Marital First-Aid: How to Stop a Divorce That Doesn’t Need to Happen

Marital First-Aid: How to Stop a Divorce That Doesn’t Need to Happen

“But marriage goes in waves. You’ve got to be patient. People bail and give up on their marriages way too early. They just don’t put the work and the effort into it. You’ve got to suck up your ego a lot of times, because that can be a big downfall.” ~Anna Benson

How to Stop Divorce Now

My husband and I have been together nearly 15 years, and we just celebrated our tenth anniversary.

I’m here to tell you that it ain’t all hearts and flowers. Marriage is HARD sometimes, especially when you’re in it for the long haul.

If you’re like me, you had some pretty unrealistic ideas of marriage in your head somewhere along the way.

While we all dream of hearts and flowers and awesomeness, the truth is that while you marriage can be the best thing that ever happened to you, there are times when you begin to wonder if you made the right choice.

I’m not going to give you all the standard divorce statistics, because I know you already know that more than half of marriages end in divorce these days. That’s not what you’re here for – you’re here because you are wondering whether or not you can save your marriage – you want to know if it’s possible to make your husband fall in love with you again. Or maybe you need to fall back in love yourself. 

Or perhaps you’re just staring down the barrel of a divorce and you don’t know what to do. 

Related: The Free Get Your Ex Back Toolkit 

Even when you’re married to a relatively decent person, unless you’re in the middle of it, it’s almost impossible to explain the extreme levels of stress that can happen in various situations over the years of a marriage.

Related Reading: How to Be a Hot Wife: Become the Kind of Woman Every Man Wants to Marry (And Every Woman Secretly Wants to Be)

An Example of a Divorce That Didn’t Need to Happen: Kate and the Would-Be Soulmate

A friend of mine, let’s call her Kate, has recently divorced from a man she spent most of her adult life searching for – one she once firmly believed was her soulmate. 

Their situation isn’t unique, sadly, it’s all too familiar – a seemingly healthy, 10-year marriage that appears to suddenly end. 

In this particular case, the odds were stacked against them early-on, thanks to several very serious family tragedies that occurred or were brought to light within the first two months of their marriage. 

Literally as soon as they returned home from the honeymoon, they were bombarded with a life-changing tragedy. 

Fast-forward a decade, and they’re completely separate on emotional levels, they no longer have sex and they just aren’t feeling it anymore. He says he wants a divorce; she suggests counseling. 

Related Post: The Will & Jada Smith Guide to a Divorce-Proof Marriage

When it’s all over, they go their separate ways, and their family is destroyed. 

So what went wrong for Kate and her would-be soulmate?

  1. When the family tragedies came to light, they initially pulled together, and it seemed like they’d make it. But as the news grew grimmer, the couple’s resolve to stick together was challenged by their individual emotions and personal beliefs on the topic. 
  2. As their ways of dealing with the issues varied, so did their needs for support. She needed to talk it out and see action be taken. She also had occasional emotional meltdowns that he didn’t know how to handle. This further pressed in the wedge that had already started to develop between them. 
  3. They had money problems and differences in the way they handled money. She was frugal and thrifty, while he was more relaxed and less concerned with his credit. To her, he seemed careless and lazy; to him, she appeared rigid and controlling. 
  4. He switched jobs often, and she felt this was bad for him and their financial situation. Sometimes he didn’t have a job. She felt that he needed to step it up and be a man. 
  5. When she wanted to be heard and wanted to see him take action, she emasculated him, cut him down emotionally and generally felt dissatisfied with him. Her perception of him changed; she began to see him as a loser. He, of course, felt this and pulled away even more. 
  6. This caused more tension, of course, and led to his seeking solace in other people – on a platonic level. These friends ultimately helped to solidify his plan to leave. 
  7. Between the lack of physical and emotional intimacy and the tension in the house, the couple became more like business partners who barely spoke and weren’t even really friends anymore. 
  8. Kate completely disengaged and looked for solace in her friends and support network. Her husband reached out on rare occasion, only to be met with coldness and/or her inability to let go of the issues. 
  9. Despite the fact that they loved one another and once called each other soulmate, the two had become virtual strangers. The communication lines were completely closed while the two of them licked their wounds and tried to figure out what to do next. 
  10. Finally he dug in his heels, refusing to bend any longer. She eventually saw that the marriage could be saved, but sadly, by the time she was ready to give a little and work with him to make the it work, he had already mentally left the relationship. Divorce was imminent. 

While Kate’s story is just one example of a marriage that didn’t need to end, I wonder how many of us felt a little uncomfortable reading their story. 

Did you recognize any of yourself there? Do you worry that your marriage could use a bit of “divorce-proofing” if your’e going to make it? 

Let’s start with a little marital first aid. 

Marital First Aid: Three Keys to Re-Igniting the Flame in Your Marriage

If you’ve been married more than a few months, you’ve probably wondered once or twice if you made the right choice.

And you’re not alone, my friend. We’ve all been there. We meet someone and, over time, grow to love him or her.

If we’re lucky and play our cards right, the object of our affection agrees to a blending of lives. But one day you wake up and your spouse blurts out that they no longer feel the same – and suddenly, you’re on a mission to reignite the flames in your marriage.

You are ready to stop divorce now, before it’s too late.

When Married Life Doesn’t Match Up to Your Expectations

Maybe your married life wasn’t what you expected it would be. Referring back to our friend Kate, we can recognize that a man who merely wants to live with the girl of his dreams doesn’t always think in terms of finance management differences, for example.

Related Post: Affair-Proof Your Marriage – Give Your Husband What He REALLY Needs from You

The woman may not realize how many weekends will be spent in front of team sports played out on an enormous television.  Or maybe she has some idealized version of marriage in her head and she can’t seem to reconcile that with reality (been there, yo!).

Blah, blah, blah. Fast forward to your current predicament – you need to do an about-face and fast if you’re going to save your marriage. 

Hack Your Marriage: 3 Ways to Stop Divorce Now

Here are three ways you can stop divorce now:

1.) Stop making an ASS out of U and ME. Don’t assume anything. No matter how long you’ve been married, and how much you think you know your spouse, ask! Talk it out. Listen for what is not being said. Does your spouse just defer to you in arguments? Perhaps they’ve given up in confronting you about their real needs.

2.) Try the old switcheroo. Be willing to swap hats in the relationship, if that’s what it takes. Maybe you’re used to handling the checkbook, but finances are at the root of your marriage woes. If keeping your marriage intact means letting him (or her) take over, consider giving them the reins for awhile, or at least sharing control.

3.) Be flexible, for real. Tell them how you’re willing to change. Don’t worry, change in one partner usually creates change in the other. But someone has to initiate the willingness – and if you’re desperate to stop your divorce, you’ll be the one making concessions first.

It’s time to take control of your own destiny, my friend. 

If your marriage is basically decent and you’re not being abused, there is hope for you. Boring does not mean over. Arguments don’t have to be the end. As humans, we are changeable and adaptable – the change just must start WITHIN. And since like attracts like, your ability to change and adapt can directly affect that of your spouse. 

Stopping a divorce once it’s underway can be more difficult than working on a relationship that’s festering with problems.

But it’s not impossible. As long as you initiate a step-by-step plan of action to show, not just tell, your spouse that you’re willing to work on saving your marriage, it can happen quickly.

Related: Dear Frazzled, Frumpy Wife…

Don’t just sit there drowning in sorrow, bad-mouthing your spouse and worrying about what life holds in store for you in the next chapter.

Stop your divorce now by implementing these three simple, yet powerful strategies that will shock your spouse into giving you another chance at repairing your relationship. Divorce is just a legality – your emotions and actions will be what salvages the connection you two have. You feel me? 

Tell me what challenges you’re dealing with in your marriage right now. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. 

10 Things You Need to Stop Doing If You Ever Want to Be Happy (#3 is a bigger deal than you think!)

10 Things You Need to Stop Doing If You Ever Want to Be Happy (#3 is a bigger deal than you think!)

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”– Anne Frank

Feel Better By Dumping These HabitsYou know how sometimes you KNOW that a certain choice is going to cause you a negative consequence, but you make it anyway?

Maybe you go ahead and have that second helping even though you’re not really hungry, or maybe you give up your attempt to cut back on your caffeine consumption. 

Whatever your poison, you use it willingly – it’s become an unfortunate habit.

And of course, as we all know so well, many of our habits make happiness elusive. You’d be surprised how much joy you can feel when you eliminate these habits. Changing your habits isn’t easy, but it can be done if you’re committed.

But there are certain things you’re doing now that are specifically costing you little bits of happiness every day. 

Be willing to challenge the status quo if you want to see a real change in your mood.

Avoid these habits and you’ll enjoy greater happiness, guaranteed. 

1. Worrying about what everyone else thinks – concerning yourself with the opinions of others. You could be perfect in every possible way, and someone will still criticize you. There’s no possible way to impress everyone. Instead, focus on making yourself happy and surround yourself with those who are happy for you.

2. Hating on yourself – engaging in negative self-talk. There’s no reason to make life even more challenging. Nip your negative self-talk in the bud and replace it with something positive.

3. Focusing on lack instead of abundance. Always wanting more than you have. If you’re living under a park bench, it’s natural to want a home. But as long as you have what you need, wanting more can be a source of stress and frustration. Strive for more if you like, but be reasonable. No one needs a personal jet or a $10 million home. The point is that you’ll never have “enough” if you can’t be grateful for what you have. So get your gratitude on, girl. 

4. Trying to keep up with the Joneses. Comparing yourself to others. Everyone has their own unique strengths, weaknesses, past, and challenges. If you want to make a reasonable comparison, compare your current situation to your situation 5 years ago. If you’ve made progress, celebrate. If you haven’t, figure out why and get busy.

5. Beating yourself up over mistakes. Mistakes are a daily part of life. Learn from them and move on toward a brighter future. Has torturing yourself ever provided any benefit?

6. Failing to accept responsibility for your life. Blaming others. Believing that someone else is a cause of the difficulty you’re experiencing is harmful, because you lose control. If you believe that your situation is your own doing, you have the power to fix it. Regardless of whom is to blame, it’s still your responsibility to handle it.

7. Saying “yes” to every request. Most of us need a little down time to regenerate. By saying yes to everything, you rob yourself of this important time. You’ll also find yourself spending time on many activities that you simply don’t enjoy. Learn to say “no” when necessary.

8. Not living your life in the now. Waiting for perfect conditions. Whether you’re waiting for the perfect time to have children or start your own business, that perfect time will never arrive. Get started right away on the activities that mean the most to you. Time is ticking away.

9. Being closed-minded and set in your ways. Avoiding new experiences. What’s the point in living the same day repeatedly? You only have so many years on Earth. Get the most out of it and live a life of many experiences.

10. Expecting it all to happen overnight. Trying to change too much at once. Humans are remarkably adaptable in the long term. However, it’s very challenging to make major changes in the short term. Make smaller changes in your life and build upon them. You can’t change much in a week, but you can make major changes over a year or more.

Are your habits putting a damper on your mood? Your habits create your life. Evaluate your habits and determine which are negatively affecting your ability to enjoy life. Happiness might be closer than you think. Give it a shot. 

Thoughts? Share them in the comments – let’s talk about this. 

Are you truly happy? Can you say that you LOVE your life? Is there anything you’d like to change, or something you think you NEED to change in order to be truly happy?

Do you believe that you deserve to be truly fulfilled and ecstatic about your life? The truth is that finding happiness is the right of every human being alive, and you’re no exception. 

What would you say if I told you that you could find your personal bliss, starting right now, without a doubt?

If I guaranteed you that if you tried these methods, you could find true happiness within 24 hours?

Or how about if I told you that you could do it instantly?

Good news – you can, and it’s so easy. This book will help you do just that!

My purpose: This is why I keep writing about narcissism

My purpose: This is why I keep writing about narcissism

“I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” ~Marla Gibbs

Take Back Your Life cover

It’s because of you. YOU, my reader, are the reason I do what I do. And today, I learned I’m on the right track – so today, I want to say thank you, honestly. 

A new reader reached out to me personally today to tell me how she felt about reading one of my books on narcissism, and all I can be is grateful. It seems that I have done what I set out to do.

I am humbled and honored. Thanks to this wonderful and thoughtful reader, I’ve learned that my books are making a difference. My heart is full, and I am inspired to continue my work. 

Here’s what happened. 

So, if you’ve been reading my work long, you know that I write about narcissism in relationships pretty often, including three books on the subject (and a new one, coming soonish). 

(See all my books at BooksAngieWrote.com.)

People often wonder why I write about this particular topic, and I’ve explained my initial reasons for studying narcissism and writing about it once before. 

But there’s another reason, a much bigger one. I write about narcissism because it is my intention to help other people go from being victims of narcissists to being survivors. 

Today, I am humbled. Because this is exactly what some readers are saying they’re getting out of my books. 

I have been blessed to have many readers reach out to me personally, whether through my blog comments section, through email or through various social media channels, they are telling me that they found something in my books, something that helped them or gave them some insight. 

While I can’t always publish the comments that are made during these private conversations, due to their personal nature, every now and again, I ask permission to publish a reader’s thoughts. 

I received a message on Facebook today that completely warmed my heart and made me feel like I was doing something right. She had just purchased my book and wanted to let me know what she thought personally.

I was so honored by her insightful and genuine thoughts that I asked for permission to remove any personal information and publish it for you to read, in the hope that if you need the kind of help I have to offer, this will inspire you to get it. 

She had just finished reading my best-seller, entitled Take Back Your Life: 103 Highly-Effective Strategies to Snuff Out a Narcissist’s Gaslighting and Enjoy the Happy Life You Really Deserve. 

In part, here’s what she told me. 

“As someone who is learning about NPD, narcissist abuse, codependent relationships, and developing stronger personal boundaries, your book is the most comprehensive source I have found.

As I was reading it, it was like I could feel my mind ‘clicking’ as things resonated with me. I began journaling a couple of years ago, and I am also aware of some of your other tips, but it was a good reminder to read them again.

There were also some new (to me) ideas that I haven’t seen or tried before. It’s a terrific resource for me in this journey of healing that I’m on, and I’m keeping it close to re-read it as needed.

Honestly, I wish they educated kids about these things when they are still in school. They should have a required class on this stuff, and they should use your book to do it! I can’t thank you enough for writing it. Thank you so, so much!”

All I can feel is grateful, and all I can say is WOW! To my reader, thank you, thank you, thank you! 

What This Reader Taught Me Today

If you can learn from your struggles and use this information to teach others how to identify and successfully navigate their own, then your struggles turn out to be blessings in disguise.

This is me, signing off for today in gratitude and love. 

Have you read Take Back Your Life yet? What did you think? Share your thoughts!

 

Are you being gaslighted? 10 things you need to know if you love a narcissist

Are you being gaslighted? 10 things you need to know if you love a narcissist

If you’re dealing with a narcissist or otherwise toxic family member or friend, you’ve probably got a lot of someone else’s thoughts floating around in your head.

You might think you’re not good enough.

You might think that your feelings and thoughts aren’t genuine or relevant to the world, and you might even feel like a big fake when you do try to follow your dreams, simply because you’ve heard for so long that you’re not worthy, whether directly or indirectly.

If you’re struggling with a toxic relationship, especially a family-based one, you may have had so much conditioning that you aren’t even sure which way is up.

The first step to healing is to start within your own head. You have to change those thoughts and limiting beliefs that are holding you back.

Let’s start here.

When I was in my own toxic family situation, I struggled with feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and more. I felt like nothing I did or said was genuine or worth knowing about, like I had to hide who I was in order to conform to the expectations of my toxic family member.

But I learned some important lessons as I began the healing process, and I want to share them with you. If you’re currently in this situation, you may have never heard these things–and when you first read them, you probably won’t even believe them. But these are truths–and you keep reading them until you get it.

Changing your mind will help you to change your life. I’m living proof it works.

Top 10 Things You Need to Know if You’re in a Toxic Relationship with a Narcissist or Sociopath

  1. You are a real person with legitimate concerns, thoughts, feelings, and aspirations.
  2. You are good enough.
  3. You don’t need anyone’s approval or endorsement to help you succeed. You can get validation through success in your own, self-dictated endeavors.
  4. It isn’t about you and that it isn’t your fault. You aren’t bad or broken.
  5. You can literally do almost anything you want to do if you simply decide to do so. If you choose to do it, you’ll be compelled to take inspired action and you will make it happen.
  6. You have something real to offer the world. You matter. You have value.
  7.  You can be exactly what you choose to be and choosing your own identity does not make you selfish, lazy, entitled or otherwise unsavory.
  8. You get to choose my own identity every day. You decide who you are and how far you go.
  9. You can compromise for someone you love to a certain point when it’s time to choose your priorities and choose a path. But compromise means that both parties bend and both parties are satisfied with the outcome. It’s not compromising to give up what you truly want in order to make someone else happy or to keep them from getting angry at you.
  10. If you were to walk away from the toxic relationship, the world would not end. But it will be very difficult, and you’ll have a lot of soul-searching to do. Personally, I had to reexamine everything I understood to be true.

take back your powerNeed help with feeling powerful when you’re dealing with an extremely toxic narcissist?

Check out my book – Take Back Your Power: How to End People People Pleasing, Stop Letting Life Happen to You and Start Getting What You Want

About the book: Do you find yourself giving all you’ve got and people still want more? Do you sometimes do without what you want or need in order to keep the people around you happy? Are you afraid to deal with confrontation and do you often find it easier to just go with the flow in order to keep the peace?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be a people pleaser. Many people pleasers are also very empathic people, who are especially attractive to toxic types who love to take advantage every chance they get.

In this book, you’ll learn how to stop feeling the need to make everyone else happy and start figuring out what makes you happy, personally, and really – not someone else’s idea of what’s supposed to make you happy,

Listen up: you deserve to be happy just as much as anyone else. Stop beating yourself up and start embracing your personal power. Take your life back starting today!

 

Bliss Mission: Getting In Touch With Your True Self

Bliss Mission: Getting In Touch With Your True Self

Today’s Affirmations

Value (personal and cultural)I go within and get in touch with my true self.

Deep inside, I know what is right for me. I am aware of where my values lie and which life choices make me happiest. Therefore, I regularly go within and get in touch with my true self.

I trust that the answers I need are inside of me. If I feel uncertain, I take a moment to breathe deeply and evaluate the situation at hand in light of my highest vision of myself. The answer always becomes clear.

This self-searching is an ongoing practice for me. Because I stay in touch with myself, I increasingly find myself knowing intuitively what I need or what to do in any situation. I act with confidence, knowing that I am aligned with my highest priorities: my values.

I am thankful for the self-confidence I gain when I act in alignment with my highest vision of myself. I have character and integrity and their strength grows increasingly as I connect more and more with my innermost self.

Today, I make time to evaluate the extent to which my actions are aligned with my values. I am thankful for each opportunity to create what I most want in my life. Because this is such a high priority for me, I regularly go within and get in touch with my true self.

Today’s Self-Reflection Questions:

1. In what situations do I feel I act most clearly in accordance with my values?
2. In what circumstances do I feel challenged to act according to my beliefs?
3. What can I do to support positive action in these situations?

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