How to make marriage last forever

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.

Men Who Rage and The Women Who Love Them – Verbal Abuse,  Part 1 of 2

verbal abuseVerbal Abuse – I see it a lot.

I’ve been seeing a lot of clients lately who are married to men who are funny, witty, charming and loving….most of the time.  But these men also have a darker side.  

They can be threatening and intimidating.  They can fly off the handle and say hurtful, cruel things to their wives. 

When your husband has a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde side, you live in a world of confusion.  

You long for the gentleness that only others see in your husband.  But because you have witnessed his dark side, you cannot fully let your guard down.  You feel more isolated and alone as the years go by.

I worry about you.  I see someone like you in my office every week.  I get it.  

I know you feel disloyal when you talk about your husband’s temper or fits of rage.  

I know you can go days or weeks or even months without a blow up, and so you tell yourself things aren’t so bad.  

I hear how you explain to me how good your life is most of the time.

You tell me what a good provider your husband is and how sweet and generous he can be.  

But I also hear how you cry yourself to sleep on those nights when he exploded over something so innocent you still can’t believe it happened.  

I see you the next morning when you are scared and alone and feel you can’t stay in the marriage another day.

I also know many of you feel guilty because you can rage right along with him.  

You have said hurtful things as well, and your behavior embarrasses you.  

It makes you feel you have no right to point the finger at your husband.

This isn’t going to get any better until you stop minimizing what is happening in your home and make some changes.  

Minimizing and denying verbal abuse is what feeds this cycle.

I have some good news and some bad news for you.  Are you ready?

The good news is you aren’t crazy.  

You are being abused if your husband calls you names, rages in anger or shuts you down with emotional intimidation.

This isn’t normal fighting that all couples experience.  

This is abusive.

The bad news is you have to clean up your side of this mess.  

If you are participating in the raging, you are also being abusive.  

It isn’t ok to meet aggression with aggression.  

Step 1 in Stopping Verbal Abuse

If you can join the crazy train with your husband, your first job is to stop indulging yourself this way.  

It feels good to unleash all your anger on someone.  

It’s a physical release to slam doors, scream names and insults and throw temper tantrums.  

But you absolutely have to stop.

Walk away when things are getting this intense.  

Your husband may escalate but you can refuse to join him.

Step 2 in Stopping Verbal Abuse

The second step is to talk to your spouse when things are calm.  

Explain how these fights are causing you distress.  

Tell him you need for him to control himself and you will do a better job of controlling yourself.  

Ask him to come to counseling with you.  If he refuses, that’s ok.  Come anyway.  

You need to learn how to set appropriate limits on your spouse when he is popping his cork.  

You need to learn how to protect yourself and your marriage.

I promise, if you keep doing nothing, your relationship will suffer.  Possibly to the point you can’t recover.  

Relationships can survive anything except the permanent loss of security and safety.  

Every time you have a fight it damages that sense of security for you.  

You will start to detach from your husband.  

I want you to learn how to stop this before it is too late.  

At Engage With Love, we can help both of you understand just how toxic this dynamic is, and we can help you stop.  

We can show you how to feel safe and cherished with each other again.  

Call us at 972-441-4432 or contact us here.  

You can start feeling better about your relationship as soon as you make the call because you are finally doing something that works.