Photograph by Shutterstock
This article was written by Jeff Forte and provided by our partners at YourTango.
When I first met my wife, the chemistry and connection was off the charts.
Advertisement Advertisement SO THIS HAPPENED
You may unsubscribe at any time.
Then, shortly after we gotmarried, we began arguing more and more.At times, it seemed like we weren’t on the same page about anything.I thought it was mostly her fault, because she was just being stubborn and difficult.
Was I ever wrong…I've come to realize thatImade a lotof mistakes in my marriage over the years. And the following three mistakes are the ones I see countless other couples make, as well:
1. Not makingconnection their toppriority.It’s easy to neglectyour marriagebecause of parenting obligations, work responsibilities, etc. Many couples simply do not understandhow important sustaining connectionreally is. In fact, I'd saykeeping the feeling of connection with your spouse a priority is the most misunderstood and underestimated aspect of true marriage success.
Early on in my marriage, I wanted to be "right" whenmy wife and Idisagreed.I also made myself out asmore important than her and the relationship.What about me? What isn’t she doing for me? What’s wrong with her? What am I getting and not getting from her?All of these things created disconnect. Anytime I was only focused on me, she and Ibecame more separate. And many couples struggle with this disconnect.
2. Failing totruly understand what their partner needs from them.Because Ifocused more on what I was (or wasn’t) getting, my willingness to give was sometimes based on feeling resentful or bitter. Whenever I felt that way, I gave very little. Of course, that always made things worse.
There were other times I wanted to defend myself or give advice, when all she ever wanted me to do was listen.I misunderstood that her emotions—and the tone she directed at me—were simply requests for me to give her more of my presence and attention.Defending myself always made things worse. Often, couples unravel because they also remain stuck in this space of assuming they know what's best for their partner, versus really hearingwhat their spouseneeds.
3. Not being clear on what they want from the relationship.I originally thought that ourmarriage would be on auto-pilot, and that our relationship would always be good without giving it any more thought than just that.
I had no vision for our marriage.And because I wasn’t clear about what I wantedour unionto become orhow I wanted to feel when I was with her, I often got caught up in the day-to-day stressof the moment. That kept my wife and Istuckarguing about tiny, insignificant things that I can’t even remember now.
While I clearly remember havingbig,escalating arguments with her,I have no idea what those arguments were actuallyabout. That’s a good indication that an argument that might haveended our marriage was actually aboutsomething small and unimportant. Couples commonly dig their heels in when a lot of little things stackon top of each other, and then that last thing is the straw that breaks the back of a marriageconnection.
When I finally got fed-up with being stressed out and unhappy, that was the moment our marriage began to get better. I figured out how to getour deep connection and chemistry back by fixing the three mistakes above.Now, I help couples all over the world re-ignite their love and passion for each other, as well.
Reflect on your marriage happiness for a moment.Turn your thoughts inward and think about how deeply connected you feel with your spouse. Is that good enough for you?
How many more days will you continue to allow your marriage to struggle? How is it ever going to stop if you keep making the same mistakes? If you don’t take some corrective action, you’ll inevitably regret it.
Jeff Forte is a relationship coach. Visit90minutemarriagemiracle.com to sign up for a Free PEAK Relationship Consultation toget his direct input on your situation and how to repair it. Also, read his book The 90-Minute Marriage Miracleto learn more helpful strategies that you can implement right away.