MARRIAGE AND STRESS ARE INSEPARABLE: SEVEN EASY STEPS TOWARDS FIXING IT!
Couples across cultures and continents, race and religions, economics and demographics all experience the same human emotion when faced with challenges in their primary intimate relationship. It feels like nothing ever gets resolved, the dance just keeps repeating itself. It’s the merry-go-round of pain, misunderstanding, hurtful words and blame that gets uglier with each turn of the wheel.
NAME YOUR STRESS
The biggest stressor is prolonged, chronic stress! Take your pick: depression by one or both partners, long term illness, work stress, money stress, problems with children, addictions, blended families, co-parenting issues (not unified in your parenting style), it seems all consuming at times.
A very common yet significant issue for couples is core value differences. When you first met him, he seemed so interesting and enticing (opposites attract), but after the romance faded, it turned out to be a disconnect between each of your core values: education, how to raise your children, travelling, money, marital roles and responsibilities, religion and more.
These are BIG ticket items when it comes to maintaining a long-term marriage with someone.
Shared core values: Honesty, Trust, Communication is the key equalizer to a stronger healthier happier marriage. Is this the guy who judged you or made negative comments about your core beliefs or how you…
How Would You Define It: Who? What? When? Why? How?
Of those five questions after you sort through the ‘who’ and the ‘what’, the most important question to ask yourself is: “How am I going to cope with this right now?” Once you know who, and what and when, asking why might help you resolve it in your mind for a minute. However, for the long-term, despite whatever happened, you know it now and you need to start coping now! Did you know that people can stay stuck in “why” for decades?
Your Struggle is Real and Emotions Run Deep.
Challenges ebb and flow in life both negatively and positively. The emotions that flow with it are always the same. They ebb negatively into desperation, fear, resentment, anger, sadness, overwhelmed and then they flow gradually into joy, appreciation and more.
It can be a onetime event, or a long drawn out battle. If you do nothing, the ramifications of those challenges can stick around for decades! Whether you freeze in the moment or you act impulsively, you’re still impacted by How you choose to cope, or not.
HOW? This is The Key! How Do You Cope?
You can decide to cope with this problem in a healthy way: Exercise (walk, run, bicycle, take an exercise class). Make sure you sleep well, see a professional counselor, meditate, start a yoga class, or pray. Whatever you do make it something…
BETRAYAL and SHOCK
After weeks of him being blamed, shamed, yelled at, and asked the same questions over and over about who initiated contact between him and his lover, your cheating husband says to you: “I just want things to go back the way they were.”
Really? What does he mean by that? Was it really that great between the two of you before all this happened? How on earth can you go back to a time when you thought he was loyal, loving and good? Will you ever be able to trust him again? You wonder if you still love him. Who is he? So many questions without answers.
NOTHING IS THE SAME
After weeks of shock, pain and confusion the numbness is fading and anger is emerging. It seems like you’ve been on a nonstop roller coaster. You’re both exhausted: emotionally, mentally and physically. Whatever your reaction to the affair, it will be unique to you alone.
If you’re the cheater and got caught or if you’re the victim whose world is upside down, either way you are suffering on multiple levels. Remember, the only two people who really understand what the pain feels like is the two of you and it hurts so bad. You both have hurt each other and you wonder how it will ever get right again.
The biggest mistake would be to not talk honestly about what exactly happened. Honest questions require honest answers. If you can’t do that, or you’ve never had that kind of conversation with each other, then now is the time. So, stop the blaming and make an appointment to talk with each other without the kids, or the dogs, or the phone.
HOW TO BEGIN…
So when does being kind and giving to others, turn into giving even when it might be to your own detriment? Across cultures and certainly in America we’ve been socialized to give to those in need, share with our brothers and sisters and donate to charitable organizations. Perhaps we’ve even chosen to work for non-profits or work for organizations that fund lesser organizations needing funding.
But what about when you realize that you’ve been sacrificing for your family members or spouse or children for years and it doesn’t seem to stop? Drama after drama or one financial crisis after another. Think of all that you’ve given, like your time, money and energy. All you feel now is exhausted, stressed out and burned out.
One very important exception: It might even be a cultural expectation that you are the adult child and you care for elderly parents or younger adult siblings who are not as successful as you. Many of you report that even though it is the country of origin cultural expectation that threads along the family line from generation to generation, you still don’t like it.
Or, perhaps you married into that culture and your spouse tells you, “This is how it is done in our family.” If you don’t agree and you have no power in this matter, the goal is for you not to drown in resentment. If you cannot express your discontent to your spouse or modify the arrangement to something more agreeable, it is vital that you strive to accept it without remorse or frustration. If not, it will be a toxic overtone to your intimate family partnerships which can permeate your psyche and…
It’s the 72-hour rule!
Have you ever wondered how that argument got so heated in a just a few words? First, you were talking about this and the next thing you know words are flying back and forth about THAT! How did we move from A to Z so quickly? And, how come you never saw it coming? The answer is that several things can co-contribute all at once to the whole conversation being derailed. But! One of the biggest contributor is the PAST!
Aren’t you tired of the same old argument that keeps being repeated about the PAST? It seems like your spouse is not listening and all conversations lead down the same trail of tears about what happened (or didn’t happen) before. You wonder what does it take to be said and done? When will it be done and forgotten? How many times do you have to either apologize or defend yourself from that same sorry story? You hate it and you feel like you’re stuck in a cycle.
Those trigger words that spiral into the dark land of hurt, blame, shame, and guilt (not to mention frustration and anger) can definitely get old fast.
Are you exhausted, frustrated and confused? Then it is time to learn about THE 72 HOUR RULE.
Basically, it’s the opposite of everything you’ve been experiencing.
It is a two-pronged approach to having a conversation about anything. It consists of time both literal time (an exact 72-hour time-frame) and it consists of time as it is used in language when referring to the past.
HERE AND NOW. THE 72 HOUR TIME FRAME.
The rule delineates that there is a timeline to bringing up a topic for discussion (we’re talking about those hot topics or the…