Marriage Crisis: Think Larger to Heal

Conflict between the man and the woman

In the beginning sessions of coaching I often ask someone: “What would you truly like to say to your spouse? What would you say if s/he was standing before you right now? Uncensored. No holding back. Let it fly!”

Often I get the agitated response, “Well, I’ve said everything!”

I urge them to tell me exactly what they’ve said.

This is a very frequent response: “I’ve told him/her that I love him/her; that I want us to work on our marriage and make things better; they can be better if only we try. We have too much to lose and we don’t want to give up on the marriage.”

This person’s spouse responds in a predictable fashion: ignores the statements, argues with the statement, gets frustrated or angry, and perhaps walks away. The distancing spouse keeps giving the same response to the same plea – over and over again.

The pursuing spouse, blinded by the hurt, desperation and locked into a painful personal need system, keeps reiterating the narrow slice of the perception of the situation.

Pain is his/her world; a very narrow world with seemingly few options and not much hope.

As coaching proceeds a larger world is revealed. And, this larger world gives more options, more peace, more hope, more strategies and more personal power.

The personal neediness and fear slides into oblivion.

Please allow me to show you how the pursuing spouse’s world becomes larger and leads toward resolution and healing.

1. The pursuing spouse could say, “I’m afraid. I’m terrified. I fear losing everything that is important to me.”

The distancing spouse raises the eyebrows and doesn’t know what to say. The pattern is broken. Their world is a little larger.

2. The pursuing spouse could identify the channel of his/her personal neediness that feels the fear and desperation, stare at it with compassion and take care of that neediness so it lessens its power and grip.

The distancing spouse begins to worry. The pursuing spouse is no longer “playing the unspoken game” that maintains the emotional distance.

Their world is larger.

3. The pursuing spouse says: “You have a problem and it’s difficult for me to watch you throw your life into the gutter.”

At an obvious or more hidden level, this rattles the distancing spouse.

The pursuing spouse confronts with reality rather than patronizes. The world became a little larger.

4. The pursuing spouse could say: “I want resolution. I would like to get at the elephant in the room and move on – with or without you. The sooner, the better.”

The distancing spouse ponders: “What does this mean? Where does that leave me?”

The world expands.

5. The pursuing spouse shifts and says, “I want to be married to an adult, where there is mutual respect and understanding.”

The distancing spouse now knows the lines are drawn.

Again, a larger world view.

Now, realize, I could list a hundred different ways the pursuing spouse could craft sentences, shift the focal point, alter the tonal level of the voice, shift the perception of self, shift perception of the distancing spouse and could make various comments about the process of interaction.

There is NO limit to what you can say or how you respond.

In your pain and narrow world you just don’t grasp that reality.

And so you are limited. You suffer the same suffering every morning, afternoon and evening.

Your narrow world of pain, desperation and worn out perceptions of self, your spouse and your lack of information about intimate relationships suffocate, drain life, hope and passion.

We all experience this to a degree.

A Marital crisis takes you back to old ways of thinking and feeling that are negative, constrictive and fail to serve you well.

It’s like the proverbial horse who runs back to the stall even though it’s on fire because the horse is afraid the wants are familiar.

Here’s another strike against you: you are not taught adequately about the dynamics of marriage and relationships of emotional investment.

You know more about how your cell phone operates than you do your marriage.

You travel through the education process learning how things work, the underlying reasons and dynamics, and how to fix. However you receive very little similar information when it comes to marriage.

As well, counseling or therapy is viewed as “treatment” but not a place for you to widen your perceptual world about marriage.

A marriage crisis is letting you know that you want to embrace a larger world.

You are weary and broken because you keep recycling that which doesn’t work.

The marriage crisis is telling you, you want more. You want to break out of your pain, isolation, and distortions.

You want to remove your relational and personal blinders.

You want to see more, feel more and know more. You want more of what a deep emotionally connected and mutually respectful marriage or relationship offers.

The joy and value in my life is to walk with those I coach in reaching out toward that joyful realization.

For more information on one-on-one personal coaching go to: www.break-free-from-the-affair.com/coach.htm

9 thoughts on “Marriage Crisis: Think Larger to Heal”

  1. The problem is, since I caught her and showed pictures to destroy her year-old denials,I cannot get her to talk ,answer any question, or acknowledge my pledge that I’d forgive her, even by text or email. She is completely shut out and stonewalling,playing the victim, and more than likely still seeing the OP at work. How can you start to work with a person that won’t answer or acknowledge anything you say or do, without having to grab her(I’ll never do that) by the shoulders and force her to respond.

    1. Marco. I’m in the same boat. My husband left me too for an OP and won’t talk to me at all. No communication. Blames me for everything. I’m in my 60’s now alone and confused.

  2. Marco, I’m having the same problem with my spouse as well, and need the same information. as you. If you get some answers, please post them as I am at my wits end over this.

  3. Still trying to save 49 yr marriage. His affair of 10+ years and his not being honest in answering questions such as he never told her he loved her! After 10+ years! Try to tell myself I don’t need answers. Succeed sometimes but questions unanswered still tear at my heart. Says he always loved me even when he did not want to be intimate nor take me anywhere. How does a spouse who still loves husband get past unanswered questions and sure what answers given not true. Is it possible that need will go away and not tear your heart out?

    1. Shirley. I’m married 42 years and he left me for a younger woman and now filed for a divorce. I’m retired now and scared out of my mind. Alone and depressed and won’t talk to me and I’m in the wrong in his eyes.

  4. I found out my husband is having an affair online. He said a year already though I’m still the one trying to fix it. I ask him no contacts. He said yes but he didn’t stop. tried to act normal for oud kids sake. I continued doing the same thing cooking for him and kids, washing their clothes. Ready his work clothes, wake up do his lunch but he didn’t stop. So after two weeks I told him just choose her I don’t want to be second best. He said no I want here he said I will give her up just give me few days and I said yes. Few days he said it’s not going to work coz you will throw everything back to my face and I don’t want to live for the rest of life like that. And I answered since I found this you giving me your complain about me your excuses but no assurance that I want to fix this I want our family back but all you said I always something that hurt me saying you love her. My daughter got feeling but didn’t get answer I don’t want them to get hurt if we can sort this and he said he will tell them. But my daughter put a voice recording I heard everything what they talking about me. Laughing in my expense, mocking me. But when ask him he said just a joke. He apologise and saying won’t happen again. Till I ask him you really don’t want to fix this he said yes. And New years day he said not only one year but three years already their affair. And saw his text he still talking behind my back calling even at home. I was talking to him maybe he didn’t turn his phone off coz he still talking to her so just put it in his pocket so while I asking him something then somebody said “hello” the woman on the phone. I’ve been stupid for a long time. My situation do I still need to try?

  5. In September of 2018, I ended a phone relationship between my wife and MAN -W, that was going in the wrong direction

    Starting on May 9, 2019 and for the next 83 days, my wife texted a friend (MAN-X) 187 times and 12 phone calls. They sent 30 texts in one day.

    A man she met on May 9, 2019; MAN -Y for the first time. In the next 83 days they had 9 texts and 9 phone calls. He left her a text that “he missed her already.”

    Starting on May 14, 2019 and for 41 days my wife and my friends (MAN- Z) had 52 texts and 8 phone calls.
    My wife sends the emoji of a face blowing a heart kiss to Mr. X and Mr Z. Mr. Z replies in kind.

    We stayed 4 nights and 3 days with Mr. Z. I had to go to bead early each night. She admits that one night, they got drunk and she lost it.

    Two weeks later, I called back to see if she left a blouse there, he said no, but she left a bra here and I have it in my drawer.

    July 28, 2019, I saw where she called MAN-W from 2018 and hung up. I confronted her. Since then she only calls and texts I-Phone to I-Phone, that way nothing shows up on our carrier’s bill.

    In March MAN-X called and they talked for 14minutes. In April, she called him back and hung up. Also in April MAN -Y called, they talked for 18 minutes. An hour later she calls back and hung up. There is evidence that MAN -Z and her communicate on a regular basis.

    The last time we discussed all of this. She said, “ I DID NOTHING WRONG- “If you think that I am going to get down on my knees and say, ‘I am sorry, I am sorry.’ That is not going to happen.”

    “If you think we are ever going to have sex again, you can’t perform.” Finally, she said, “When the problem occurred with Man W, I said, ‘That I am not going ever talk to any man again.” Finally, I said, ‘I will talk to whoever to whenever I want to talk to.’”

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