Before You Undo Your ‘I Do’. 10 Steps to Revive Your Marriage
January is the time of year when most applications for divorce are filed. By March the process is moving ahead and people are faced with the enormity of the step they are taking. It is estimated that about a third of them don’t actually want a divorce, they just don’t know what else to do.
Grace Chatting* of Plymouth Counselling and Relationship Coaching says ‘Many of the people I see for Relationship Coaching quite simply do not know what to do to save their marriage or how to make it better’. In her view, ‘it is this lack of knowledge more than anything else which is the main problem couples face. This is not surprising. Did anyone ever teach you how to resolve conflict or how to go about choosing a life partner, or how to have a fulfilling life?’
Grace has just set up The Relationship Academy where anyone, especially engaged couples can come to learn essential relationship skills. In the meantime Grace has created a 10 Step Marriage Revival Program, as follows:
Step 1: Park Your Problems
Your constant unsuccessful attempt to resolve matters has now become a problem. All your best efforts have got you nowhere. To move ahead you need to temporarily stop trying to solve ‘the problem’ and reconnect with each other again first.
Step 2: Commit To the Program for 90 Days
Even if you feel like you can no longer commit to your marriage or each other, you can commit to this program. Commitment is necessary for a minimum amount of time to allow the process to complete. A bit like baking a cake!
Step 3: Put your Marriage first
For the next 90 days at least, your marriage needs to be your main priority over work, family, friends, hobbies and even children. The best gift you can give children is two happy parents and a united family.
Step 4: Reconnect
Your ongoing difficulties, have caused you and your partner to become, and feel, disconnected. Spend some quality time together as a couple – not talking about your problems, not with family or friends, but just the two of you. Go out for walks. Talk to each other. Touch each other again. Watch a funny movie.
Step 5: Take Stock
We all have 6 needs to be met in our marriage; Certainty, Variety, Significance, Love and Connection, Growth and Contribution. On a scale of 0 – 10 how would you score how your needs are met by your partner, and how do you meet your partner’s needs? Talk to each other about what has to happen to bring all your scores up to at least an 8.
*This is a guest post from Grace Chatting. Grace is a BACP accredited Counsellor, a Family Mediator and a Personal Success and Relationship Coach.
She has a successful private practice in Plymouth, Chatting Counselling and Relationship Coaching: http://www.plymouth-counselling.co.uk. Grace is also Co-founder and Director of the Anam Cara Centre in Spain where she facilitates residential Life Coaching weeks: http://www.anamcaracentre.com. Check out Grace’s blog at http://www.gracechatting.com