Imagine having the perfect marriage, or at least imagine having a marriage where things run smoothly, or how about imagining a partnership that resembles a friendship.
Think about your relationship with your best friend.
How often do you fight? If you do, what are your fights usually about? Do you just let the friendship fizzle away? Or, do you sit or get on the phone with your girlfriend and tell her that what she did and said Friday night at the club was fucked up?!
Do you see the similarities?
Yes, I know! You don’t share bills and household chores with your girlfriend, you’re not married to your girlfriend, but you’re married to your spouse or partner.
Let’s say you get into an argument or disagreement with your friend, are you going to divorce them? No, you’re not, same with your spouse. Unless your friend is douchy and deserves to be cut off.
Things are going well and suddenly you find yourselves in the shitter.
Yup! In a bowl of shit!
You’re in your bowl and your partner is in his bowl. Together, you can’t find your way out. Shit sucks and it can get sticky and slimy in there!
Here’s the thing, that shitty feeling you both are carrying its energy. Feelings and emotions are energy driven. So, let’s look at ways you can get out of the shit bowl and jump start your marriage.
What was the relationship like when you first met?
Yes! Answer these questions in your head. Think about when you first met. What did you like about your relationship?
What were the things you did together that filled your heart?
What were the places you used to go to together?
What was the first date like?
What was the one thing that made you think this person is the one for you?
You still like this person! It’s just that after X amount of years of adulting, days passing by doing the same thing and forgetting about your commitment to each other, all of this is bound to take a toll on you and your relationship.
You were friends! And still are!
What was your last disagreement about?
Notice I didn’t say what was you last fight about, a fight implies and escalation of physical activity… hitting each other. Just because you were screaming, trying to be an opera singer doesn’t mean you were physically hitting each other.
The screaming happens when you want to be heard and understood and it’s not happening.
Think about it, had your spouse understood why you were upset, would you have gotten yourself into the shit bowl? No! You wouldn’t have.
Instead, ask yourself…
What am I fighting for?
What do I need more of?
Is it more fun, more time together, more time alone, more freedom or is it more sex?
Be aware of your needs and standards.
Be aware of your needs and standards means do you need to be respected, considered, thought of.
These basic yet extremely important needs can get squished down to the bottom when you’re working five days or more a week, cooking, cleaning, driving kids all over creation.
Once you’re aware of your needs, express them to your partner. She/He is not a mind reader. Don’t expect the other person to know what you need. They don’t live inside of you. They have their own shit bowl, remember?!
Be compassionate of your partner’s experience but don’t forget about you. Voice to her or him that you understand that times are tough and that you’ll get through this.
After years of working with couples, one thing they all have had in common is that when intimacy was ignored and thrown to the side, the arguing took over their relationship.
It may be difficult to be intimate with your partner when you’re both in the shit bowl, but intimacy has many facets. Go for a walk together, you don’t even have to talk to each other if you don’t want to or go for a ride. Watch a movie together, be in the same space.
Make time for the relationship you share.
Remember that there're hormones associated with every emotion, yours and his/hers/they.
Enjoy connecting. After all, isn't that what you’re screaming for?! Right?!!
That's what we all want and need.
With much love,