The Biggest Marriage Killer

Wanna know the biggest marriage killer?

Fusion.

fusion: (noun) The process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity.

In a fused system there is no “I”, only “we”.

There is an expectation that everyone should think alike, behave the same, have the same opinions, and want the same things. It’s assumed that each member of the system will be there to meet the needs of the other member. And, in this type of system, the neediest and/or most anxious members of the system will dictate how much pressure there is to conform and sacrifice self in a “Borg-like” manner.

In a fused relationship system, your options for getting your needs met are limited to the people within the system, or to the ways people in the system approve of (read that again).

The more both you and your spouse create a fused system, the more dependent you become on each other and the less time you have to do things outside of the relationship that you find fulfilling.

To break free of fusion you must grow up.

And growing up involves creating and following your own passions, as well as your relationship passions. [Read more…]

Is Your Business Ruining Your Relationships?

laptopcoupleLet’s say you escaped the corporate world and the 9 to 5 grind that goes with it and you’ve charted your own course for life. You’re free. You have your own little business. The world is now your oyster (how exactly did this phrase get started, and what does this really mean? I hate oysters. But I digress).

While your new business may bring with it the freedom to move about the world, be your own boss, create and spend your time doing the things you love – there also may be a fallout in your personal life.

Your hours used to be set in stone. You knew how long it took to get to work, what had to be done while there, how long it would take to get home, and one of the benefits of working for someone else – once you leave work you can turn it off until the next day.

Being the owner doesn’t allow this. Being the owner means you’re always on call. You’re responsible.

While you may want to believe you can live a compartmentalized life and business won’t bleed over, it simply doesn’t happen.

But what about when this happens -the business does really well yet your relationships at home tank?

Everything in life comes down to two things: [Read more…]

Will We Ever See Eye To Eye?

eyetoeyeEvery marriage has conflict.

Every relationship has conflict as well.

John Gottman, one of the leaders in the field of marriage research, has discovered that the majority of marital conflicts areperpetual in nature. They’re continual and repeated. In fact, 69% of all marital problems fall into this category.

Now before throw up your hands in frustration, hear me out.

There are many areas in marriage where you’re simply not going to agree. Here’s a few:

  • One of you wants to have children (or X number of kids), while the other says they’re not ready, or are happy with the current number of kids.
  • One of you wants sex far more frequently that the other.
  • You want to raise your children Baptist, while your spouse wants them to be raised Catholic.
  • Your spouse is lax about housework and rarely does his or her share until you nag, igniting anger.
  • Or one of you is a saver with money and the other is a spender.

Problems in marriage are inevitable.

The question is — can you remain satisfied in your marriage in spite of differences? Can your marriage thrive when there are differences between you?

The key is to continually work it out. Acknowledge the problems and talk about it. Your love for each other doesn’t have to be overwhelmed by your differences. [Read more…]

The Way It’s Always Been

boredAs you go through family and married life, it’s fairly common that you’ll fall victim to routine.

As a couple you have your chores, they have theirs. You sit the same places in the living room, at the dinner table, and you even have “your side of the bed.”

Have you ever stopped to wonder how routine and schedule take over so easily?

Simple Marriage is all about simplifying things in order to create room for more relationship happiness, and sometimes simplifying things means looking at the hurdles we face in relationship in a whole new way.

This is a story that’s been around a while in the business world, but it applies to family and married life as well …

Start with a cage containing five monkeys … [Read more…]

This Is Water

Have you heard the commencement speech given several years ago by novelist David Foster Wallace to Kenyon College?

There’s a great Youtube video that uses excerpts from it, called This is Water. It is a brilliant speech that encourages us all to stop presuming we know what everyone’s motives are, to stop putting ourselves and our own outrage in the middle of everything so that we can maybe understand someone else’s story.

A Guardian Of Your Spouse’s Solitude

solitude

One of my clients sent me this quote.

It’s a great way to frame what growing up in marriage can look like.

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky. ~ Rainer Marie Rilke