7 Rules for Saving Your MarriageBy Dr.Margaret Paul
October 12, 2008
If your marriage is in trouble, it's likely that you and your partner are trying to control rather than learn. Changing your intent can heal your marriage.
Is your marriage in trouble?
The first question you need to ask yourself is: "Do I want to save this marriage or do I want to leave it?" If the answer is that you want to save it, then read on.
Following are 7 choices you can make to completely change the course of your marriage.
1. Be honest with yourself regarding your primary intention.
Which category do you fall into - the intent to cntrol or the intent to learn?
a. Is your primary intention to protect yourself from your fears with various forms of controlling behavior - such as anger, blame, criticism, withdrawal of love, threats, compliance, or resistance? Is having power over your partner and winning more important to you than being loving to yourself and to your partner? Do you make your partner responsible for your feelings? Are you more devoted to getting love and avoiding rejection, rather than to mutuality, caring, and sharing love?
b. Is your primary intention to learn about loving yourself and your partner? Are you more devoted to mutuality, caring and sharing love than to being right, winning, having your way, or making your partner responsible for your feelings? Is learning more important to you than whether or not you receive approval?
Basic to all the other choices regarding creating a loving relationship is being in the intent to learn about loving yourself and others. If your primary intent is to protect yourself from pain and rejection with controlling behavior, you will have no chance of improving your relationship. You will continue to create the very problems you are attempting to avoid with your controlling behavior.
2. Let go of the past.
Hanging on to old grievances is part of the intent to control - blaming your partner for your pain rather than taking responsibility for whatever choices you made that resulted in your unhappiness.
3. Disengage from conflict as soon as one person is not open to learning.
There is no point in trying to talk out problems and issues until both people are open to learning. If you are open and your partner is not, then give up trying to solve problems by talking about them, and instead unilaterally figure out how to take loving care of yourself in the face of your partner's choices.
4. Keep your eyes on your own plate.
Share only about yourself and your own learning. Let go of analyzing your partner. Let go of interrogating questions that are really attacks. These behaviors are controlling and invasive. Your job is to define your own self-worth, and the more you focus on bringing yourself joy and let go of trying to change your partner, the better chance you have of creating a loving relationship.
5. Do your own Inner Bonding work .
Do your own inner work to deal with your issues of abandonment and engulfment, and to define your own worth and lovability. Rather than making your partner responsible for your fears of abandonment or your fears of losing yourself, do your inner healing work to move beyond these fears. Take full responsibility for these fears rather than making your partner responsible for causing them.
6. Accept your lack of control over your partner.
Instead, choose to see your partner as his or her own person. Learn to cherish the differences rather than try to make your partner into you. Support your partner in becoming all he or she came to this planet to be. Support your partner in what brings him or her joy, taking responsibility for whatever fears your partner's independence brings up for you.
7. Make kindness to your self and others your guiding light, even when your fears are triggered.
Once again, if you are stuck in the mindset of protection and control, you will not be able to make these choices. Your intent to learn is basic to being able to make these choices and improve your relationship. You are in charge of your intent and you always have the option to let go of the intent to protect/control/avoid and move into the intent to learn about loving yourself and your partner.
Heal your relationship with Dr. Margaret’s 30-Day online video relationship course: Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love.
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Depression is often your inner child/inner guidance's way of letting you know that you are abandoning yourself. Rather than numb it out with addictions or medication, open to learning with your inner child about how you are abandoning yourself, and open to learning with your Guidance about what the loving action is. You will discover that as soon as you take the loving action, you will feel relief.
By Dr. Margaret Paul