‘It’s hopeless, my entire marriage is a mess, it’s utterly pointless’. Perhaps you are feeling this right now as you live day in day out in what is slowly becoming a loveless marriage. I hear this almost every week from women in all walks of life; working women, business women, stay at home mums, women living in the country, women living in busy cities - it’s across the board, women suffering in marriages that just feel ‘hopeless’.
Take a step back, let’s look at the aerial picture, it’s not the entire marriage that is hopeless, it isn’t every moment that isn’t working, it’s a part that perhaps you just can’t see a way out of. The key here is to be able to refocus yourself on your feelings, what IS working for you, what IS working for you both and then see what changes can be made. At the moment all you see is a pool of negativity with seemingly no way out, with perhaps the following words are coming to mind –
- My relationship will never get better
- Nothing works anyway, why should I even bother to try
- I will never have what I really want
- I’ll never be happy
- The whole world is against me
And perhaps this sheer hopelessness has started to impact on other areas of your life so you don’t bother with your friends, you don’t care about your diet or your body and then you just feel worse as you spiral downwards. Are you resonating so far?
Having been married for 28 years we’ve had periods of ‘hopelessness’ so I know what this feels like, where you think, with all this going on right now how can we ever be happy again. Well, the truth is you can and Ian and I have never been happier than we are right now. The beauty of the work that you can start doing today is it only takes YOU to change your behaviour! In this post today I want to give you hope, that you can do this, so trust me so far.
First of all, before we look at the marriage itself we need to take a look at you and get that self-confidence, self-worth and strength back inside of you.
Remind yourself the marriage is not over, it’s a rollercoaster, as I’ve said many times, and we’re just at the bottom of a wave right now – you can be on top of that surf again.
- Focus on all the positive things about yourself, when a negative thought comes to mind say cancel/cancel.
- Learn to stay in the now practising gratitude, meditation or simply pinching yourself to stay present.
- Put yourself first, this is a self-less act, do things that make you feel good, reminding yourself that ‘You are enough’.
- Do things without expectation, just because you can.
- Stop trying to change your partner, he sees life very differently to you, he is wearing different spectacles.
Now you’re feeling a little better about yourself that self-confidence growing and you feel a little more worth it’s time to start looking at the relationship.
Accept him for who he is – you don’t have to like and support everything about him but accepting him exactly as he stands right now gives you the freedom of mind to react to him the way you feel is right for you.
- Listen to understand – when your husband speaks to you try and put yourself in his shoes, not coming out with an answer you have been forming whilst he’s speaking.
- Agree with him – it is his opinion, to take the sting out of an argument agree with his opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s your opinion (you are not a doormat either), it means you are understanding him. If he asks for your opinion, give it, otherwise, don’t.
- Work out what five things will make your partners’ life better; if you’re struggling with this, simply ask him and make a point of writing them down and achieving at least one a week.
- Start hugging and kissing again, show compassion towards him, show him you care. Surprise him because you can, not because you want a reaction from him. You take charge.
- Feeling better about yourself you can now start to put the marriage first, in front of the children, taking time out for you both, making your time alone important, doing perhaps a hobby together, working out a joint goal, meals out, the cinema, whatever it is, make the two of you a priority.
- You take the lead in all of this, don’t wait for him, you show him by your behaviour and do it because you can and want to, not because you want something back from him. It may take time but that’s fine, you didn’t get into this overnight did you?
- Learn how to share your inner thoughts without being scared, always stick up for him in social situations, do not threaten him when arguing that you will just leave and lastly you be the one to take the lead in love – you show him.
Long-term relationships are a roller coaster, they can be difficult, they do have their hard times but it’s from these we gain that strength to face the challenges that life throws at us. Don’t throw away your relationship because you don’t know what to do and feel in total despair, there is always hope, do something different this time; it will be worth it. Don’t be alone either, reach out and ask for help, it will be the most courageous thing you have done to date.
As always I love to hear from you. Ladies come & join us in our wonderful caring, non-judgmental FB group - ‘Let’s Talk Relationships & Life’ - https://www.facebook.com/groups/relationshipsandlife/. Can't wait to meet you!
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