My Husband Is Not The Man I Thought He Was: When Your Marriage Isn't What You Thought It Would Be

There comes a time in most marriages when the bottom falls out. The entire relationship is called into question. Usually, one partner feels this more strongly than the other.

The less affected partner feels puzzled and hurt while the more affected one is faced with the choice of whether or not to continue.

This crisis can happen more than once, even in a very good relationship. It is a time of great stress and anguish. The reason it happens varies widely.

To stay together in a satisfying marriage, the couple must somehow weather the crisis without doing irreparable harm to their bond. Even if the bond is shattered, often a new one can be forged.

Many couples don't make it through this but many do. Some find their joy and commitment enhanced after the storm.

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Here's how to make it through. First, you must avoid an impulsive, emotion-driven decision. Acting too quickly can abort or delay the working-through process. Remember, emotions change and your inclination can swing wildly from one extreme to the other in a crisis.

Next, sit down with your partner and get it all out. You must be thoroughly honest and give your partner a chance to do the same.

Use your listening skills and speak without too much malice. But tell it like it is. This can take a while. Even to figure out your own position can take time. Stay with it. Expect to be exhausted and to cry a lot.

This is a time of transformation. Either you make it or you break it. Drastic times call for drastic measures. If you're having an affair or want to, say so. Likewise with any other secrets you've been holding.

Don't take others' advice. Make your own choices but give yourself the time you need. A good relationship can seem terminally wounded when it really isn't. Many have risen from the ashes. Go get therapy, not for advice but to help you see things more clearly.

Now Listen Carefully-

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Happiness is not an inborn thing like what some people believe. It's something that you work for and achieve through time. It doesn't have to come from achieving a major accomplishment because in truth, there are simple pleasures in life that can make us happy.

Married couples can also be happy in their marriage. Achieving perfection in the relationship is out of the scenario because it is actually by accepting your partner wholeheartedly that you will get to experience satisfaction and joy in your married life.

You may have observed around you some couples regardless of their age appear to be so in love with each other. They hold hands while walking, sharing a happy conversation and enjoy each other's company whatever they may be doing. It's a scene worth admiring especially in our society today where many couples have chosen to divorce.

What are the ways then you can make your marriage happy and satisfying? Is there a secret formula to it?

Psychologists and marriage counselors agree that the joy couples experience in their relationship is not so much based on the level of their love for one another, the compatibility of their personalities nor the amount of money they have accumulated through the years.

A leading researcher on marriage and author of the book "Fighting for Your Marriage" points out that communication and friendship are the most vital factors that lead to a satisfying marital bond. Communication, however, is the top priority. Through effective sharing of thoughts and feelings, couples can become good friends and companions for a long time. When spouses know how to discuss their issues in a calm manner without having to argue, then they will surely be able to hurdle trials and solve their conflicts better moving forward.

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Researcher Dr. Howard Markman explains that when a husband and wife learn to talk things out, they can avoid fights and major conflicts. Each has to have an open mind to be able to understand his partner's views and opinions instead of putting the blame on the other. He suggests, though, to take a time out should the discussion is leading towards a major argument.

Keeping the positive aspect of the marriage is also an important step that couples can do to maintain a happy relationship. This means preserving what you've developed through the years such as your closeness and friendship. Just because you're having conflicts, it doesn't mean you can no longer bring back the positive side of your life. In fact, if you focus on the bright side of your life, you will find yourself being able to handle problems and fights with less effort.

Finally, consider keeping your marital bond for the long term. Commit to sticking it out with each other through life's ups and downs. Share your dreams together for your future and continue to work towards making them a reality. Plan what you want to achieve years from now either for yourselves and for your children.

Remember that when you are committed to your marriage and your family, nobody can take away that focus from you. And this will help you stay happy together as a couple for many long years.

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If you're trying to connect with your man, are you really paying attention to how you talk about him when you're out together with mutual friends? A lot of the time, how you refer to him when you're in public with him affects how he feels about you. This is a crucial point in understanding men. As much as we would like to think that we're humble, us guys do have an ego and that ego often gets the better of us. If you're in public and actually putting him down (even if you don't know it), you're doing a lot more damage through that than anything you can tell him straight to his face. Let's explore this further with some examples from my own relationship.

1. Ssh... It's a Secret...

There are some things that simply should stay between you and your man. The obvious things are things like sex life and money, but there are a few other things that could happen that you should leave in the past simply because they're sensitive topics.

Previous fights are a good example of this. If you think that you fight with your partner often, then talking about these fights isn't a good idea, unless you want more fights to perpetuate out of that.

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2. Embarrassed

This is something else that tends to cause quite a lot of grief. Some things that happen in the past that the man might share with you are embarrassing and if you go ahead and share it with everyone without paying attention to how your man will react, you can bet that he won't be happy with you.

What makes it worse is that your man usually tells you in confidence. He confides in you and if you find it funny, it's pretty easy to forget that he trusted you enough to share this embarrassing secret with you.

3. Incompetence

This is something else that will simply make your man angry. I would not recommend you do it at any point in time, unless you're trying to intentionally get under your man's skin.

If you talk about your man and about something he can't do, he will feel nothing but contempt for you. This is because it attacks our ego, it attacks our need to feel validated by you and because it's usually embarrassing too.

If you want to get better at understanding men, pay attention to what you're talking to mutual friends about when you're in public with your man. We try to have thick skin, but some things are simply out of bounds.

Couples can love one another and yet find themselves drifting apart and headed for a divorce. There are steps you can take, with or without the aid of your spouse to get your marriage back into the loving place it once was.

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What are boundaries?

We know that countries and states have established boundaries to indicate their perimeters. Likewise people have boundaries. Sometimes people have what we call loose boundaries where they allow others to take advantage of them. Think of boundaries as imaginary lines we have established around ourselves. Imagine yourself as being in the center of a circle. The circle that you have drawn around you reflects your boundary, The purpose of your imaginary circle is to let others know what they can and can not do or say around you. As we grow we need to extend our boundaries because what was OK with us earlier in life may no longer be so. Boundaries help define who we are and what we will accept from others.

Benefits of strong boundaries

The benefits of having good boundaries are: 1. You will have respect for yourself. 2. You will attract people who respect themselves. 3. You will have more energy in which to grow. 4. You will have more courage to move forward with your life.

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How to establish strong boundaries for yourself

As adults we have the ability to create boundaries for ourselves which reflect how we want to live our lives. It is up to each person to define limits when someone else says something or acts in a way that is not OK with us. Sally is an example of what I am talking about. Her mother did not permit her to have a mind of her own but rather she was expected to think as her mother wanted her to. This was a terrible burden for Sally who learned from that to give power to others and not validate herself. As an adult Sally realized that she does have the power within herself to define how she wants to be treated. Deliberately and conscientiously she has changed this pattern established in childhood by taking risks to speak up for herself. It has given her joy to bring forward her authentic self by establishing boundaries which protect her uniqueness as a person. Without our own clear boundaries we are at the mercy of others and our own sense of self is deeply affected.

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Author's Bio: 

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Divorce does not have to be your only option. Even if it feels as though your relationship can't be saved because of the ongoing conflicts between you and your spouse, it can be. There are techniques that you can begin using today that will not only stop a divorce, but will help also you build a stronger and more loving marriage.

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