Thursday, February 04, 2010

 

We've Moved! (The Blog, That Is!)


The times are changing! For years, I have used Blogger, Google's blog service, to create my blog. Recently, Blogger decided to make a change that meant I was no longer able to use them to create my blog.

But, have no fear! The blog will not end! In fact, you can still find all the articles from the past here, but you can also find them all at the new address. So, if you want the latest information, you can FIND IT HERE!

Thank you for visiting!

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More marriage saving information can be found in my ebook, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

 

The World Is Tough On Marriage!

It is tough to watch the news and NOT see the assault on marriage. And no, this has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. I am talking about the cultural ethos about marriage. Now, in all the years I have been blogging, I have chosen NOT to talk about the scandals of the stars.

But Woods, Edwards, Jolie/Pitt, and many others seem to beg the question: is happy marriage possible? Well, the answer is absolutely! The news is the news because there is footage and people will follow it.

Reports about the "happily married couple continue to love and appreciate each other" just doesn't titillate the way a good scandal does. The rich and famous sure seem to be willing to serve up the scandal!

What does this really mean? Perhaps that relationships involving the self-involved and narcissistic are tough to maintain.

Recently, I have been teaching a class on raising responsible kids in a narcissistic world, so the question has arisen, "why do these people shoot themselves in the foot?" My answer is because being surrounded by people who say "yes" to every movement, decision, and action creates the situation where reality becomes a more and more distant truth. "Reality" becomes whatever I want to believe, because there is no reality check around me.

Marriages work when two people decide to work as a team, not so much when either one or the other sees him- or herself as superior and above the rules. Marriage works when both people defend their relationship and guard against dangers. One major danger is attraction to other people.

Somewhere along the way, we seem to have forgotten that attraction to others is natural. Sexual attraction is not an aberration, but a natural part of existence. So the task is not to pretend there is no attraction to another person, but to guard against that attraction threatening the marriage!

Because we have forgotten this fact of attraction, we think that the attraction to another person is somehow 1) proof we should be with someone else, and 2) proof that there is something wrong with our marriage. Neither are true, but both beliefs can destroy a marriage.

Saving a marriage often starts by keeping a marriage out of trouble. Watch Tiger Woods and Jonathan Edwards. Now, when the problem is deep, both are doing backflips to save their marriages -- but the real issue is stopping the POTENTIAL for problems.

Guard your marriage. Guard your relationship. And remember the humility of realizing that nobody is above the rules. Marriage is about vigilance from outside dangers as much as the connection and love inside the relationship.

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More marriage saving information can be found in my ebook, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

 

'Tis The Season. . . For Divorce Attorneys!


The Holidays are upon us -- mostly regardless of your heritage, beliefs, or nationality! It seems that this month converges everyone in some holiday. And just around the corner is the new year!

Why would I start with that in a blog on marriage? Because it is not JUST the season of holidays. It is the season of a building storm! You see, in the United States between Thanksgiving and New Years, activities begin to grind to a halt. "Normal" life is put on hold, and people "hunker down" to make it through -- especially if there are problems!

Who wants to stir up troubles during this time of the year? Most people who see a problem decide to put it off.

Unfortunately, many spouses assume that since someone is not talking about the problem, there is no problem.

But here is the truth: come the first week of January, there will be one happy group of people -- divorce attorneys! People will fill their offices in the first week of January. In fact, there is a spike in divorce filings throughout January.

It happens for a couple of reasons. First, there is a buildup of people who have put it off over the holidays. Second, the first of the year marks new beginnings. People with problems decide to take action.

My hope is you don't fatten the pockets of the divorce business. If there were problems before the holidays, they are still there! Take these next few weeks to begin building a framework of healing. But don't wait until January to get started! The attorneys are waiting!



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More marriage saving information can be found in my ebook, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

 

Can You Really Stop A Divorce?

Marriage is a relationship of balance. . . and a balance that is easily upset these days. Unfortunately, the solution many people choose to deal with the situation is to divorce. I say "unfortunate" because the vast majority of people enter into getting a divorce with a very optimistic view of the consequences. In fact, people underestimate the cost, the emotional toll, the length of time, the energy, and the consequences for children.

So, they blindly head down the road to divorce. The only ones to benefit from this action? The Divorce Industry, but the couple will not figure that out for awhile. And when they do finally realize this, they will be so angry with each other that they won't care. That is the secret that many divorce attorneys will just not tell you!

But allow me to make an assumption here. Let me assume I am "preaching to the choir." Let me assume that you are already on-board with me about the damage wrought by a divorce. Let me assume that you are not wanting to lose your spouse, that you don't want your children split between homes, that you don't want your finances devastated. Let me assume that you want to save your marriage, but you don't know if a divorce can be avoided.

If your question is "Is it even possible to stop a divorce?" -- then let us try and think through this together. You see, I don't find it helpful to try and convince people to save a marriage. I only try to provide the information you need to do that.

So, consider the following circumstances and factors that determine the likelihood you will succeed in stopping a divorce and saving a marriage. But first, let me tell you that in my 2 decades of helping people deal with a marriage crisis, I never cease to be amazed by two things: 1) marriages that should not, in my estimation, end -- do, in fact, end. 2) marriages that I think are likely to fall apart and end actually find healing and stay together.

One major lesson I have learned through this: It truly takes two people to make a marriage work, but it only takes one to royally screw it up (that is my technical term)!

That said, there are factors that play into the likelihood:

1) How long the problems have been known. This is not a matter of how long the problems have existed, but how long one person or the other has been aware of it. The longer a problem has been known, the longer someone has been asking for change. When that change doesn't ever happen, someone often becomes more and more resentful, eating away at the marriage. So, when a threat is made to divorce, it is often more entrenched and defended.

2) Whether there is infidelity or not. First, let me say that statistics show the majority of marriages where infidelity has happened do manage to survive. Second, let me also point out that I did not say "whether has been infidelity or not." We are talking here about whether the infidelity is current and on-going.

The reason is because the affair becomes idealized as the "better relationship," and that can attract the person involved away from the marriage and toward the paramour. That said, the vast majority of extramarital relationships fall apart. Think about it: one day, the person thinks "that person cheated on his/her spouse with me. . . and that could happen to me!" Any relationship built on dishonesty already has the seeds of its destruction sown.

3) Whether children are involved. Parents are capable of pulling outside of themselves and seeing that a divorce would be difficult for the children. So, while it is easy to rationalize and pretend that everything will be okay, the parents know on some level that they are fundamentally ripping away the security the children have known. This gives more opportunities for healing and restoration of the marriage in relationships where there are children.

4) How a spouse responds to the threat of divorce. This is the one you have control over! You can't go back and redo not changing earlier. You can't stop a spouse's infidelity. And you either have children or you don't. But this one, you have control over.

Spouses that take action, that find the helpful information (as opposed to the lame and useless information floating around) tend to have the best chance for restoration. Why? Because good information will helps you avoid the mistakes that make things worse, helps you to create sensible strategies for reconnecting, helps you to understand what went wrong and what needs to go right. In other words, good information gives you the tools and understandings you need to make some real, lasting changes.

Albert Einstein observed that "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Good information gives you new ways of thinking. And with that information, the chances of stopping a divorce and saving your marriage go up astronomically!

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Information and help can be found in my System, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.

Friday, December 04, 2009

 

Why Am I Optimistic About Marriages Surviving?

Every day, there is another news story of a marriage under assault. Public figures seem to manage to royally screw up their marriages, and for what? Well, answer that and you will be wealthy! The cost of actions seems high for the payoff, yet they keep happening.

So, people sometimes wonder, why am I so optimistic that a marriage can survive? First, I am confident that marriage, as an institution, will survive because it is the best way we have of making sure the next generation continues. And it continues to honor the fact that people keep falling in love!

Why might a particular marriage survive? As I see it, we finally stand at a point where marriages really have the tools and capacity of not just surviving but thriving.

Until the last 3 or 4 decades, the majority of people stayed together, not out of happiness but out of lack of choice. Some were happy, but many stayed together because 1) their survival necessitated it, and 2) because the social norms necessitated it. Not the recipe for a content life together!

Then, those norms and opportunities changed. Pursuit of personal happiness surpassed the need to stay together. People shifted to personal pursuit at the expense of the marriage. Divorce rates skyrocketed. The choice became "stay married and miserable" or "divorce and try to be personally happy." Small problem: people pursued happiness, but happiness was not found. In fact, many found themselves more miserable post-divorce.

Today, I believe the lesson has mostly been learned. People don't blindly believe that divorce equals happiness. But many see no other option.

Enter the final fact: We now have the technology and knowledge to have a happy, fulfilling marriage. People don't have to make the choice, but can discover how to be happy within the marriage. Imagine: individual happiness, marital happiness, and no need to divorce.

That is why I am optimistic. On a daily basis, I see people take advantage of the knowledge we have to create a wonderful marriage. I believe society and culture will continue to turn away from divorce and toward embracing fulfillment within marriage.

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More marriage saving information can be found in my system, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

 

Been Burned By Crap Ebooks? You Are Not Alone!

I just received an email. I took a screenshot, made it anonymous, and placed it below.







If you can't read it, zoom in! It is important. (Just click the image!)

This is someone who finally decided to grab my ebook. Unfortunately, it was only after grabbing another "magic" book about making up. Others tell me about buying books on how to stop a divorce (reverse psychology is often the content). But that "magic" book is, as this customer notes, just plain dangerous! I can tell you the point of these new books on making up: make your spouse jealous and act like you don't care!

If anyone thinks that these tactics are really going to work, then there are some bigger issues than they know at work! Unfortunately, there are times when desperation trumps common sense!

Two things happen when we are in a crisis: 1) we want to be out of pain, and 2) we want guidance.

Unfortunately, that desire leads to simultaneous problems. First, we look for what seems to be the fastest way out of pain (rarely the best or most effective), and second, we stop evaluating the source of guidance.

Please, please, please! Don't make that mistake! Get help! Find resources that will help you, but do think through the advice and who it is coming from. Is it an expert (not an expert marketer, but an expert in relationships!)? Do you have a sense of what kind of advice you are goint to get (for example, you can see a good deal of my thinking in this blog and in my free ecourse)? Is it just too good to be true? And most importantly, does the approach fit with your ethics and morals?

Marriages can be saved, with the right advice and with effort. Marriages can be destroyed with the wrong advice (even with effort!).


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More marriage saving information can be found in my ebook, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

 

The Connection-Starved Marriage

"Why can't we figure this relationship thing out?" Have you ever had that question? It doesn't seem that it should be difficult, but at least in the U.S., the chances of a marriage making it is almost a coin toss!

I have spent the last 2 decades or so reading, studying, researching, observing, and questioning this. Problem is, we often try to simplify a fairly complex thing. Relationships, any relationship, have problems. It is just the nature of humans living together.

So, at the risk of over-simplifying, let me do just that! I want to examine one dimension of this with you today. So enter with me into. . . (queue Twilight Zone theme) the Connection Dimension!

You see, I really think that the majority of marriages actually get into trouble because of becoming Connection Starved. Recent books have simplified this further into a "sex starved" situation. However, I think it is one level deeper -- connection! Feeling connected, getting connection, and connecting -- those are the issues.

Let's just put together two pieces of connection: emotional connection and physical connection. Those two pieces are the root of many of our issues.

Emotional connection includes having emotional needs met, feeling heard, feeling valued, and feeling as if your spouse cares for you and to be with you. Physical connection is not just about sex. Humans are wired for touch. It can come in many forms: hugs, hand-holding, kissing, caressing, massages, and sex.

My observation is that couples become rather lackadaisical about both areas. They stop talking and listening, sharing feelings, and nurturing connection. Likewise, couples stop attending to their physical connection. Children start getting the hugs, sex slows, and suddenly, the couple has disconnected on both fronts.

Add to this the resentment of having a connection need, but feeling it is unfulfilled. We often forget, since the couple has stopped sharing emotions, that both are feeling the same thing.

In many couples, there is a difference in the necessary connection in each area. One may have a higher need for physical connection and the other a higher need for emotional connection. Over time, when one feels that he or she is not getting enough, it is natural to not give enough. Then, both people are feeling disconnected.

The result? Less connection. More than that, withholding connection. Slowly, the relationship is starved to death. Anger and hurt from feeling rejected takes over, and then the wheels fall off.

You see, my other observation is that as long as each person is getting their quota of connection, they are willing to accept that there are issues. No marriage is without issues. That is a fact of life. But those issues feel insurmountable without connection. With connection comes acceptance.

But remember, we can offer connection and acceptance on our own, when we recognize that we are free to choose our own actions, our attitude. That is part of what I focus on in the Save The Marriage System.

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More marriage saving information can be found in my ebook, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.

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