brother and sister on couch

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 constructive.

 Not Coping Effectively Only Compounds Your Problems.                                                                  

Does it seem like all you do is think obsessively about the problem but nothing changes and every day you feel worse and worse? Are your thoughts and feelings are all bottled up inside you?  Do you find yourself drinking alone and drinking more often so you can sleep at night?

You feel exhausted most of the time and you fear that your job’s in jeopardy because of your lack of productivity and absenteeism.  Emotionally, you feel like you’re stuck inside a wind tunnel and everything is swirling around you, like you have no control over your life! The real wake-up call was when you realized that you’ve been in denial for a while now and you chose to ignore the signs.  Look at where that got you.

First It Hurts and Then You Get Angry

You’ve decided that you don’t even blame him for what he hasn’t emotionally given to you when you needed it most. You’re desperate to make it better, so first you cry, then you fake being happy, finally, you can’t help yourself and yell!  When he yells back it goes downhill from there. Nothing works!

HOW DO YOU GET OFF THIS TRAIN WRECK?

Regardless, to what happened to the two of you or to someone else, it effects both of you. If it’s not working, stop what you’ve been doing and try a different approach or be more positive. It’s time to change the tone between you.

Step One: Talk Soon!

Don’t put it off.  Maybe you should make an appointment to talk. Perhaps, you create some space so the two of you are alone to talk without interruption. Remember, that it’s a combination of what you say and how you say it. Pick the right time and make it happen!

Step Two: Make it a Dialogue!

If he does all the talking you still need a chance to express yourself too. The opposite is also true. If you have lot to say, be sure to slow it down so you can find a pace that doesn’t feel like you’re dumping on him. Encourage him to speak and listen to what he’s trying to say.

Step Three: Have that Difficult Conversation.

If all of your recent contact with each other has consisted of yelling, blaming, or, silence, then it’s even more reason to reach out and have that difficult talk. You still have a chance at making this work between you!

Some Examples:

“Hey Babes, thank you for taking the time today, so we can sit and talk. This is really hard for me to say and it might come out wrong but I wanted to talk to you about us. To me, it seems like you haven’t been happy for a while. Is that so?  I know I’m not happy. Can you tell me what you you’ve been thinking and how you’re feeling about us?”

“I realize that I haven’t been easy to deal with lately and I’m tired of arguing and being grumpy with you and the kids. My hope is that we can both be honest with each other. What do you think?”  I’m ready to listen.

“I want us to work on this together. What is it that you need from me that I’m not giving you?  What do you think we should do?  Can we listen to each other’s needs and discuss it right now? I love you. I want this marriage to work. Is that what you want?” I’m so glad we’re talking right now, can I share with you what I’ve been thinking?

Step Four: Take it Slow.

Just because you’re ready to start talking, he may be taken by surprise that you’ve started a deep conversation with him. Perhaps, he had other expectations.  So be clear and couch what you say in Love.

Step Five: Time Out Guidelines (if things get tense).                                                                Time Outs should be discussed prior to having that talk. Before you talk, agree that if you both start to argue to take a ‘Time Out’ for a specified time period (10 min.; 25 min.; 2 hours—however long it takes for you both to calm down).

Whichever of you notices the first signs of anger or uptightness either within themselves or with their partner, they can stop the process and call a Time Out. Example: “It sounds like I’m raising my voice, I think we need a time out.” Or, “You look really red in the face, are you OK? You look upset, I think we need a time out.”

Step Six: Talk Like Best Friends

You know how supportive best friends are to each other? They are patient, loving, giving. They are AMAZING! They always make time for you and they listen with love. This is your time to be friends in the moment. The best marriages are the ones who are friends and lovers, that way when the love gets bumpy, they can sit and talk as friends about what to do with the bumps in the love relationship!

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