Marriage Advice: What is the cause of the conflicts that are causing so much unhappiness in marriages and creating toxic relationships? Why do men and women cheat on their partners? The answer should be obvious: On the whole, people don’t understand the cause of the conflicts in their marriages and how to deal with the conflict, or why they are unfaithful to their partners. If they did, they wouldn’t continue to get divorced at such horrifying rates. They wouldn’t continue to inflict such awful pain on themselves, their partners, and their children, and they wouldn’t continue to feel so desperately confused and alone. Below are a few tips that could help you out.
If your goal is to have a satisfying marriage with longevity, make sure you are accountable for the part you play in the relationship — good or bad. When you are in denial about your part in the relationship then you are no better than a child flinging sand at another child in a sandbox. When you take responsibility for your part in the marriage, only then will you be able to connect with your partner in a mature, intimate way.
Learn how to agree to disagree. No two people agree on everything, and that’s okay, but it’s important to be okay with each other’s differences.
Sometimes it’s not about the amount of money you spend on a gift; it’s about the thought that goes into something. Take the time to write a thoughtful note every so often saying what you love and appreciate about him/her.
For men, it’s important to understand that women want to be listened to. Men don’t need to solve or fix everything; listening itself is an exceptional gift. For women, it’s important to understand that men need time for themselves. By giving him space to pull away and not taking it personally, you allow him to reconnect with his desire for you and his commitment to the relationship.
Next time you argue with your partner, drop the shaming, blaming, needing to be right, and really listen without interrupting. Then communicate how you feel, using “I” statements. It’s not your partner’s job to read your mind, guess what you’re thinking, or put words into your mouth.
Never begin a sentence with the word ‘you’. Instead start with the word “I” and then share your feelings instead of your thoughts. This is not as easy as it sounds because we all disguise a lot of thoughts as feelings, as in “I feel like you are avoiding me.” Genuine feelings are sad, angry, happy, lonely, frustrated, etc … and sharing your core feelings creates better communication, and more connection and compassion.
Take time to have some fun together every day! With today’s hectic schedules, it’s easy to find your marriage at the bottom of the priority list. Take a walk and hold hands (nature calms), couple-cook (food fight!), exercise together (tennis or dancing maybe?) or just collect a “Daily Joke” to share. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you make the commitment and effort to laugh together as often as possible, it can sweeten your connection and cement your relationship for life.
In order to keep the spark alive and avoid “roommate syndrome,” couples have to understand the notion of spending “time” together versus creating “sacred” time together. Spending time at social events, time with family and doing “chores” together does not count as sacred time. Instead, carve out special time to not only be intimate, but also ensure that you continue to share new experiences together such as hiking, exploring someplace new, or arranging a stay-cation in your own city.
Couples often lose each other because of their busy lives: work, children, computers, and separate male/female activities. A healthy marriage is one that has a mix of individual, family, and couple time.
Always remember that life is long. In the heat of the moment, what feels super-important will likely fade in importance as time goes by. Before you react by yelling, tossing insults or unkind words, remember that “This, too, shall pass”. In fact, recent studies have shown that even the most unhappiest of couples report being very happy five years later. So don’t let one unfortunate incident, difficult argument or challenging moment destroy your lifetime of happiness.