Does Valentine’s Day Only Remind You Of Your Hopelessness?

February 07, 2023

How We Can Help If Your Partner Isn’t Willing To Work On The Marriage

You’ve heard me say many times that January is “Divorce Month” because more divorces are filed in January than all of the other months combined.

I realized today that January is closely followed by February, which happens to be the month to celebrate love with Valentine’s Day! I find it kind of ironic. It’s like, if you can survive January, then let’s celebrate with chocolate!

But if Valentine’s Day feels less like a celebration to you and more like another reminder of how frustrated and hopeless you feel in your relationship, I want you to know, I get it. Marriage is hard and sometimes there are really hard seasons when you don’t feel happy or fulfilled.

You may feel like you’ll be stuck there for years, or have to think about getting out of the marriage. Or, maybe you’re married to someone who’s a total jerk and will never change. Or, maybe you are the one that has some changing to do. The reality for most couples is that both of you probably need to make some changes.

When it’s just you doing the work

The problem is what do you do when your partner isn’t willing? The marriage is in trouble and they’re not interested. They don’t feel like it’s worth the effort, they don’t have time, they have given up, or they just make a lot of excuses. I want you to know there is a chance for you to still make some really big, positive, changes in your relationship.

Most of our coaching clients come to work on their relationship issues by themselves. Alone. Our coaches specialize in this one on one kind of relationship work. It’s an interesting dynamic that takes place. When you make any shift at all in how you respond to your spouse, your partner almost has to change as well. It’s like dancing together. Somebody changes the step, the other partner has to change a step as well, or you both fall down. That’s how it is with relationship work.

When you work with one of our coaches, you’re going to get personality assessments to figure out how you’re showing up in the relationship. You’ll get new insights that you probably haven’t seen before.

You’ll learn about attachment, why you are showing up the way you do, and why your partner is showing up the way they’re showing up. You’ll build empathy for yourself and each other. You’ll also get a plan of action on how to get your partner reengaged, at least enough to want to look at the relationship. And when that happens, the dynamic shifts. Whereas initially it was just you who started coaching alone, now both of you end up working on the relationship with your coach.

Don’t be the victim

Please don’t get stuck in this idea of “Why should I put in the work if my partner isn’t willing? I will put in some effort when he/she puts some effort in.” Or, “What’s the point? Nothing is going to change anyway. It is what it is. This is just my life.” That is a victim mentality and it’s guaranteed to keep you stuck.

Relationships require skill. It’s more than your feelings. It’s more than this desire to be happy. It’s going to require skill and some growth in your emotional tolerance for discomfort, because your partner is guaranteed to disappoint you. You have to learn how to hold it together and respond in ways that will actually get you what you want, rather than more of the same pattern and same dynamic. It takes practice and it takes guidance.

Make Valentine’s Day different this year

If Valentine’s Day is not a day for celebration right now, at least make it the day you commit to doing something different. Use this as an opportunity to say, ‘My marriage isn’t what I want it to be, but I’m going to start doing something different in the hopes of changing it, so that next year maybe there really is a reason to celebrate.’

If this is you, I hope you’ll give us a call. Make a plan to meet with one of our coaches and give it a shot. What have you got to lose? Your opportunities here are truly enormous. I was stuck in this cycle for a lot of years. When you work with one of our coaches, you’ll learn a lot of the same tools I used, and that my husband and I both used together, to create the relationship we have today.

How healthy is your marriage?

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