How Did We Get Here?
Often times in our marriages, we get to a point where we feel confused, unhappy, and uncertain. We are really struggling and uncertain of what come next or what to do. We wonder if there is even anything we can do to make it feel better.
This place is exactly where my client Ben has been for quite some time. He keeps wondering “how did we get here?” and “what went so wrong”? He felt like they had a really good marriage and that it started out so solid and happy. He assumed it would stay that way and feels like he has been working hard to give his family everything he can. He has been providing and working hard for their future. But they are not happy and his wife says that they just do not connect anymore and she feels alone.
In our lives, we set out to accomplish a goal, like marriage. We grow up and plan ahead for the future and imagine what it will be like and in that picture we see a marriage. So we set out to find our partner and get married. We think this marriage is going to always be strong and supportive and that love will guide us and keep it going.
Except, it doesn’t. To explain this, I want to tell you about this idea we call “the shelf”. Just like Ben was experiencing. See he has set out to start his life and get married and he did. Once he did that, he took this marriage and placed it in a lovely box all wrapped up and shining, and placed it on the shelf. He put it up on the shelf where it would be safe, and would take care of itself now that it was in place and he was happy. He thought, ok this is safe here and he started to focus on his career.
He started to build his future, growing the business, getting ahead, acquiring more resources for his family to give them safety and security. He put a lot of energy, attention and focus on this and it worked. It worked really well and it continues to work well for him. He feels that he is giving all he can to his marriage and his family and creating a better future.
The thing is, while he has been busy doing this for 15 years, he has not been paying much attention to that pretty box he placed on the shelf. He still loved it and felt he was doing all this hard work for that marriage sitting there on that shelf. The marriage was not really receiving any attention or energy . Time passes and he thinks it will be ok but this isn’t true and it isn’t enough.
There really is not anything on this planet that thrives and flourishes with no attention. All things need some degree of care and effort and attention, even if it the grass. Without some water and light, it will not grow and stay healthy. So, it should come as no surprise that our marriages are the same.
Yet, it does. And we wonder how we got here? After years or even decades of little to no attention and effort, our marriages begin to struggle. We find ourselves surprised that this could happen to us.
Now maybe you are thinking that this could be you. Maybe you did put that marriage up on the shelf a little bit. Maybe you both did. Maybe you are wondering if there is anything you can do now to make it feel good again.
Depending on how long it has been on that shelf, you may be able to get it down and dust it off. Shine it up and give it some attention. If it has been up there for 10, 15, 20 years, it is going to take more than a little dusting and polishing to see if it can feel good again. It is going to take a new approach , some new tools, some communicating, and some effort.
You have to start pouring back into it and giving it the attention it needs to thrive and flourish. To find out how you can do this, I invite you schedule a complimentary Exploratory Session with me below. Let’s get that marriage back down off the shelf and see if you can make it feel better.