Change or Lose Your Spouse!

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I tuned in to a bit of Dr. Phil’s show again today. He had on reality TV celebrity couples with relationship problems. As always, they complained about each other’s habits, and he told one or both of them to change or expect to wind up divorced and alone.
Here’s my thinking: No!
My goal is not to get a marriage only to the point where it won’t self-destruct. And it is certainly not to tell anyone, “You should do this” or “You must do that.”
You’re married. You thought enough of another human being to vow to love them, honor them, cherish them through better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health. More than anything in the world, I expect you want to do exactly this. But when you seek help, it’s because this is turning out to be much harder than you expected, and you fear you will fail at the biggest thing in your life, with the person you most want to care about you and stand by you.
Who, in all human kindness, would say this to you at such a moment? “Well, you are going to fail, unless, in the middle of your fear and frustration, you change what you’re doing and do something that feels unnatural to you, because that’s what you should do.” No!
My goal? I want you to Enjoy Being Married, not just keep your husband or wife from walking out on you.
My approach? Techniques you can use to help you enjoy being married. If they sound good to you, you try them. You benefit. They make the marriage more enjoyable for you whether or not your spouse does anything different. You experience less frustration. You feel more loved. You feel more respected. And you no longer need to should on your wife or husband. And I expect this is going to help your spouse enjoy being married a whole lot more, too.
Assume Love. Expect Love. Look for Third Alternatives. Not because you should, but because you still want to enjoy being with the most important person in your world and feel the way you felt about yourself when you vowed to stay the course through whatever life brought the two of you.
If you have tried these three tools and want some more ideas on how to apply them to your current frustration, I want to help. Let me know what’s up by leaving a comment or sending me an email. There is a real good chance lots of others reading this blog have the same problem and are just waiting for someone to ask about it.

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

2 Comments

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  • Patty,
    Good piece. Dr. Phil gets in his own way sometimes. Harsh words and snap judgments aren’t always appropriate!
    And happy anniversary to you and Ed!! I’ve lost track of how long it has been but the longer you go, the more of a testament your marriage is to your philosophy!
    Much happiness.
    Becci

By Patty Newbold

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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