In the last post, I explained that even though you may feel like you’re the only one making an effort right now, saving your marriage IS possible.
Problems can develop in a marriage when one partner indicates some form of dissatisfaction with the relationship or the expectations unwittingly placed upon them – and when they do so, we panic.
When our partner withdraws, our fears often kick in. When something goes wrong with our relationship, it’s very easy for us to place the blame on the other person for having made us unhappy.
In order to save your marriage when you’re the only one doing it, the key then is a paradigm shift – meaning, the key lies in changing your attitude and focus.
This means stop focusing on your spouse for now, and instead take a good look at yourself and what you can do in this moment.
You definitely CAN’T control your partner’s feelings, attitude and reactions – but you CAN control your own.
You can go from fearing abandonment to actually taking responsibility for yourself and your own happiness.
This is where the human truth about self-actualization comes in. When you understand, adapt and internalize this, you’ll feel the difference not just in your marriage but in YOURSELF.
A whole human being is easy to love. A happy person attracts happiness. In starting with yourself, you can move from being an unhappy person to one who can provide an environment of safety, wisdom, trust and open communication.
If both you and your spouse are able to self-sustain when it comes to taking responsibility for your own happiness, you both have much less baggage and much more genuine love to bring into the relationship. Your motivation shifts from being one of fear to being one of real love.
Rather than beating yourself up in desperation, take these first steps to start your own personal transformation which can ultimately lead your marriage to success:
First, take a step back and examine your part (not just your partner’s) in contributing to the difficulties in your marriage. Forgive yourself.
Next, believe that reconnection is possible. See a counselor for YOURSELF, not just for your marriage. Look after your own health and well-being.
For all you know, your spouse (and you!) may just rediscover the person they first fell in love with, which is an important step when it comes to saving your marriage.
This is often what creates the space for your partner to come back and initiate communication. When that happens, you have every opportunity to sit down with them, discuss your motivations, plans and feelings.
You may even get to the core issues surrounding your marital difficulties and actually begin taking positive steps to work through them.
In being open and mature, you can also provide an environment where love and intimacy can flourish again.
With all the confidence and sincerity you’ve gathered, try taking these initial first steps.
Even in your separation, conflict or difficulties, see if you can find it in yourself to continue loving your partner and showing him or her that you do. They don’t have to be grand gestures, they just have to be sincere (and coming from the mature, new you, they will be!).
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