By Grace Chatting
“If you keep doing what you have always done you will keep getting what you have always got. Do something different.” Henry Ford
Many of you reading this will have had long standing problems in your relationship or marriage. You have probably gone over the issues numerous times without success, and now you have given up hope that matters will ever improve. You are beginning to think that you neither can, nor want to carry on as things are. You are in a “Too good to leave, too bad to stay” dilemma and now you want to make a decision, one way or the other. The difficulty is you keep swinging between staying and going.
Effects of too much focus on problems
When you both keep going over and over your particular problems without solutions, you both become tired and weary with it all. Warmth and affection are withdrawn, and you both sleep on your own side of the bed. Some of you may even have moved to separate bedrooms. You find yourselves communicating at the level of house mates – without the fun.
Every once in a while, one of you says, “we need to talk”, but somehow, going over the problems again just leads to more arguments, further entrenchment and despair.
Feelings of anger, frustration and resentment mount with the passing of time and can lead to escalating degrees of hostility, and sometimes even violence.
Running a Marathon
Consider the following scenario.
If you were in training to run a marathon and badly sprained your ankle, what would you do? Clearly, you could not carry on training without considerable pain and further damage. In fact in making the damage worse, you would probably have to drop out of the race.
A more sensible approach is to have a period of rest and recuperation, to give the ankle time to heal properly. During this time, you might see a physiotherapist for treatment and therapeutic exercise which you would practice until you had recovered sufficiently to get back into the race.
What do you think is likely to happen if you gave way to the temptation to get back into the race before the ankle was totally recovered? You’ve got it, the pain and damage would flare up again and you would be back to square one.
It is the same thing with trying to resolve longstanding marital problems; you need a period of rest and recuperation. You need to park the problems for a while, before one of you throws the towel in, and ends the marriage.
Taking a break away from trying old ways of addressing problems, that you know do not work, is what you both need right now. This does not mean that you are pretending that the problems don’t exist, or that you are simply sweeping them under the carpet, far from it. It is recognising that your unsuccessful attempts to resolve matters have possibly become the worst problem, and is having a seriously detrimental affect on your marriage.
Most people when they reach this stage assume that the only way through it is to end the marriage. Not so. It just means that, like the marathon runner, you need to take a break during which time you seek professional advice and exercises which if carried out properly will allow you to carry on with your marriage, and hopefully, you will be a winner.
“Marriage is the hardest thing you will ever do. The secret is removing divorce as an option. Anybody who gives themselves that option will get a divorce.” Will Smith
So, I am recommending that you take Step 1 and agree to park your problems for 90 days. During this time you will learn how to reconnect with each other.
When the love and affection and good will have returned, and you have both learned the new skills which this book will teach you, then, and only then, do you return to addressing your problems, if they still exist.
You may find like many couples, that by the time you have been applying the 10 Steps in Breakthrough to Love, most of your problems have, either disappeared, become less significant or are at least more manageable.
It is helpful to make the agreement to park your problems explicit
In A Nutshell
Going over and over problem areas in your marriage without resolution becomes a problem in itself and is detrimental to a marriage. In order to move ahead it is necessary for you both to agree to refrain from trying to resolve the problems for at least 90 days. This allows you both to reconnect with each other and get your marriage back on track.
Watch out for the next Step,