Men often ask me about my “success rate” when it comes to helping them fix their relationships.
And that’s a red flag right from the start.
Because by “success” they normally mean:
“Will my wife love me again?”
“Will I stay married forever and never leave my kids?”
“Will my sex life ever become what I hoped for?”
“Will she ever become sane again?”
“Will she ever trust me and feel desire for me again?”
My answer is, “I have no clue and I don’t care…and you can’t either.”
The problem with the idea of a “success rate”is that it implies someone has control over the outcome of your marriage or the feelings and decisions of another person.
Because you have zero control over those things, the “success rate” question is meaningless.
My work with a man is focused on improving his self-respect, happiness, confidence, independence and his sense of purpose.
He has total control over those things – he just doesn’t realize it.
A guy who chooses to improve those things stands a much better chance at improving his relationship.
And even if he doesn’t, he can still wind up in an amazing place his former self could only imagine.
The 3 Outcomes You Can Expect
There are 3 specific outcomes I see if you choose to improve your self-respect, happiness, confidence, independence and your sense of purpose. My data applies only if you are serious about personal growth. You must be serious, focused and committed to becoming the best man possible without any attachment to a specific outcome.
In my experience, you can expect about a 33% chance of falling into one of these categories.
- Your relationship shifts into neutral. It doesn’t get much worse or much better. It becomes much less shitty, has much less conflict and much less drama. It’s functional, but not satisfying and nowhere near what you consider to be happy. You are an unhappy married man. And you choose to stay that way.
- Your relationship ends. You consciously and deliberately decide to end it with honor and grace. You move forward with clarity and confidence and create a life of purpose, independence, freedom, love and pleasure. You feel slightly sad and guilty about the past, but those feelings wane over time and you don’t let them stop you from moving forward. You are a happy divorced man.
- Your relationship improves significantly. You consciously, deliberately and mutually decide to carve out a new relationship with honor and grace. You move forward with clarity and confidence and create a life of purpose, independence, freedom, love and pleasure. You feel slightly sad and guilty, but those feelings wane over time and you don’t let them stop you from moving forward. You are a happy married man.
As you can see, all outcomes are better than the status quo.
And you have a 66% chance of winding up happy.
So, if I had to give an answer to the question, “What’s your success rate?”
I’d say you’ve got about a 66% chance of being a happy man if you’re willing to make some major changes in the way you think and behave – no matter what happens.
5 Questions to See if You Will Die an Unhappy Married Man
- Do you believe all of the problems in your life and marriage are mostly someone else’s fault?
- Do you believe your happiness is mostly the result of what other people are doing, thinking, or saying?
- Does the idea of introspection, reading, learning and talking about being a clear-headed, decisive, confident man make you want to puke?
- On scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the worst thing imaginable, do you rate your fear of divorce an 8 or higher?
- On scale of 1 to 10, with ten being extremely likely, do you rate the probability of you living 30 more years like this a “5” or higher?
Results: If you answered “Yes” to one or more of those questions, you will likely die an unhappy married man.
It’s that simple.
My data don’t lie.
But There’s Hope!
There was a time when I answered “yes” to all five questions.
I had nobody in my life to tell me about my options. Nobody was there to explain the concept of “being a better man”.
I didn’t know anyone who was truly self-respecting, self-approving and self-validating. Therefore, I had no positive model for my masculine frame and I was surrounded by people in shitty or failed relationships.
I played the victim and I stewed for decades not knowing what I could do differently.
Even though on the outside I was professionally successful, confident and happy…my insides were twisted in knots.
It wasn’t until the beginning of my divorce and just after my 50th birthday that things turned around for me.
I met powerful, initiated, and wise men who were talking about things I never heard before. They talked passionately about:
- Unapologetic masculinity
- What women really need in a relationship
- Confidence and clarity of values
- Owning your sexuality
- Openness, vulnerability and boldly speaking your truth
- The value of other men and men’s work (wtf was that?)
This is when all the lights came on for me. Epiphany after epiphany.
Blinding flashes of the obvious. (BFO’s)
I thought it would help me fix my marriage but it was too late. My marriage was ending and there was nothing I could do…and I was okay with that.
Better than okay.
A sense of calmness settled in for me. True happiness. And I knew there was something coming that I never even imagined before and I couldn’t wait to find out.
It turns out that Dr. Henry Cloud was right when he said in his book, Necessary Endings,
Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind, and moving on. Growth itself demands that we move on. Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.
Sometimes this means ending a behavior or a mindset. Sometimes it means ending an argument. And sometimes it means ending a relationship.
If you’re a man ready to take yourself and your relationship to the next level, I want you to have a free ebook I wrote for you. The Hard-to-Swallow Secret to Saving Your Marriage can be download HERE.
Photo: isn’t a quiet person/Flickr