it begins to fall apart. Slowly at first. Then the consistent lack of attention begins to gain momentum until the divorce papers are served and you’re shocked! You ponder, “I should have known.” And you would have known but you were not paying attention!
A plant that is not watered eventually loses its spark. Many relationships need to be watered too. They become stale and stagnant. Both partners are stuck but cannot see that their lack of attention to the marriage and each other, caused the beginning of their demise. Often it’s too late to begin again. Both blame the other when the most productive thing to do would be to say, I’m sorry,” ask for forgiveness – give it – and start all over.
It doesn’t always happen that way. Both partners want to be right so they both stop trying and slowly drift further apart. They can only view the relationship from “their” point of view, considering nothing else. Most marriages end because at least one, and often both, partners are terminally bored with the relationship and despair of successful new beginnings.
“Women report that husbands have lost interest in how they feel, have become distant and preoccupied with work and are unable to maintain an intimate relationship or provide the soul-depth companionship that they crave. Husbands report that their wives have become preoccupied with the children, the trivial details of running the household and their own careers. Some complain that their wives have let themselves go physically and that sex has slowly become less frequent and less interesting. Both yearn for passion, connection and companionship. In the parlance of the new era, everyone wants a soulmate and is disappointed that their spouse ain’t it.” ~ Sam Margulies, PhD, Esq.
Remember, if you are not happy, the odds are your partner may feel the same way. That could a clue. Men (and sometimes, women) don’t get it until their partner is ready to walk out the door.
Pay attention! Stop everything you’re doing, listen and encourage a conversation about it. Next, take action. Give up being “right!” Work together. Focus all your energy on doing “whatever it takes” to get back on track.
Plan first to learn to better communicate. Undoubtedly, one of the most important parts of communication is listening! (Another great way to “pay attention!”) Speak up. Say what you need to say. You cannot withhold communication if you want your relationship to work. Undelivered communication is something many people don’t talk much about. You must learn to speak about things that may be uncomfortable. This may lead to some new agreements. Like… promising to have no undelivered communication – no more secrets – and to talk about anything and everything, all the time – in the most loving way you can. That’s not easy. I should know. If you would have never stopped paying attention to the marriage, you might have noticed that that part of the relationship was missing.
It’s time to focus on each other. Sometimes that is difficult with all that is swirling around in our daily lives, however, if you both really want a great relationship, you must make some new promises and one part of the promise must be about keeping your word and doing whatever it takes, no matter that you have to pick up the kids after school of you don’t “feel” like it.
Because we’re all spreading our attention so thin, many of us are losing the all-important life skill of focus. Focus is what generates long-term marriage success. Focus leads to deeper and more meaningful relationships. Focus determines how well we can improve at something.
Here comes the “C” word!
Another step toward a successful marriage is “keeping your commitments!” Focus on that!
Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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