Do you know what a great marriage looks like?
Two people come together to share their lives and their love with each other. Both partners are invested in the marriage, doing the work they need to so the relationship thrives. They develop an ever closer bond and grow old together. Right?
How nice would it be to achieve that happy state? It would be pretty great wouldn’t it? So you’d think I would start out this newsletter writing about that ideal image wouldn’t you?
But I haven’t and I won’t…
In a paradoxical twist, I have decided to write my very first issue on a totally different topic. On that is actually more common than I’d wish.to acknlowledge.
I want to teach you how to save your marriage by yourself…
You see, many people contact me almost out of gas. They are at the point of giving up. They don’t know what they can do to get their spouse involved in their relationship. As a result they end up feeling utterly…
When a marriage is in trouble, one person is often more invested in working it out than the other (and a lot of marriages out there are in trouble.)
The first step toward the ideal future described above is solving the problems you face in your relationship now.
So this is a question I often get from clients who want to recreate their marriage but are frustrated with a spouse that doesn’t seem as involved as they are.
They come in and say, “I want to rebuild my relationship, but I’m not sure how to get my partner involved. How can I start saving my relationship by myself?”
The women usually know what I’m talking about. because it’s usually the woman who has the investment (and foresight) to see why the relationship is important enough to work for. She wants to save her marriage because she knows she has put her heart and her life’s work into it.
Unfortunately men often don’t understand that until it’s too late. When they finally do figure it out they end up devastated.
So it’s a benefit to both of you if you can start the process of saving your relationship right now on your own. That’s why I’m going to teach you how to do it.
If you feel the love is fading away, and worry your relationship is on the brink of destruction you basically have two options.
Saving Your Marriage By Yourself Option # 1:
The first is to step up your own commitment to the relationship. You can try to give it everything it needs to thrive by yourself. Step up the loving kindness you’ve already shown your partner to another level. Give everything you have to the relationship.
Feed it with your very soul.
Now if you’re the person who is trying to save the relationship, you’ve probably been providing most of what the relationship needs to survive already. And giving any more may sound like a daunting prospect.
That’s because it IS a daunting prospect. It’s almost impossible for one person to provide everything a relationship needs to survive.
If you choose to go this route you might turn your partner around. He may finally wake up, see what you’ve been doing all these years, and realize that he has to step up his own commitment to match yours.
But how likely is that? If you’re in this situation and you’re trying to save your relationship by yourself, how likely is it that your husband will finally open his eyes and see all the love and care you’ve been pouring out?
I’ll tell you, it’s not terribly likely.
In fact, you might even make the situation worse. He may pull away even more when he sees you’re doing all the work. When this happens you’ve taken a bad situation and made it worse.
In my opinion, this first option is not the best one you have. It’s a route some people take, and in some cases it works. But in most cases it doesn’t, and people end up even more disappointed, exhausted, and frustrated than they were before.
However, there’s a technique you can use that will help you achieve your goal more effectively and efficiently. It’s something I teach my clients to use when they ask me how to save their relationship. It can be wrapped up in a single sentence:
Saving Your Marriage By Yourself Option # 2:
Draw away and make yourself a mystery.
Yes, you read that sentence correctly. I know. It sounds like another paradox. How could I possibly suggest that you draw away from your partner when your marriage is already on the brink?
You’re right to question the logic. This IS yet another paradox. But strategically drawing away from your partner can show him in a very real way exactly why he fell in love with you to begin with. It can teach him what he’d be missing if the relationship actually died.
And that’s exactly what the man in your life needs to know.
So here’s what you do.
Instead of investing even more kindness and love into the relationship, pull away some of your kindness. Stop doing special things for your partner. Inject a little mystery in his life by doing something unexpected.
Make him wonder about what’s changing in you. Remind him of the parts of you he fell in love with in the first place.
This doesn’t mean you want to do something destructive to the relationship like go on a date or have an affair. You’re trying to save your relationship, not kill it.
What you want to do is make yourself mysterious. Add some of the romance back into the relationship by doing things that are sexy and unexpected.
You will also want to make an effort to put your husband in a position to pick up some of the slack in the relationship. Make him do some of the things you’ve been doing by pulling away yourself.
Here are some examples you might try that will help you achieve this without damaging your relationship.
Get dressed up and go out with a close female friend. Leave your partner at home with the kids, and stay out later than you usually would. Don’t freely offer information about where you’ve been or what you’ve been up to.
Come home late from work without bothering to give any explanations.
Start standing up for yourself in arguments or other incidents around the house. Don’t back down or give up too easily.
Act a little flirtatious with the men around you in your partner’s presence. Make sure this doesn’t get out of hand. Just give your partner a taste.
Start exercising, getting in shape, dressing well, and wearing makeup without telling your partner why you’re doing it.
Your partner might retaliate by doing something truly outrageous in order to drag you back into the position of giver you have been playing in the relationship.
For example, he might stay out all night without an explanation or tell you a bald-faced lie to try and get you to respond in ways he has grown to expect you will.
What’s more he will likely try and get information out of you about why you’re behaving the way you are, where you’ve been, and what you’ve been doing.
To pull this off you need to play a pretty careful balancing act. You don’t want to do anything that’s going to hurt the relationship. You just want to act unpredictable enough to remind him what it would mean if he lost the person he’s in love with.
In general, good, healthy relationships are about a free exchange of information. You need to be able to share just about everything with one another to attain the ideal I opened this article with.
But in this case, you want to close down that opening to force your partner to take on some responsibility in the relationship and wake him up about what he would be missing if it were gone.
That means you should give him information, but make him drag it out of you. In the meantime don’t ask him ANYTHING about where he’s been or what he’s been up to. This will make it seem like you aren’t investing much in him or the relationship anymore.
Basically you’re playing a game here. It’s a game that’s built to bait your partner back into the relationship.
For the most part I am opposed to these kinds of games in relationships. It is not what a relationship should be built on.
But then “should” doesn’t have anything to do with it does it? You want to draw your partner back in to your relationship so you can make it wonderful again and this technique will help you do that.
Nevertheless, you have to remember that the game is just a temporary patch. As soon as your partner starts reinvesting in the relationship you need to give up the game all together if you’re going to make your relationship as wonderful as it can be.
Ideally the technique is built to make this happen. It should draw your partner back into the relationship and make him see what he would be missing if you weren’t there. It’s built to help you show him why he fell in love with you in the first place.
Use it in this spirit. Don’t start power tripping or manipulating your partner just because you can. Keep your focus on your goal to rebuild your marriage.
If your partner is going to make the change and move back toward you and your relationship it will usually happen within two weeks of starting this technique. If it doesn’t work in that time, it is less likely it will work at all.
You may feel like you’re acting the part of someone you aren’t. If you feel like a big fake while you’re trying this technique don’t worry about it. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way.
Remember, you’re doing this for your relationship. You get to drop the act as soon as your partner moves back toward the relationship.
Some people have a real problem doing this. They simply can’t bring themselves to act the part of someone they aren’t, or make their partner feel uncomfortable which is part of what happens when this technique is used properly.
That’s why I offer two solutions in this newsletter. The first technique is there in case you really can’t pull off the second.
But if you can manage it, this later technique is much more powerful and has far greater potential to save your relationship.