6 Traits Destined For Divorce (Episode 134)
Do you feel you have a solid marriage? Do you see the good in your partner and feel supported in who you are? Maybe not. Maybe you're walking on eggshells, or lashing out in defensiveness every move you make, or even already see the path to divorce clearly in front of you. Do you feel your marriage can be saved?
Once again, Nathan and I dig into this most critical relationship and share some tools to safeguard your marriage from that dreaded divorce.
Marriage is a daily investment of going back to your "WHY" in the relationship and consciously choosing to focus on love...moment by moment.
The Dreaded Divorce
I recently read an article that laid out 6 traits that can lead to divorce. Nathan and I had our own opinions on it and share not only what the traits are, but how we safeguard our marriage to ensure these don't creep in.
Below are the six traits listed, and our own slant on not only what we think about it, but how we really keep it from taking over our own relationship.
Love is a verb. And contempt can be the same way. As we navigate our most valued relationship, it's important to be proactive in creating the relationship you want vs. feeling stuck in what you hate.
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Where are we this week?
Every week, the girls get a "word of the week" from my parents as part of their #kickinitunschool journey.
This week it was "emphatic" and the girls immediately grasped the concept.
Some others lately have been brevity, edifying, hyperbole, euphoric, duff... we love seeing how we can use them in our daily life!
Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!
Making a Big Deal out of Nothing
In the article, they talk about this as "catastrophizing" - it's making a huge deal out of something that may not really be worth it. So often it's either not a big deal...or, not really "nothing." Those things that we blow up about are rarely over something little. It may be a little thing that is the straw that broke the camel's back. It may be the little annoyance that keeps cropping up that moves from something tiny to a much, much deeper root.
Before you blow up, ask yourself:
- Is it really worth bringing this up?
- Will this make our marriage better?
- Is the issue at hand really the deep issue that is bothering you? Why?
- Continue asking yourself "why" at least 3 times. Get deep into what is really bothering you. Do you feel heard, supported, loved?
It's one thing to care for your partner, but if you are giving to a fault and not accepting anything back, you are setting everyone up for frustration. I know those well-meaning spouses, who do so much for others and refuse any help themselves. Well, although you may have great intentions, I challenge you to allow others to serve. You see, a true gift to the giver is seeing how well it was received. When you deny receiving something from another, you deny them of the same pleasure you yourself keep pursuing. Don't rob someone else of the joy of giving.
Make it a point to not only GIVE, but to RECEIVE - not just in your relationship, but in life. Allow others to indulge you and don't take that away from them. Always taking over does the opposite of empowerment. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish, feed him for a lifetime. Take that concept. Always giving, never receiving, breeds takers all around you who expect that. But allowing for reciprocity empowers them to experience both sides of the equation, and get better at both!
Adaptability and flexibility are beautiful things in a relationship. But when you bend over backward just to avoid an argument, you do a disservice to your relationship. Your actions say, "This isn't worth working on, so I'll just let these slide as we distance ourselves even more."
Before it becomes big stuff, discuss it. Share the small things, and own them as YOUR feelings. When you discuss anything, share your personal perspective that is hard to argue with, as no one else can force a feeling on you. Be open when something is off, so you end up with minor course redirects vs. a huge mountain of an issue.
Okay, this is a complex one. True narcissism is horribly toxic and extreme, and, if you choose to remain in the relationship, there are some coping mechanisms to make it work.
That being said, there are many relationships that, while not true narcissism, have many similarities. Steer clear of manipulation, playing games, and ego wars. Remember playing the victim makes it very hard to overcome anything - and, I guarantee, if you go through life as a victim, you will get opportunity after opportunity to get stuck in that role.
Whether you're living with a true narcissist or someone with these tendencies, playing the victim and not accepting responsibility is a damaging trait for anyone. Take ownership of your own actions and model personal responsibility. Don't get stuck in the blame game. Whenever you point a finger at someone else, there are three more pointing back at you.
Having a Fragile Ego
Ah ego - that wonderful thing that gives us pride in who we are, and can be quickly wounded, where we may react by throwing punches or shutting down. When your ego is at the center of the relationship, you're more likely to fight just for the sake of having the upper hand or getting in that last word. Like my mother always told us, "practice being kind over being right."
If your ego is taking over in a negative way, and you feel you're fighting for hierarchy in your relationship, take a good hard look at yourself:
What is your goal? Is this battle worth it? How much is this about you versus about the relationship? Where are you feeling insecure, and what good does retaliating do for you?
This isn't just another form of narcissism. I've seen this come about with couples who value their independence to the point that it's not about a marriage, it's about "how you need to navigate me". I've seen couples where it's clear one is the priority and the other caters to every need. And time and time again, when one person's needs are consistently not being met, everything suffers as resentment builds and they are more likely to see support elsewhere.
If you aren't quite sure if you have a healthy give and take in your relationship, track it for a bit. Take turns with a "his/hers/ours" night, where one night the whole focus is on pampering the wife - anything she wants. Then the next night, all about the husband. Then the 3rd night, you decide on something together. Keep up the rhythm so each person feels supported. Having a designated night where your only job is to receive is an excellent practice not only for full relaxation and enjoyment, but also for those compulsive caretakers to really experience just accepting.
Your Weekly Challenge:
Take a hard look at your relationship. Does one of these raise a red flag for you? Yes, it takes two to tango. But you are here, reading this now - what is one thing YOU will do this week to improve your relationship?
- Opposites Attract…And How To Live With Them (Episode 86)
- My Marriage Sucks (Episode 66)
- How Do You Navigate Gender Roles In Marriage? (Episode 56)
- Welcome to the Fight Club – Choose Wisely (Episode 34)
- It’s Not A Habit; It’s Intimacy (Episode 25)
- What Do You Want This Life To Be? (Episode 16)
- Who Has Time For Sex As A Parent, Anyway? (Episode 14)
- Relationships: How Do You Play That Game? (Episode 11)
- On Getting Lost, Laughter, and the Wisdom of Dr. Dre (Episode 12)
- Growability and a Big Dose of Humble Pie (Episode 10)
- What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate! (Episode 8)
- Fighting Toward a Win-Win (Episode 9)
- Will Our Marriage Last? (Episode 113)
- Has Your Marriage Taken A BackSeat?
- The Top Qualities for a Successful Marriage (Episode 123)
Guest Podcast Episodes:
- What Is Your Goal?
- 3 Secrets for A Long-Lasting Marriage
- Laughter, Humble Pie and Lots of Sex Part 1
- Laughter, Humble Pie and Lots of Sex Part 2
- Laughter, Humble Pie, and Lots of Sex Part 3
- 37 Essential Tips To Save Your Marriage
- Romance May Be A Hue, But Desire Is The Sunshine
- In The Eleventh Hour
- Lighten Up With The One You Love – Get Out And Play!
- Pride Goeth Before A Fall – Can Your Marriage Hold Up?
- Love And Marriage – See The Good
- To Give...Is To Receive!
- Living with a Narcissist? Here is your Survival Guide