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Save Your Marriage

Get to the Roots of Marital Missteps
By Susie and Otto Collins

If trust has been weakened or broken in your marriage, you might be wondering what went wrong and how you can save your marriage and restore connection?

It could be that you are sure you know what went wrong in your marriage but you're not clear about how to turn things around so that you and your mate can be close and trust one another again.

When you look at the roots of the missteps or mistakes that have happened along the way in your marriage, you can get a deeper look at the habits that might have contributed to the distance and even the painful betrayals that may have occurred.

Janet cannot understand how she and her husband Bob have come to this dark and lonely place in their marriage.

With all of her heart, she wants to return to the trust, closeness and passionate love that they once shared.  "Where could it have gone?" she frequently asks herself.

These days Janet and Bob's marriage seems dominated by mistrust, jealousy, accusations, arguments and withdrawals into silence.

She can't remember the last time either of them laughed for the sheer joy of it. Making love together also seems to be rare and awkward.

Identify the major challenges in your marriage.
Step one in getting to the roots of the distance and disconnection in your marriage is to acknowledge and identify the major challenges facing you.

Either alone or with your mate, you could even write out a list of the issues that you see contributing to the wedge between the two of you.

Keep your focus on writing out an observation of the challenges. Don't try to assign blame or cast a judgment about whatever they are.

Janet makes a list of the major challenges in her marriage to Bob.

She includes the following on her list: jealousy, arguing, mistrust, giving each other the cold shoulder and a lower sex drive.

While it is tempting for Janet to put Bob's name beside particular items on the list because, at this time, she sees him as the blame for those items, she resists this urge.

Instead, she looks at the list as a statement of her perspective of where their marriage is. This list of challenges allows Janet to give her attention to making the changes she can in these areas.

Understand your role in your situation.
Blame is a tricky thing. Of course, if your partner had an affair, there is a hefty sense of responsibility he or she carries for that choice.

If you want to shift out of the relationship dynamic you have going on at the moment, however, you need to widen your gaze and start looking at what you can change.

You can't change the fact that your partner had an affair and your continual blaming and judging of him or her is not going to help you to heal and the two of you to rebuild trust.

Please give yourself the opportunity to feel what you're feeling. You might still be angry about an affair.

Feel those feelings. Then, if you decide to stay in your marriage, do what you need to do to forgive and release the past.

Start to understand the role you played (and continue to play) in the distance and disconnection that has developed between you and your spouse.

Take responsibility for no more and no less than your share of the habits you two have fallen into.

Create agreements to make specific changes.
Janet spent a lot of time shifting herself away from blaming Bob for the sorry state of their marriage at the moment.

Yes, his actions did play a major role, but now
Janet can take her own share of responsibility as well.

She asks Bob to talk and she shares with him her list and realizations. She acknowledges that she has a jealous habit and way of communicating that she can see contributed to where their marriage is today.

She tells him that she'd like to work together to create agreements and make specific changes that may help them move closer together.

Alongside your list of marital challenges, include
specific ideas that you and your partner can try out.

These changes don't have to be huge.

It can be something as seemingly small as one or both of you becoming more aware of your tone of voice when talking with one another about a tricky topic, for example.

As you get to the root of what's contributing to the distance between you and your partner, you might feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.

If so, breathe and come into your center. Remind yourself that your ultimate goal is to save your marriage, rebuild trust and re-connect.

Know that with perseverance and a willingness to go to these uncomfortable places, while keeping a sense of openness, you can reach this goal together.







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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email

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