Reconciling With Your Spouse: Re-ignite the Fire
This article originally appeared at: http://www.articlesbase.com/marriage-articles/reconciling-with-your-spouse-re-ignite-the-fire-7412440.html
This has got to be one of the more painful and difficult subjects for individuals to consider and approach. This information will yield benefits to those in a marital crisis, but also to those who would like to keep it from going this far.
Whether we are talking about a male or female spouse, it is likely that the wedge being driven between the relationship didn’t happen overnight. It is very possible that this happened due to a one-off sexual affair coming to light, but it is most likely something that happened slowly and gradually. In fact, it is very common for one partner to be hiding feelings of resentment and contempt – seemingly content with the relationship and direction, therein. To the other partner, it usually comes as a complete shock that there were problems, especially to the degree that there is desire to distance themselves, backing away from the former availability and connectedness.
My book, and online audio program were created to address life’s most difficult moments, and this is certainly one of them, although we have to consider a different approach or application of The Fire of Knowledge. In some ways there have to be some blows taken (not exchanged). In other ways, I have to prepare individuals for a possibility (not inevitability) of divorce. This is all done to enhance the rate of success(which I will elaborate on in a bit). Consider that partners are not seeing eye to eye at this point. One has the urge and desire to “fight” for the relationship and the other is seemingly uninterested in the notion, altogether. There are some interesting dynamics at work here. Women are equipped to cope better than men, that is, they are more emotionally resilient when it comes to ending a relationship or moving on after being the respondent (in divorce). Men, on the other hand, take much more time to get over the failed relationship, which greatly explains why it is usually the man who is caught off-guard, informed that his wife wants out. It will seem as if everything was at least fine or o.k., while in his wife’s mind, it has been over for a long time. This disparity in viewpoints is key for understanding how to stay connected, or reconnecting.
The first reaction will be to “fight” for the marriage, taking an any means necessary type of approach, at the same time the spouse had indicated a desire to do the opposite. Whatever openness existed within the spouse is sure to be eliminated when smothered by a desperate partner (typically the husband). We have to look at this with an unquestionable faith towards the truth, at this point. To understand why this approach almost never works, we have to look at how relationships are first formed. In the courtship, how much urge, control, reason or need is expressed? How successful would your courtship attempts be if you used those methods? The answer is rather obvious: not successful at all. What creates the foundation for a relationship is magnetic attraction, not hopeless and selfish needs. Magnetic attraction is also what maintains the integrity of a relationship’s foundation.
Now use those emotional intelligence skills (online audio program 3: The Emotional Model) and evaluate how you would feel if you were uninterested in being in a relationship with someone, and they were begging, pleading, explaining why the relationship has to stay together, and reasoning with you. Your first impulse would be to increase the distance between this person, not get closer. These methods make the user just appear needy, unattractive, unconfident, and disrespectful. But, also consider it from another angle; the recipient of this behavior will see that it is all a big charade, wondering where all of this effort was all along. If you did this, or want to do this behavior, you are literally your own enemy. In my Fairness concept (eBook and online audio program 9), I explain how Ohm’s law applies to romantic relationships, further elaborating on what I term “Emotional Voltage”. When there is a disparity in levels of voltage, there is “potential” or a voltage drop. With the right conditions, that voltage disparity is all that is needed for current flow. In a relationship, a rise in Emotional Voltage is an increase in conflict. This concept can apply in a multitude of ways, and we will look at one of them. If you exhibited this needy behavior, you are showing a disparity between the you she “knows” and the new you. She isn’t in cardiac arrest, and was needlessly shocked by the voltage differential that you exhibited. So not only is this needy behavior an undesirable trait in relationships, it is increasing the potential for conflict.
Maybe the first impulse you have is to fight to save the marriage. But consider what you are actually doing. What happens when an individual is drowning and someone attempts to save them? The drowning individual (often, out of panic) will flail about and push the rescuer under the water, leaving both to die. The first impulse is often externally directed, and usually an effort to reason the individual into reconsidering their choice, as if they were evaluating the relationship in the mindset of a business proposition. It is common for costs and benefits to be brought up (consider Social Exchange Theory). It is all fruitless, at least for now. These urges are actually disrespectful to you and your spouse, and they also invalidate the relationship.
Your first course of action is to self-reflect. Not only will you be receiving criticism from your spouse, but you will be criticizing yourself. Now isn’t the time to demand change from them, or demand them to reconsider things. For this, you have to step aside from thinking internally. You have to step outside of your body, witnessing yourself from the 3rd person point of view. Eliminate any attachment you have to what you think, how you think, and what you know. Guess what? It didn’t work for you then and it isn’t going to work for you now. Even if you participated in pre-marital counseling, you likely stopped using that information to guide the relationship and it is also likely that pre-marital or marital counseling can just get the relationship in trouble by setting up unhealthy ways of thought, conflict resolution and actions.
You have to really take this to heart. It is not the time to demand change from the spouse that wants out. In fact, I advise this to be a very late-stage effort (for a few reasons). Like it or not, there are numerable errors that you made that contributed to this disconnection. Whether your partner changes or not is not a consideration right now. Whether they change or not has no bearing on your need to change. Why? You want to and strive to constantly be the best person that you can be. This is an unconditional notion, a notion that does not rely on any other person’s input, or approval. Individuals get lost before they ever try to self-reflect or self-correct, because of the conditional nature that most marriages are based upon. What you will realize is that the more you change for the better, you show others that they can do the same, by their own will.
Convincing her with logic and reason
Logic and reason have little to do with romantic love. Did your spouse have to convince themselves to fall in love with you? Did they have to convince themselves to find you attractive, or was it a feeling, almost unexplainable? What works in relationships is not logic, reason, coercion, control or manipulation. A major part of what I teach is empowering your logical mind, but this is done to stave off negativity so that those inner magnetic forces can exert themselves, without inhibition. If someone does not feel something, then they are going to be totally disinterested in any notion of why they should feel a certain way. Feelings have to come first.
I already mentioned that the individual that is seeking re-connection will have to receive some blows. This person is NOT to exchange blows of their own, as is often advised by the relationship advice community. Said community is usually acting out of retribution, not reconciliation. If someone wants to re-connect, they have to go back to what worked when first establishing a connection. When dating and courting one another, I highly doubt you gave them verbal abuse, expecting them to realize the error in their ways. What would have happened if you did that? He or she would have moved on to someone else in a heart beat. This advice is not just for establishing a connection, though. This is vastly important information for those that want to maintain that connection. In Social Exchange Theory, we look at relationships as if it were an economic transaction, that is, costs and benefits. The reason that many relationships stay together is because the costs exceed the benefits, at least in the person’s perception. The cost of leaving could be financial, separated children, or too many “life change units” (Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale or the SRSS). Is that the glue that should be holding relationships together? Of course not! So regardless of the stage or condition of your relationship, you need to ensure that the reason your partner is staying is because of magnetic attraction, built on passion, friendship and commitment. Go back to square one, and (for many reasons) stay there.
1. Give one-way communications to them. You are sending them a gift of communication. At first they might leave it where you left it, but in time they might reciprocate.
2. Give invitations NOT expectations. Just as in #1, expectations will destroy your chances entirely. Remember magnetic attraction. Relationships work for that reason. They aren’t nurtured in a straight jacket. An invitation is giving them the opportunity for them to join you. Any acceptance is purely based on their desire to join you, without coercion.
3. Depending on the severity of the disconnection, you may have to forgo any physical contact, at least initially. Again, you have to rebuild the foundation of the marriage, from the ground up. Sex is the cherry on top. Intimacy, like kissing and cuddling are near the top as well. Once the friendship has been re-established, you can re-engage with light touch, but not in an overtly sexual manner.
4. Keep the relationship talk to a minimum. Remember, you are re-establishing a connection here. When you first began dating, you did not jump the gun to talking about long-term commitment, child-rearing, love-making and dating. You have to make this person comfortable with you again, seeing that you are a person they want to be around 24/7, again.
Thank You for Reading,
Relationship Teacher – Anthony John Bartlett