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"I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it's been having a partner who says, "yes, yes, yes" and then doesn't show up! My husband won't get motivated to really follow through on his financial homework until I get mad, sad or silent. I've loved and encouraged him when he chooses positive financial behaviors but some how it's still too scary or hard for him to own his part.

No matter how much I encourage, cheerlead, or try to convince him other wise. He says he'll work on his finances but then he doesn't follow through. WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS?"

A client sent this email to me. I completely understood her frustration and overwhelm. Unfortunately her situation isn't unique. This is a common complaint that I hear from couples.

Get curious about your reactivity

"NO!" This is usually our first reaction we experience when our partner does something that we don't agree with. And when it's in the financial arena it can drive us absolutely bonkers. Because it's so directly tied to our "survival fears."

Our reactive reptilian brain kicks in producing fearful thoughts like, "I feel resentful that I have to handle the financial details on my own." "How am I suppose to make it if my partner isn't motivated to get a job?" "I hate that I'm always the one who has to initiate our Financial Dates and that he doesn't seem interested or motivated."

So we defer to our "control tactics." We resort to our learned behaviors that supported us in getting what we wanted in the past. We cheerlead, "Come on honey - I know you can do it. I sincerely believe in you. You've got what it takes."

Or we get angry and rationalize. "I've had it. It's time for you to start showing up with our finances because I'm sick and tired of handling it all on my own. It's time you begin contributing more. I mean you'd have to handle your finances on your own if we weren't together!"

In the area of finances the greatest challenge is that it's all too easy to point our fingers at our partners and miss the opportunity to do our own personal work.

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Stress equals opportunity

In the book, "Loving What Is," Byron Katie says: "Every stressful moment you experience is a gift that points you to your own freedom."

If you feel reactive - this is a sure sign that you're being given the opportunity to look inward, investigate, grow and learn something new about yourself. This is actually the secret to transforming yourself and your situation. It actually isn't about getting your partner or situation to change.

As long as we believe that it is about our partner we will continue to stay stuck. And yet ironically when we focus on our inner healing our relationships and challenging life situations "miraculously" transform with little or no effort on our part.

Most of our reactivity comes from our inner resistance to having a relationship with "what is." In a split second our minds spin out of control and add stories that we instantly and mistakenly take on as being "the truth." Most of us have gotten so good at telling stories that we're no longer able to separate fact from fiction.

My mentor, Jim Bergquist shared a situation about a boss that he had worked with in the past. Several times a week his boss would go into an emotional tirade after reading the daily paper.

His boss would stomp into the office and yell his frustrations at one of the employees - usually Jim. "This guy is a lunatic!" "What is wrong with him?" How come he doesn't like me?" Jim would think.

After many painful episodes with his boss, Jim made the decision to stay completely present the next time his boss yelled at him. Jim also made the commitment to drop his internal story and judgments about his boss.

After a few days the opportunity presented itself again. However this time as his boss was yelling -Jim stayed completely present to the experience. He noticed that his boss had a gold crown on one of his back teeth. He saw a vein with a bluish tint popping out on the right side of his forehead.

He observed the spit as it came flying out of his boss's mouth. Then all of a sudden his boss stopped in mid-sentence, looked at Jim, turned around and walked back into his office - he never yelled at Jim or anyone else again.

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Having a relationship with "What is"

When Jim was able to be completely present with "what is" without resistance to his situation and without adding any additional stories, assessments or judgments - Jim experienced an internal transformation that allowed him to stay present while his boss was yelling.

This in turn supported his boss in being present - which gave his boss sudden access and insight into how ridiculous he was being.

My client who emailed me was able to notice her internal story, or "shoulds" about the way she felt her husband "should be showing up with finances."

She also knew that what she wanted most was for her husband to speak his truth. The two of them engaged in a conversation where they shared openly and honestly with each other.

Her husband shared the ways in which he genuinely wanted to involved with the family finances - and the ways in which he did not.

And together they created a new way to work on the family finances that resonated for both of them.

Whenever we experience reactivity to the people or situations in our lives we are being given the golden opportunity to look inward - instead of outward. It is through our own personal exploration and transformation that our life situations and relationships magically transform as well.

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What I know for sure is that most people want their marriages to work. I have many clients pass through my office, but I had three new couples start this week. They did great. Each partner is growing, learning more about themselves, their spouse, what works and doesn't work for a good relationship. The fact that they would even see me as their couples therapist implied that they were willing. Willing to do the work to make their relationships what they had always wanted it to be, or something more that they hadn't even known was possible.

Creating true intimacy emotionally and physically began with establishing trust in their relationship. This was built through sharing what they felt inside, what they each needed and wanted, and sharing what hadn't worked for them up until now.

You, as well as they, can renew your commitment to do all that you can to make yours a great relationship. Communicate what is in your heart, mind, and soul. Speak and listen well. Keep each other updated on your daily life, wishes and dreams. Give up judgment and find commonalities to negotiate your differences. Cherish each other daily and get to bask in the communion of spirit in this relationship that you have nourished and caused to blossom.

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I know that people want their marriages to work. I see this every day. Most of the time, they just don't know how to make it work. Read, go to counseling, go to workshops, and do whatever you can to learn how to make your marriage the best that it can be. Don't give up. You can do it. Marriage is a living breathing thing that needs to be cared for differently at different stages of the union. Pay attention to each other's needs.

Rumi, a 13th Century Poet once wrote:
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it"

I work with people who have not married yet and I work with people who are already married. If you can find all the barriers (ie. fear, limitation, anger, self doubt, resentment, etc.) and work on healing them, you can find that great prospect to make your marriage what you always hoped that it could be. It is so clear to me and I hope it is becoming clearer to you.

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Are you reaping the benefits of the 'Fruit of the Spirit'? God's fruit encompasses - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If we live by these fruits in our marriage, we will reap a bountiful harvest of God's blessing upon our marriage, and grow together as a couple. Here a few definitions of the nine fruits that makes up the Fruit of the Spirit.

Love - We often fall into the trap of thinking that loving someone enough will sustain a marriage, but love has many disguises, i.e. we can love our spouse by the fruits of the spirit, or by the flesh. Loving our spouse in the flesh means that we have certain expectations, for instance you expect something in return, and the love is self-seeking love, to fulfill your desires and your needs. Loving in the fruits of the spirit is a Godly way to express love. It's an agape love. Agape love means loving the other person unconditionally, loving the unlovable and undeserving, and blessing them in abundance r no matter how resentful you feel. Make God your first love, Ephesians 6:21.

Joy - True joy represents itself through the grace of God. The wonderful thing about experiencing joy by God's grace is that we can find it, and feel it in whatever difficult experiences we may be going through. Whereas when we seek to have joy in the flesh, we are looking for human-based joy, and this type of joy is based on high expectations and personal fulfillment. Human joy is fleeting, doesn't last. Godly joy is divine and everlasting.

What do I really need to do to make my spouse love me again? Is it possible to build massive attraction in my spouse?

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Peace- isn't just about getting away from all the hustle and bustle of daily life, i.e. such as a nagging spouse, or noisy neighbors. It's about being at a state of peace with God. When you are in a state of peace with God, you are equipped with inner calmness and tranquility, so whatever is going on around you is lessened. Godly peace dampens down chaos, and helps you to deal with irritating and annoying situations in a calmly manner. Whereas - when we seek peace in the flesh - we are more likely to scream and shout at a nagging spouse and slam the door shut in their face to get the peace we want. Hence, we don't resolve any conflict in our marriage.

Patience - Godly patience is long-suffering and enduring. It means that we won't just cave in and give up when cracks in our marriage appear. Without Godly patience, we won't take time to listen, wait for time to heal, and for God's direction in our marital conflict. So we act on our fleshly gut instincts, and flee the relationship in haste, instead of waiting for God's guidance, and inevitably miss the chance to receive his counsel.

Kindness - There are 2 definitions of kindness. 1. Human kindness, where we tend to expect kindness in return, and 2. Godly kindness, where we are not being kind to get something in return, but it's God's nature within us that is kind. When we express Godly kindness to our spouse, i.e. we buy our husband a gift that will be useful to him while he is working away on business, and then get upset because he hasn't returned the kind gesture. Being kind in a Godly manner is a means of 'blessing' someone, and not expecting something back.

Goodness - Godly goodness comes from God, not man. One will only find true goodness by being 'fully content with God'. Goodness without God can't be any good, because only God can determine what is good. Goodness should not be measured by human beings. What is perceived to be good in worldly terms may not be perceived as good by God. We need to be mindful of these differences in our marriage, so that we don't unwittingly fall prey to worldly standards.

What if your spouse don't love you anymore? Here's how to get them addicted to you like when you fell in love for the first time

Faithfulness - Godly faithfulness requires you to put your complete trust in God, and not in things of the world, yourself, or others. For instance if your faith is not strong in God, you are more likely to give into any worldly temptations, and sever commitments and relationships. In order for married couples to stay faithful to one another - they need to secure their faith in God and not stray from it.

Gentleness - Having a Godly gentle spirit means that we can conduct our behavior in an even-tempered manner, without flying off the handle. Some men struggle with the idea of being gentle and confuse it with being weak. But to be able to exercise control, gentleness requires a source of great strength and power in our relationships, and plies to both men and women.

Self-control - Godly self-control is only accomplished through the power of God and not oneself. When we try to exert self-control without God's help, we are more likely to lose a grip on it, because we have no 'mastery over' it, and you are conducting it purely on self-will power. It's like trying to stop a car when the brakes have failed. Godly self-control is paramount in a marriage because it could prevent either partner from behaving in a way that is detrimental to the marriage.

Do you want to reawaken a committed and loving relationship in your marriage? There are proven steps that are amazingly powerful that will help you overcome conflicts and breathe life back into your marriage. This is a plan you do not want to pass by. Click here to see the proven steps on how to save your marriage.

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