Romantic relationships, in order to be need satisfying to both people, must have an effective relationship framework. Many people do not learn how to do marriage. Instead many people use the parent/child or boss/employee framework, commonly referred to as "doing things for your partner," in their relationship to resolve conflict and differences of wants.
Doing things for your partner, as opposed to your relationship, is ineffective for a variety of reasons but a big one is the power imbalance built into it. A parent has more power than a child as does the boss over an employee. In a marriage, couples are equals and need a framework to match. No one wants to be in the lower power position.
Marriage and romantic relationships are a choice. No one is forcing two people to be together. Marriage cannot make people get along, be nice, cooperate or be sexually faithful. Being in a happy marriage is a conscious decision that has to be back up with conscious daily choices and a solid framework for building 1 version of the marriage both people want.
When people operate on a framework that assumes someone “has to be”with you, this creates obligation. There is no love and happiness in obligation. Marriage is a day to day choice.
Whenever you take for granted your partner’s love or loyalty or choice to be with you, you risk losing sight of your own behavior and whether or not you are BEING someone they want to be with. When people behave in nasty ways and then expect their partner owns them for past things they’ve done, this is a recipe for an unhappy marriage.
A major task of marriage is to be able to do healthy merging in which two adults blend their needs and wants into 1 version the couple wants. Learning how to negotiate and blend wants is an unique skill that most people don’t learn and hence why there is a 50% divorce rate at year 7 in marriage and second marriages with kids have a 70% divorce…it suggests people do not know how to do marriage.
A professional marriage counsellor can teach you an effective framework. Another aspect of a healthy frame is replacing giving in with win-win compromise. Too many couples use the word “compromise”to mean “giving in”to their partner. Giving-in and compromise are NOT the same thing. A compromise is when both people are happy with the solution, giving in means one person is not happy while the other one is happy. Compromise for win-win is a new way to think about marriage.
If you want to give the gift of happily ever after to your marriage, give us a call or email us to learn more about how we can help you. The early you start the less help you need and the faster you see results.