One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how differently we treat marriage from practically everything else in our lives. Can you imagine never getting grades in school or feedback about how you’re performing on your job? But how often do you get or give constructive input on how healthy and happy your marriage is?
As I tell my clients, if one of you is not happy in the relationship, the marriage is not working. Unfortunately, this information often gets minimized by the partner who thinks things are “okay”. In many cases, this is you, the husband.
But ignoring or minimizing a problem will ultimately work against you, even if you don’t understand what the problem is or believe it’s anything to get worked up about. But just as you can be fired from your job for poor performance, you can be fired from your marriage.
You don’t want to be a casualty of the Walk-Away Wife Syndrome—a common, but heartbreaking condition that frequently appears this time of year. The primary symptom is a woman who has decided she has nothing left to give to the marriage and sees ending it as the only option. She rates the marriage as a 3 or less and sees no hope in it getting better.
The Walk-Away Wife has already grieved the loss of the marriage and is now ready to move on. She has done this slowly and silently over the years. And she drops her decision like the Times Square Crystal Ball when the calendar turns, leaving you shattered.
Yes, you would like more sex and less drama, but you had no idea things were this bad. Now she wants out. Or more precisely, she wants you out. Your life as you know it flashes before your eyes and you break out in a cold sweat. All you’ve worked for—your kids, your home, your friends, your lifestyle—all hanging by a thread.
You’re a good guy. A great dad. You’ve helped create a comfortable life for the two of you. Maybe things haven’t been perfect but WTF?
The first thing you have to know is that negatives are more powerful than positives. It takes three positive interactions to balance a negative; four or five to offset it. So anything that she takes as not right or good enough takes you doing 3-5 actions really well for the relationship to be seen as working.
Second, you pay attention to what you’re looking for and, if she isn’t actively looking for the positive, the negative grabs her attention–much like the squeaky wheel. The more she believes things aren’t going well in the relationship the more she will find actions to support her beliefs. This makes it even harder for your positive actions to be seen and acknowledged.
This is how you went from the ecstasy of being madly in love to facing the potential of divorce. And if you stay in this negative pattern of reacting and interacting, your marriage will fail.
As you evaluate your life and your marriage, you will have some choices to make. Taking the steps to make your relationship better isn’t about what’s fair, but about what works. If you really want to reduce your stress, increase your connection and save your marriage, you need a plan that works and works quickly.
Get in touch with me and find out the actions you can take right away to put the odds in your favor. You’ll be amazed at the changes you can bring about.
Previously published on hero husband
This post has been republished on Medium.
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