Tag Archives: emotional affair

How to make marriage last forever

how to make marriage last foreverHow do we make marriage last forever?

There is a concept with marriage in our society that I just don’t get.  

It is the idea that when attraction leaves, the marriage is over.  

Or when you don’t feel IN love anymore, it is time to move on.  

This seems crazy to me.

I have a different view of marriage that some of my clients have told me is “old fashioned.”  It is certainly not the sexiest view of matrimony, but it has saved me from multiple divorces and a shattered family.

In my opinion, the way to make a marriage last forever is to start with a certain mindset. It is the fundamental belief that when two people marry, they create a family. It’s a bond that is as strong as if you were related by blood.  Even more so, actually, because you chose each other.  Blood relatives don’t get to choose. So if you viewed your spouse as your “family”, tied together no matter what…you will stay married through the ups and downs of life.  Whether you feel like it or not.

How making a marriage last forever relates to having kids.  

When you decide to bring children into this world, you commit to loving them.  This is pretty remarkable considering you don’t have any idea what they will be like when you decide to conceive.  

You don’t even know if if you will have a boy or a girl.  You have wants and desires for your children.  But you almost always get surprises.  And yet, you love your children fiercely.  

Even when they are unlovable.

You love them when they hurt you.  

You love them when you don’t like them.  

You wouldn’t dream of leaving your children because you just didn’t feel like being their parent any longer.

Some people do this and we are shocked when we see it.  Because it isn’t natural.


Now, how would the world change if we viewed marriage the same way?

Here’s the thing:  most people end a marriage when they are in pain.  

Whether it is pain from disappointment, betrayal or unmet needs.  

Sometimes it is the misery that comes from the frustration of not feeling loved.  

And sometimes it is the pain of boredom.  

There isn’t any abuse, but there aren’t any fireworks either.  We don’t like pain.  

We try to avoid it or we numb it or run from it.  But pain is necessary for growth.  

So in all our avoidance of pain, we are also avoiding the opportunities it provides us to grow ourselves up.  

Pain is an invitation to change.  Make your Marriage Last Forever.

So if your marriage is causing you pain, let that pain teach you and guide you.  

Let it change you.  I’m not talking about suffering through an abusive relationship.  

I don’t believe every marriage should be saved.  

But the way we recycle life partners in our culture indicates we have a serious problem with avoiding and denial.  

You will have days when you don’t like your spouse.  

You will have seasons where you question your commitment and love.  

You will yearn for a simpler life with less conflict.  

You may even be tempted by greener pastures.  

But remember, you committed to love this person for the rest of your life.  

I don’t believe in saving marriage at any cost.  

But seriously, if you are miserable in your marriage and there isn’t abuse, it is growing pains.  A sign that something needs to change in you or your partner.  

We don’t seem to know how to get along with anyone anymore.  

We aren’t very good at reaching out to our neighbors or involving ourselves in other people’s worlds.  

We have become hedonistic and it is toxic to us and to our society.

A Real Life Example

I met with a client recently who was having an emotional affair.  

She was angry because she had told her husband for years she was unhappy.

He didn’t get serious about changing until he found out about the affair.  

She asked me why it took something so drastic, because now she really didn’t care anymore.  

I told her it took this long because she trained him.  

She complained, but she didn’t get his attention.  

If she was truly unhappy she should have put the marriage on hold.  

Moved out of the bedroom, gone to counseling, given him a deadline and followed through.  

She was shocked and asked me if she really should have been that direct.  

It felt so “mean” to her.  Ironically, it would have been much kinder to have gotten his attention and forced his hand sooner while she still wanted the marriage.  

If you or your spouse is unhappy, get to work.  

Stop staying silent because you think it is easier or you feel like “what’s the point.”

If you are complaining and your spouse isn’t changing anything or taking you seriously, ramp it up until you have their attention.  

Having a marriage last forever will take work.  

But the rewards will be worth your time and effort.  

Trust me!  I know these things.

Contact us today, and let’s work together to make your marriage last.

 

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Marriage Problems? You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling. Here’s How to fix it.

Marriage Problems: lost that loving feeling, when you don't love your spouse anymoreSo many of the marriage problems I see are because one spouse just doesn’t “FEEL” in love anymore.

So you think you’ve lost that loving feeling?

I don’t mean to be disrespectful…but so what?

This won’t be my most popular post, and I am expecting some backlash but I can’t hold this in any longer.  

So many of the marriage problems I see are because one spouse just doesn’t “FEEL” in love anymore.

What can you do when you don’t feel love for your spouse?

Trust me on this folks–it’s going to happen.  

And it can get scary when those feelings are gone for more than a few days or weeks. Sometimes they can be gone for a really long time.  Maybe even years.  

Then we start to question whether this person we are with is the “right” person.  

We love them but we aren’t in love with them.  Click here to read more on finding the right person.  

Well guess what?  

You didn’t agree to stay married to your spouse until you didn’t feel love anymore.  

You made promises.  

You made commitments.  

You may even have brought children into the equation.  

What about them and your commitment as a family?

Do you realize it is much harder to end a business partnership than it is to dissolve a marriage? Isn’t that absurd?

Here are some reasons I often hear for ending a marriage:

You don’t want to stay married just for the kids.

I often hear this as the excuse people give when they want to leave their marriage.  I get it. You love your kids but staying in an unhappy marriage for the kids’ sake?  No way!  

The next rationale I usually hear is how seeing the parents unhappy together is way worse than having their family split apart.  

Well here is the thing: there is another option.  Fight for a better marriage…for the kids!  

Nothing is healthier for your kids than a healthy marriage.  

Don’t choose between two damaging choices when there is a healing choice available.  

You have tried counseling for your marriage problems, and it didn’t work.

This is hard.  Counseling is draining emotionally and financially.  But if you are physically sick, you keep going to doctors and trying different medicines until you are well.  Why wouldn’t you fight as hard to get the most important relationship of your life well?  

If counseling didn’t work, find another counselor.  

If things didn’t get better because your spouse refuses to change, that’s another matter entirely.  

But honestly, I rarely see this happen.  I usually see one very motivated person who is willing to do anything and one who wants out because they don’t feel it anymore.

You aren’t sure you really ever loved your spouse, so there isn’t anything to rebuild.

Here is another “so what” issue.  Ever heard the phrase “love the one you’re with?”  Or how about “Dance with the one who brought you.”  

Ok, I’ll stop with the country music lyrics.  But you get the point.  

There is all kinds of research that also shows that feeling unhappy in a relationship for a long period of time causes you to rewrite history.  

The fact that you truly cannot imagine ever really loving your spouse becomes real in your own mind.  The mind has amazing capabilities to create narratives that have very little to do with reality.  

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You’ve been telling your spouse how unhappy you have been for years, and nothing has changed.

Well, here is a fascinating phenomenon:  You tell your spouse you are unhappy, and nothing changes. And then you tell them you want a divorce and BAM!  They are suddenly very eager to do whatever it takes to fix marriage problems.  

And then you get mad because it took you threatening to leave before they changed.  You feel you shouldn’t have had to get to that point.

You feel if your spouse loved you, they would want to fix your unhappiness.  

In a perfect world maybe.  But you aren’t living in a perfect world, and most people need the threat of something unpleasant to really change themselves.  

Here’s where you went wrong: you put up with bad behavior or emotional distance for so long without any consequences, because you were afraid you might have to follow through.  

It took years of misery before you weren’t so afraid any more.  Don’t be mad at your spouse for holding to a toxic pattern when you have enabled him or her.  You needed motivation before you changed how you showed up in your marriage, and your spouse needed the same kick in the pants.  

You allowed it to take years because you stayed.  

I have been teaching clients for years that love is more than a feeling.  

It is a commitment to act lovingly even when the feelings aren’t there.  

It boggles my mind that we think it is perfectly normal to divorce when we don’t feel in love, but we are expected to do other things whether we feel like it or not.

How many days do you feel like getting up when the alarm goes off?  

How often do you feel like going to work?  

What if you changed jobs every time you realized you didn’t like going to work?  

How often do you feel like forgiving someone who wronged you, yet you do it anyway because you know it is the healthiest option?  

What about your kids?  Do you feel “in love” with them every day?  

I have teenagers.  

I can’t wake up one morning and divorce my kids because I’m not feeling passionate about being their mom.  

Your spouse is your FAMILY.  

You don’t divorce your family unless there is abuse.  

Why do marriages get an easier out?  

Marriages are the very foundation of families.  If you think this makes marriage sound like hard work and love isn’t supposed to be hard, click here.

The most damaging thing you can do is look outside the marriage for all the things you aren’t getting from your spouse.  

You meet someone who excites you and causes your heart to pound just by getting their texts.  

This person makes you feel alive while being around your spouse drains you.  

The more emotionally and/or physically involved you get with this new person, the less love you feel for your spouse.  

In fact, you feel angry because your spouse isn’t making you happy.  

Your spouse isn’t affectionate enough, or generous enough, or (fill in the blank) enough.  

That anger helps you justify what you are doing.   

But let me give you a reality check.  

There is nothing your spouse is or isn’t doing that justifies having an affair.  

NOTHING.  

Affairs are fantasies for people who are afraid to grow up.

Not everyone who loses the loving feeling will have an affair.  

Many just check out of the marriage.  Don’t do it.  

Don’t give in to feelings of hurt and hopelessness.  

Commit to doing whatever it takes to have a vital, connected, loving marriage.

Here is the thing about feelings: they come and they go.  They change.  They intensify and then wane.  

Love is so much more than a feeling.

But it often does include feelings of warmth, compassion, lust and longing–those feelings aren’t mystical.  They can be created and re-created by strengthening the bond between you.  

We know how to recreate the feelings most people associate with love.

At The Marriage Place, we can help you feel connected again.  We can show you how to find those feelings that are gone.  Even if your spouse won’t come with you.  Make an appointment HERE.  

You can start creating the relationship you want today.

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