Grow Together or Grow Apart
Today’s video I’m going to teach you about the importance of growing together.
Relationships need constant attention. If you don’t continually invest in it, you slowly become distant to your partner.
When we are not attentive to our partner, and feel disconnected our anxiety will be triggered. Then, when the anxious person reaches out to the other person, if they don’t get reciprocation, it will lead to them pushing for that person’s attention more. They will become upset, turn away, and then have an emotional melt down.
You know the emotional melt downs “I hate you! You don’t love me! You don’t care about me! Do you even listen to me?” All of that is because they are feeling disconnected from their partner and when they reached out, the other person didn’t make them feel loved and connected, so it triggers their anxiety and they lose emotional self control.
So I got an email from Al that says, hello Craig. I really like how you look at things and see that you are very genuine. For that reason, I am coming to you for help with my marriage. I found your work when my wife said she is ready for a divorce after 10 years. I have to admit, I really just thought about ending the marriage. However, I thought 10 years is a long time to throw away without making an effort to see if we can really fix things but we keep discussing divorce
Thank you for the compliment Al. I appreciate you having trust in my ability to help!
Okay, if you are BOTH serious about working on your marriage. I would highly suggest you both throw the divorce word out right now. The relationship needs safety. Neither one of you is going to feel safe if divorce is an option. Divorce cannot be an option for either of you for 4 months. If you can commit to 4 months of trying to make it work, I think you have a real shot. Take a look at the calendar. Right now we are almost halfway through August. Since 4 months from now would be around Christmas time, I would suggest you guys commit to trying to work it out until the end of the year. Get through the holidays and see where you are at in early January.
We have had different work schedules for the past 2 years and I think it has really hurt our relationship. She says we are growing apart. I try to be a good husband, but nothing I do seems to be good enough. She is constantly telling me I don’t love her. I always tell her that I do. She says we don’t do enough together but I tell her we go out and do things about once a month. She gets angry at me if I’m on my phone checking the score of a game. She says things like “you care more about that score than me”
So the problem here is that she feels disconnected from you. She isn’t feeling loved and you are making it worse by arguing. When someone says you don’t love them, you don’t use logic and reason.
For example, she says we don’t go out and do enough together, don’t say we go out once a month. Say let’s go do something! And take her to do something fun.
You aren’t giving her quality time. Everyone has certain things that they need from their partner to feel loved. Quality time is one of them. She is saying: We don’t go out together so that tells me she wants quality time.
Have you ever heard of the book the 5 love languages?
Here are the 5 love languages: 1) Receiving gifts 2) Physical Touch 3) Words of affirmation 4) Acts of Service 5) quality time
Knowing what your partners love languages are can help you make them feel loved.
Often times we give other people the love we wish we received. If we like giving gifts we may give them gifts. Meanwhile, getting gifts may not make them feel loved.
All of these little things are just that she is disconnected. That is the main reason we fight. We want to connect with our partner and when we don’t, we get anxious and then lose emotional self control.
I suspect it’s how you are communicating with her. When she says
If our relationships we must make our partner feel safe.
Al: I know that you cannot save a marriage based on just one email but I know you could give me some steps on what to do next.
The first thing I highly recommend you do is watch the following 8 videos. Write these down.
If you are having relationship problems these videos will help get you back on track!
The Real Reason Relationships Fail, She Wants You to Hear Her (not solve her problems), How to Make Your Partner Feel Loved, What’s An Attachment Style, Disconnection Hurts, 3 Ways We Ruin Relationships, The Struggle of Intimacy, and Be Her Best Option.
They will give you a lot of insight into what is going on and help you make some immediate changes.
If she is receptive to the idea ask her to watch those videos as well.
Try to plan a fun day or activity together of doing something that you both enjoy. The day needs to focus on being present with her. Looking at her in the eyes, holding her hands, making her laugh, listening to her. Being emotionally attuned with her.
You want romance to happen.
I would suggest you sign up for a skype coaching with me after you watched the videos and have gone on your outing. You can tell me where you’re at, what problems you see are going on, what mistakes you’ve been making.
I can help you process what you’re feeling and come up with a plan.
I would highly recommend you talking to her about going into marriage counseling. Look for a therapist who is educated in attachment theory, imago therapy, object relations, or John Gottmans work.