Starting Fresh Claiming a new Life within Marriage on Marriage Conversation:
Why do many marriages veer towards marginal when the love that started the process seemed so promising? How is it that many people wake up three or four years into marriage wondering why they married in the first place? Many marriages ‘marginalize’ their love. Let’s take a look at what that means.
Here are some indicators of ‘marginality’ in your marriage:
- If you do not share a clear articulated vision for your marriage – it is marginal.
- If you aren’t competent in conflict and cannot embrace it, and instead are prone to chronic and repetitive arguments – it is marginal.
- If the light has dimmed, the energy is low, and interesting conversation infrequent – it is marginal.
- If you can’t tell me, in three minutes time, what your partner cherishes, admires or values about you – it is marginal.
- If intimate conversation – spiritual, emotional, psychological or physical – happens less and less frequently – your marriage is marginal.
- If your vows and commitments are not an integral part of your intimate conversations – your marriage is marginal.
Marginalizing your love means that you’ve allowed what once was central – ‘I truly love you’ – to slide down the ladder of your priorities. Life happens. Children happen. Jobs happen. Stress over money happens. The busyness of life can obscure the most central and powerful reason for partnering in the first place – your love of each other.
The cure? Notice if you have indeed slipped into a marginal marriage. Then, admit it to each other. Do not attach blame to either of you. Simply notice ‘we’ve gotten away from our center.’ Once you’ve done that, begin with the above indicators.
For example, plan a 15 minute alone time together in which you each tell each other (5 minutes each while your partner is silent) what you cherish about them. Keep it simple and be sure you do not correct each other. When you’ve done that leave further conversation for another day.
(more on dealing with marginality in marriage in “From Marginal to Magnificent – How to Make Your Marriage Sing by Stephen W. Frueh PhD)
By the way, ‘a new life’ begins when each of you take 100% responsibility for the closeness, happiness and sexiness you seek.
Stephen W. Frueh PhD is a coach, consultant, writer and speaker. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 805 338 4286
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