I’ve seen the article about “5 Reasons We Can’t Handle Marriage Anymore” spreading its wings across social media aa lot lately. With my years of experience as a relationship counselor and many more years coaching bands on extremely similar issues (“a band is like a marriage”, or so the saying goes), I’m calling bullshit, and hope I’m not the only one. Stop blaming sex, finances, the internet, attention whoring, and social media for your relationship failures; and take a good look at the true root of it, YOU.
Here’s the response I wrote last week about that article:
After being a marriage and relationship counselor, and also coaching bands for over a decade, I think the columnist completely missed the mark.
The two absolutely most important things in a long-lasting relationship (especially romantic) are, first and most important, shared values. Not interests at all, not personality in any way (opposites definitely attract there and balance each other out), but core values, the very ethics and standards the drive our every decision and action.
Second, communication. Without communication, you don’t evolve your values together. Communication breakdowns happen by things like:
- Not knowing how to communicate effectively (like using the most awesome communication tool ever to exist, especially for conflict resolution, non-violent communication or NVC)
- Not being together enough to communicate regularly
- Not seeking each other out as a refuge from the craziness of life
- Being too serious and forgetting to have fun with each other
- Not being willing to understand the other person before trying to be understood by them
- Seeing the other person as the only way to get your need met and feelings validated (To note: There are always multiple ways to meet your needs, once you know what those needs are. NVC can help a TON in this area.)
- Ignoring irrational feelings for logical solutions (their feelings need heard, not solved or even understood)
- Letting feelings get in the way of the root need that person is actually trying to meet
I’ve noticed two books that are a HUGE step in understanding the opposite sex on a general root level, Dr. Ellen Kreidman’s books, ‘Light Her Fire’ and ‘Light His Fire’. They put all other books on the subject to shame.
*image: Bella swan wedding dress by becca678