You Know You’re On The Same Team… Right??
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

You DO know you are on the same team, right??One more argument.  One more struggle.  They sat on my couch, facing each other down as opponents in some contest to… win… well, to be honest, I don’t know what they were trying to win.  Because they were not winning at marriage!

I stopped them, looked at them and said, “You do know you are on the same team…” and they stared blankly at me, so I continued, “… right??”

They certainly were not working like a team.  They were acting like enemies, in competition with each other.  They were struggling to win.  But either one “winning” would be a “lose” for the marriage.

Too many people miss this one essential — crucial — fact about marriage… you both are on the same team.  You are working toward a common goal (or should be).  The task is not winning as an individual, but as a team, as a couple, as a family.

This is the fundamental point of being what I call a “WE.”  WE are in this together; WE stand side-by-side; WE have each other’s back; WE are a team!  Same side, same direction (or should be).

Listen to this episode for how to get on the same team!

RELATED RESOURCES:
Connecting
Being A WE
Conflict
Save The Marriage System

 

“It shouldn’t be this hard!” (And Other Lies We Tell About Marriage)
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

"It shouldn't be this hard" and other lies about marriage.Far from the first time, he turned to me in the middle of a session and said, “See? It just shouldn’t be this hard.  That is why I know this marriage is wrong.  If it were right, we wouldn’t struggle like this.”

I had to admit… they were struggling.  It was difficult.  BUT, the struggle did not prove the marriage was wrong.  It did demonstrate that the way they were interacting was not good for the relationship (or for either of the two people in my office).

What it did not prove was that the marriage was wrong.

Quick stat.  Do you have any idea what percent of marriages have difficulties and struggles?

Here is the answer… if you haven’t guessed:  100%

Yep.  All of them.

Somewhere around 50% figure out how to move through the struggle or stick it out, in spite of the struggle.

That’s just one of the lies we tell about marriages.  Not that people mean to lie.  They just say what they believe… which is a lie (or based on a lie).  Let me tell you four of the bigger lies people tell (themselves) in this episode of the podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Why It Matters
Feel Like Quitting
Myths of Marriage
Save The Marriage System

5 Truths Every Couple Should Know
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

5 truths every couple should know about marriage.Many of my podcast episodes are really aimed at those in the midst of some marriage crisis.  Maybe it is hanging on by a thread.  Perhaps it is just in the beginning stages.

Today, I want to share some information that applies to every single marriage — happy or hurting, starting or staying, even barely hanging on.  If you are at the beginning of a marriage — this applies!  If you are struggling through — this applies!  If you aren’t sure if it will survive — this applies!

A few weeks ago, a reporter asked for some truths for couples.  After nearly 3 decades of working with couples, and almost 30 years of marriage, those truths were pretty quick to come to mind.

And after I was done talking, I realized that I needed to share the information in my podcast, so that you could access it, too.

Please, feel free to share it with others who are married, so they know the truth about marriage — and can build a great relationship!

RELATED RESOURCES
Immutable Laws of Marriage Series
Connection Resources
Dealing with Conflict
System to Build a Great Marriage

Marriage and The Goldilocks Principle
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Happy marriages, hurting marriages, and the "Goldilocks Principle"Remember that children’s story?  Goldilocks, lost in the woods, stumbles upon the bear family home — which they had just left.  Inside, she finds one bowl of porridge too hot, one too cold, and one just right.  Same with chairs:  one too soft, one too hard, and one just right. Same with beds:  one too soft, one too hard, and one just right.  Goldilocks picks (duh) the “just right” option and falls asleep.

But remember:  the too hot/cold, too hard/soft items were not too hard/soft, hot/cold for other members of the bear family.  We all have “just rights” that are just right to us — not to others.

And that is true with marriage.  Healthy marriages are built to be “just right” to both people.  In hurting marriages, it may not be “just right” for either.  Or it may only be “just right” to one. Both situations can cause strife, conflict, and pain.

This week, let’s talk about how the “Goldilocks Principle” applies to marriage — and how you might be able to get to a “just right” relationship.

RELATED RESOURCES
The Goal Of Marriage
5 Myths of Connection
Marriage Is Not Vehicle to Happiness
How Your Marriage Got Out of Shape
System To Save A Marriage – Starting Today

Of Apologies and Forgiving
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

The role of apology and forgiving in a marriage. Apologies help. Forgiveness helps, too.We all have hurts from close relationships — and especially in marriages.  It is impossible to be in such an intimate relationship and not bump into each other (in hurtful ways) over and over.  The problem is when the hurts don’t heal.

Bumps, they happen.  Continued pain and hurt from the bumps, that doesn’t have to happen.

Yet, many times, I watch couples dragging the hurts around for way to long.  Weeks, months, even years.  Not noticing the damage that is happening to the relationship along the way.

There are two parts to the process of healing:  apology and forgiving.  But, and this is important, they are not dependent upon each other.  They are separate.  Sometimes, people lump them together.  And while they are related, one does not link to the other.

You may apologize and the other person, for example, may not forgive you.  Likewise, the other person may not apologize, and yet you still choose to forgive.

Let’s talk about each of these processes and why they are not related… and why that is important.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Hurt and Blame
How Hurt Keeps You Stuck
Anatomy Of An Apology
Why To Forgive
Save The Marriage System
VIP Virtual Coaching

3 Rules for Better Communication
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

3 rules for better communication in your marriage.Many couples make the mistake of assuming that their problems are due to poor communication.  That is not (or rarely) the case.  Why do couples think this?  Because many therapists use that as the default problem to attack in therapy.

But communication is merely the method of passing information.  Helpful in connecting with a spouse, for sure.  It’s just that most people express themselves fairly well.

For years, people would come to my office and ask for help in communicating.  After 20 or 30 minutes of listening, I would note that I understood everything each one said.  They were communicating just fine.  They had an issue, for sure.  Communication, though, was not THE issue.

Still, communication is not irrelevant.  It is one of the ways we connect.  So, if communication is hampered by hurt and disconnection, then communication can seem like the issue.

So, today, I offer 3 rules for better communication — communication that leads to connection!

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Communication Mistakes
What Your Therapist Won’t Tell You
Anger As An Issue
Be Careful Of Blame

Save The Marriage System

 

 

Chronic, Crisis, Flashpoint, Tipping Point – What Happened??
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

When the chronic marital issue becomes a marriage crisis -- the flashpoint of the crisis -- it crossed a tipping point.“What happened?”, they ask me.  They tell me they knew things weren’t great… but they had no idea that things were “this bad,” to the point that a spouse is threatening separation or divorce.

Suddenly, a chronic marriage problem becomes a marriage crisis.

They can’t believe “that one argument” led to the threats of divorce.

And they are exactly right.  That was just a flashpoint.

At some point, most chronic issues have a tipping point, when they go from chronic to crisis.  it happens with health issues.  And it happens with relationship issues.

Nothing is great… but not horrible… until everything turns upside-down.  The problem erupts into a crisis.

If that is what happened to you, you need to understand the dynamics behind this.  I cover those dynamics in today’s podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Connection
Conflict
“How I Saved My Marriage”
System To Save A Marriage

Are You Just Delaying “The Inevitable?”
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Are you just delaying the inevitable, or can you really save a marriage?I get this question often enough to know that you may be wondering, too.  Is it really possible to save a marriage, or are you just delaying the inevitable?

Many people want to know this before they even start the process.  They want to make sure that the effort will be worth it.  If not, why go through the struggle, right?

Some people do make the effort to save their marriage… but they never quite get to the point of really changing anything.  They might engage a bit, work on it a bit… and they gain some ground.  But in reality, nothing changed.  It’s more like cleaning a house that is in disrepair.  It looks better, but nothing got fixed.

Then, there are others.  They decide that they can’t go back.  They realize the relationship must change.  And change it, they do!

And save their marriage, they do!

The question is really about whether the real change happened, or just a “spring cleaning.”

The choice between the two?  All yours.

Listen to this episode of the podcast for more on making those real changes.

RELATED RESOURCES
The Goal of Marriage
3 Secrets To Saving
The Importance of Connection
Your Plan To Save Your Marriage

When Your Spouse Wants To TALK
150 150Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

When your spouse wants to talk. What do you do?“We need to talk,” is the start-up of many conversations with a spouse in marital strife.  Those words can strike fear and dread into you.  What if things turn south?  How do you respond?  What do you do?

If you are following my System, you know that I have a number of “Don’t Do’s” that can keep you out of trouble.  This is my list of thing NOT to do.

And one biggie is Don’t Talk About The Relationship.  What I mean by that is YOU should not have THE “Relationship Talk.”  You know… the one that you have rehearsed in your head… the one where your spouse will “see the light” and return to the marriage — given your full list of reasons and emotions.

Except… that is not what happens.  Your spouse is not reading off of the script you have in your head.  And so, the talk goes south.

So, what do you do, then, if you are committed to not having the “relationship talk,” and your spouse is wanting to talk about the relationship?

I’m here to help!  In this week’s podcast episode, I cover this question.  I tell you why your spouse wanting to talk about your marriage is NOT the same as my rule about not having that Relationship Talk.  And I share why avoiding your spouse’s desire to talk is actually a problem.  Perhaps a BIG problem.

So, how do you have that talk and make it work FOR your relationship?  Listen to the episode for help on how to talk about the relationship when your spouse wants to, without having THE “Relationship Talk.”

Resources
Connection versus Confusion
Communication is Not the Issue
Relationship Talks
Save The Marriage System

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