These are the normal emotional reactions to feeling a threat or high stress. Improving your relationship means better management of these reactions. Everything you do works for some part of you, even if other parts of you don’t like it. Three motivations will govern any sustained effort you make. You will seek to:
- Avoid pain or discomfort
- Create more benefits
- Be a better person.
It’s also true for your partner. If you are asking your partner to change something, sometimes it’s a good idea to ask if the change is consistent with how that person aspires to be in that situation.
Marriages fail for the same three reasons. A failure to:
- Learn from the past
- Adapt to changing conditions
- Predict probable future problems and take action.
Effective change requires insight plus action. Insight without action is passivity. Action without insight is impulsive. Insight plus action leads to clarity and power. If you want to create a win-win solution, you cannot hold a position that has caused your partner to lose in the past.
In the end it is to remind ourselves why we married in the first place and what have we lost on the way?
Why is it that people get married?
Because we need a witness to our lives.
There’s a billion people on the planet. What does anyone’s life really mean?
But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything…
The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things,
All of it… all the time, every day.
“Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.
Your life will not go unwitnessed – because I will be your witness.
Wife in the movie, “Shall We Dance?” 2004
Couple in therapy photo available from Shutterstock