasons Your Marriage Isn’t Turning Around
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

I often 5 reasons why your marriage has not turned around and is still in crisis.get emails and phone calls asking, “Why isn’t my marriage turning around?  Why aren’t things improving?”

My first assessment is to see how long they have been trying. (I heard from a guy that told me he had spent the afternoon on the marriage, and it was no different!)  Sometimes, the timeframe is too short.  But sometimes, the efforts have gone along for awhile.

Next, I ask how long the crisis has been going on.  Generally, it has been going on longer than the person thinks.  They just didn’t know it was in trouble.

After that, the primary reasons why a marriage hasn’t turned (yet) fit within 5 categories.

Your strategy changes, depending upon which category your marriage (or more accurately, your spouse’s response) fits into.

If you can identify the category, you can choose your response for that particular category.

Let’s go through the categories in this episode of the podcast and see if we can plot a course that turns things around.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Resentment in Marriage
Having A Plan
Stalled Out?
Yet
Save The Marriage System

Certainty Versus Variety In Marriage
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Balancing certainty and variety in marriage.“But I haven’t change!,” he told me.  His wife said he had.  He claimed he hadn’t.

“Too bad,” I said, “you need to change!  If you haven’t, you are already in trouble.”

He wanted to be the same ol’ guy she married.  But he wasn’t.  And if he was, that would not be a good thing.

Tony Robbins reminds us (I introduced this in my Thriveology Podcast earlier) that we have that certainty as a core human need.  My friend was proclaiming his “certainty,” his predictability, in his NOT changing.

But the matching drive is for variety — of needing something different and novel.

We have BOTH needs.  As I noted in that other podcast, it’s not about living in the middle, with neither variety nor sameness.  It is about balancing variety and certainty.  Of having places that are predictable and places that are novel in your life.

Marriages can get into trouble when people don’t recognize the need for BOTH, and are threatened by the opposite of what they are wanting at that given point.

Two people are unlikely to always be in synch with need variety and needing certainty.  If one is looking for some certainty (sameness, predictability) and the other is looking for some variety (excitement, fresh, new), they can find themselves in a struggle.  They will misunderstand and frustrate each other.

Which is the point of this podcast episode.  Tune in below.

“Is It All About Being The ‘Nice Guy/Gal’?” – NOPE
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Is it just about being a nice guy / gal? Nope. But that isn't a bad place to start.Many of my podcasts come from questions from listeners (if you have an idea for a podcast, email me here).  And that is absolutely true this week.  In fact, it is from an email I received.

The question was fair.  So, I decided to respond for everyone to hear.

Here is the basic question:  “Is your System really just about being the ‘nice guy’?  If so, doesn’t that mean you get disrespected?”  (I will read the email, minus identifying info, in the episode.)

So, yes, I do think being a nice person is a good start.  But no, that is not the real point of my System.  Being civil is a building block, a starting point.

Being a jerk is rarely a good start on rebuilding.

But the nice, that is just about being civil.  Not a “push-over.”  In fact, I believe having boundaries and setting them is critical.  But so is having a high standard for yourself.

My whole System?  Nope.

A good starting point?  Absolutely.  It always is.

But not if you just allow yourself to be walked on.

Listen to this episode for more details and explanation.

RELATED RESOURCES
Being Civil
Connection Is Lifeblood
Show Up
Apologies and Forgiving
Save The Marriage System

“Can I Convince My Spouse To Stay?”
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Can I convince my spouse to stay?  Why trying can backfire and what to do instead.I sometimes check to see what people might search on my website.  It helps me to understand what difficulties people are having.  And often, it helps me decide on podcast topics.

One phrase appears repeatedly in searches:  “Can I convince my spouse to stay?” or “How can I convince my spouse to save our marriage?”

So, in this episode of my podcast, I answer that very question.

If you want the simple answer, here it is:  “No.”

But there is a follow-up:  “At least, not directly.”

If you want a bit more detail, please listen to the podcast for further details.  I cover WHY you can’t convince a spouse, HOW that might be more damaging if you try, and WHAT to do instead (5 core things you need to be doing).

So, if you have been wondering how/if you can convince a spouse to save your marriage, let’s discuss it on this week’s podcast!

RELATED RESOURCES:
What NOT To Do
“How I Save My Marriage”
Can This Marriage Be Saved
Save The Marriage System (including free session and membership)

The Power of Apology and Forgiving
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

The power of apology and forgiving to transform your marriage.Any intimate relationship is going to lead to some hurts along the way.  It’s just impossible to be that close to someone and not bump into each other (and each other’s emotions) every now and then.

The question is what you do when the hurt hangs around. It lingers and lurks, eating away at the connection — unless it is released.

Which is where apologies and forgiving come in.

Each serves a purpose to clear the air.

But to be clear, they aren’t necessarily linked.  You might apologize and not be forgiven.  You might forgive even without an apology.  Each comes from your choice.

Let’s talk about what’s behind each:  the elements of an apology and the decision to forgive.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Anatomy Of An Apology
After An Argument
Importance of Forgiving
Connection
How To Save Your Marriage

“Why Does It Hurt So Much?”
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Why does it hurt so much when your marriage is in crisis?I recently took a phone call. The caller told me that the pain of her marital problems was horrible. She told me it was physically painful.  She was truly hurting.

But she wasn’t sure why it was hurting so much.

Let’s be clear:  a marital crisis is incredibly stressful, scary, and painful.  It feels like everything you know is up in the air.  Your life can feel like a train wreck.

During our discussion, I explained to the caller why it was so painful.

But I also explained the real danger of the pain:  it can keep you from taking action.  Kinda like touching a hot stove.  You don’t want to do THAT again!  Except that avoiding only makes things worse.

So, I also shared my thoughts on the need to switch from “Why” (“Why does it hurt?”) to “What” (“What do I do now?”)

I share my thoughts on why it hurts and what to do on this week’s podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
The Cause of the Crisis
What NOT To Do
Showing Up
Having A Plan
Following A System

The Fantasy and Fallacy of Infidelity
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

FalacyFantasyInfidelityInfidelity is powerful. And destructive.

It is also powered by fantasy. Oh, and did I mention the fallacy of infidelity?

We don’t have clear figures about infidelity.  Estimates are that around 1/5th to 1/4th of people, male and female, commit infidelity.  This estimate is based upon physical infidelity.

Emotional infidelity is much harder to track.  Many people are unable to distinguish between

emotional infidelity and “good friend,” or “we just talk.” So, many commit emotional infidelity, but aren’t clear about it.

In this week’s podcast episode, I expose the fantasy and fallacy that fuels infidelity.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Infidelity Recovery Podcasts
Book:  Recovering From The Affair
Save The Marriage System

5 MORE Myths of Marriage (That Can Get You Into Trouble Fast)
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

5 more myths of marriage that can hurt your marriage.In the last episode, I covered 5 myths of marriage that can get you into trouble.  In this episode, I reveal 5 more.  Equally dangerous.

Especially in your efforts to save your marriage.

The first set of myths were about the nature of marriage.

This set of myths are assumptions about what happens to a marriage in trouble.

If you or your spouse believe these myths, you might find yourself really struggling with any attempt to save your marriage.

Take a listen to these myths of marriage that may be hurting your efforts to save your marriage.

5 Myths of Marriage (That Can Get You Into Trouble Fast)
150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

5 Myths of Marriage that get you into trouble.Myths aren’t just interesting stories. They are pieces of false information that can get us into trouble. Myths form false beliefs that can cause you to act in damaging ways. And there are quite a few myths around marriage.

Each myth can cause problems.  But most people believe multiple myths, multiplying the mess.

Myths make assumptions and form ideas. If you believe the myth, the ideas make sense. And the actions based on those ideas make sense.

Except that the underlying assumptions are false.

Which means the actions are faulty.

But the damage is real.

If you know someone (or even belief it yourself) who thinks there is “THE One,” the one person destined to be your spouse — you already know one of these myths. And you may have discovered the damage done.  If not, you may discover it down the road.

In this week’s podcast episode, I cover 5 myths.  In the next episode, I will cover 5 more.

See if YOU believe any of these myths.

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