Fixing Your Marriage
By: Rochelle Forbes
Some people love to ‘Fix it all’, to the point where fixing their marriage becomes a central focus.
While this may seem like a good idea, the challenge with it is that relationships, for the most part, are like see-saws. The more one person does something, the less the other person will do. For example, if one spouse takes out the garbage all the time, the other spouse won’t even give second thoughts to taking out the garbage. If one partner does all the laundry or remembers other family member’s birthdays, the other partner won’t wash the clothes or think about birthdays.
Sometimes the very best thing a ‘Fix it all’ person can do is just back off and do nothing. And you will find that by doing this, it gives the other partner an opportunity to step up to the plate, and become the problem solver.
A married couple told me of their situation. Jane and Thomas were raising 11 year old twin girls. Jane felt as if Thomas was too harsh and strict with them, and that he should correct them in a loving manner.
On the other hand, Thomas constantly told Jane that she was too soft and a push over for the girls. Because of this indifference, Jane and Thomas argued quite often.
If one of the girls did something, Jane would mildly correct them, while Thomas would come down on them very hard. Then Jane would step in and reassure the daughter, to soften Thomas’ impact.
Of course, this made Thomas even more upset; to the point where he would lash out at both Jane and the girls.
Jane’s ultimate goal was to help the girls feel good about themselves, and to encourage a more loving relationship between the girls and their father. However, her actions were bringing out the opposite of what she wanted. So for years, Jane tried to become the ‘Fix it all’ person.
While Jane was out of town on a business trip for a few days, she received a call from the girls saying that their dad was yelling and telling them mean things.
Jane hung up the phone called me. I told her to let them work it out and not to say anything to Thomas.
So she called back home and told her husband that she loved him and continued on with her business meetings.
While at the airport on her way home the next day, Jane called home; and to her surprise Thomas answered the phone. She asked, "What are you doing home from work so early. It’s only 4:00 o’clock."
Thomas answered, "I felt guilty about the incident last night with me and the girls, so I decided to pick them up from school early today and treat them to dinner tonight and buy them each a small gift.
Jane was shocked and was silent for a moment. Then she asked him if that made him feel better. Thomas replied, "Much better."
Without Jane pointing fingers and butting in on the phone, things worked out and turned it self around. Thomas fixed it without her, and the relationship between the girls and their dad grew closer.
Jane learned that she didn’t have to ‘Fix it all’, and that by doing nothing, she actually did something.
If you are the fix it all person in your marriage, consider taking a sabbatical sometimes. Relax. Give your spouse the opportunity to step up to the plate. You might be surprised with the outcome. There are 7 strategies that have effectively helped thousands solve disagreements in their marriages. There are also 5 stages that each marriage must go through. Learn all about these strategies and identify which stage your marriage is in, by typing your first name and e-mail address in the top right hand corner of the blog site listed below.
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Rochelle Forbes is a Marriage and Relationship Counselor who lives in Orlando Fl.
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