This past week, seemingly more than ever, my coaching office was just filled with marriage issues. So why today, why now? Perhaps everything is about timing. And time is a continuum that runs throughout our lives.
How did we get here – our first introduction to love
Typically, we start our childhood with parents who love us; or maybe parents who were not able to show their love in a way we needed. Childhood introduces us to love in so many ways. Often, we are told fairy tales about Prince Charming. Without realizing it, we see television and movies that are filled with romantic plots. The seeds are being planted. As we grow we may read books and magazines about love. It’s quite common to daydream that we will find the right person and we will have a perfect life. After all, that’s what we have been sold. For sure we see perfect weddings with perfect looking people. We fall in love with the word “love.” The associations are embedded in our psyche.
My fascination with love and romance started when I was very young. I loved movies that were about love. I think we all enjoy love stories about that fairytale. As we grow up we become aware of the love stories that end in a way that makes us sad; The Umbrellas of Cherbourg of yesterday and the La La Land movies of today did not end in a way I had hoped. Hallmark vs. Lifetime channel movies.
People are flawed even when they love each other
At some point, we are all looking for that perfect partner; that perfect prince or perfect princess. We dream about someone who will never cause us any disappointments. A mate who will always say the right words and life will be perfect. Reality is, even if there is love, we might disappoint each other. We may not be mindful at times. We get angry, we get hurt. And sometimes we react. And then the other person reacts. And communication breaks down. People are flawed even when they love each other.
Life is full of ups and downs
The marriages that make it are who are determined to grow and be mindful of each other. The partners are committed to talking and not reacting. They are driven to get coaching and ow their mistakes. They don’t threaten divorce. They believe in love. They forgive. They try harder. Love outweighs their egos or their pride. In their mind, they picked the best person as a partner and they do not give up and do not let the slightest hurt or imperfection deter them. And we have to understand that expectations need to be realistic or else we suffer.
So, what’s the secret to marriage?
So what is the secret? Well, perhaps there are a few. It’s a recipe, and marriage is an art. Find the best person right from the start. If their words and actions are not in sync from the start, maybe they are not the right person. Choose wisely. In my office, I remind clients to be mindful of what they really deserve and what they truly wish for. If you are single, find a partner who is willing to look at him/herself and take constructive criticism; someone who is looking to grow.
Continued dialogue is the backbone of a solid marriage
When we meet someone, I would contend that a person’s communication style and coping skills are going to best indicate how the marriage will go. When communication breaks down and parties are unable to work through it, we even need to walk away if necessary. Continued dialogue is the backbone of a solid marriage.
In writing this, I thought why do I spend my days coaching clients to stay in their marriages? The answer is because they really love each other and they are coming to get help. They have fought hard to get to this point and likely overcame many obstacles. Love is driving the ship even when anger rears its ugly head. Generally, I feel they need to stay the course and resolve differences. Divorce in and of itself doesn’t necessarily solve much; people need to grow. And communication is a must. We don’t abandon ship until we know the iceberg is going to do damage. All other options are considered. Couples need to talk, and often need to improve their dialogue. That is the goal. And it continues to be.
Today I am fortunate to spend my days helping clients find the love they once remembered. My practice is a marriage and relationship coaching office. I hope everyone achieves better communication.