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Articles from April 2011

April 28, 2011

An Important Lesson I Want to Share

I did not know back then. I know now. Everything we expect of marriage gets in the way of being loved, except love. Expect love.

April 22, 2011

Change or Lose Your Spouse!

I tuned in to a bit of Dr. Phil's show again today. He had on reality TV celebrity couples with relationship problems. As always, they complained about each other's habits, and he told one or both of them to change or expect to wind up divorced and alone.

Here's my thinking: No!

My goal is not to get a marriage only to the point where it won't self-destruct. And it is certainly not to tell anyone, "You should do this" or "You must do that."

You're married. You thought enough of another human being to vow to love them, honor them, cherish them through better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health. More than anything in the world, I expect you want to do exactly this. But when you seek help, it's because this is turning out to be much harder than you expected, and you fear you will fail at the biggest thing in your life, with the person you most want to care about you and stand by you.

Who, in all human kindness, would say this to you at such a moment? "Well, you are going to fail, unless, in the middle of your fear and frustration, you change what you're doing and do something that feels unnatural to you, because that's what you should do." No!

My goal? I want you to Enjoy Being Married, not just keep your husband or wife from walking out on you.

My approach? Techniques you can use to help you enjoy being married. If they sound good to you, you try them. You benefit. They make the marriage more enjoyable for you whether or not your spouse does anything different. You experience less frustration. You feel more loved. You feel more respected. And you no longer need to should on your wife or husband. And I expect this is going to help your spouse enjoy being married a whole lot more, too.

Assume Love. Expect Love. Look for Third Alternatives. Not because you should, but because you still want to enjoy being with the most important person in your world and feel the way you felt about yourself when you vowed to stay the course through whatever life brought the two of you.

If you have tried these three tools and want some more ideas on how to apply them to your current frustration, I want to help. Let me know what's up by leaving a comment or sending me an email. There is a real good chance lots of others reading this blog have the same problem and are just waiting for someone to ask about it.

April 19, 2011

This Mess of a Marriage is Not My Fault!

This mess of a marriage we have is NOT my fault. Why should I be the one to change?Wife, glaring

I have heard this question from people who do not see why it would help to Assume Love, Expect Love, and Find Third Alternatives. I have even asked it myself before that horrible day that opened my eyes. So perhaps you ask it, too.

Here's the thing. Should is the wrong word. When you ask why you should be the one, you run face-first into all those issues of fairness. If you suffer the pain of the messed-up marriage, surely your mate should suffer the pain of fixing it. It's only fair.

What if it could be unfair but in your favor? It can. Instead of asking why it should be you, you ask, "How can I be the one who is happy with this marriage?" Can you really accomplish this without forcing your partner to change? You can. So what if it's not your fault things got to this point? You have the power to choose to Enjoy Being Married a whole lot more.

And this is why I write this blog and offer more resources, including a newsletter, on the Enjoy Being Married website.

April 17, 2011

Why Be Married? For the Questions

One of the things I really like about being married is being asked questions that force me to look at things from other angles. My husband excels at coming up with these.

Why Be Married? eBook coverLately, an odd string of unexpected occurrences keeps taking me back to my roots, one of which was city planning, my college major. Not the where do we need some green space sort of planning nor the should this be zoned light industrial or commercial sort of planning, but the what should education, health care, and social services look like to create a city that works for those who need those services and all the rest who pitch in to provide them sort of planning.

I pointed out how stronger marriages appear to yield better students, fewer crimes, less hunger, less child sexual abuse, more independence and better health for the disabled and the aging, and even less energy use. He turned it around and asked how else we might obtain all those if we just let marriage fall by the wayside in favor of temporary cohabitation and easy no-fault divorce for those who feel they chose the wrong partner.

I have no answers yet, and I cannot imagine others would really choose temporary partnerships if they knew how to sustain satisfying permanent relationships, but I have to tell you I am head-over-heels crazy about him for asking such questions. I just had to add this to my list of reasons for being married.

April 12, 2011

How to Stop Poking Your Spouse

Drs. Pat Love and Steven Stosny, authors of How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, gave a great webinar this past Sunday.

Ever wondered how just keeping quiet could make your mate anger or look so hurt? Or how sharing what's upsetting you could make your spouse defensive or even aggressive? Stosny and Love gave great a great explanation and tips on how to avoid such upsets in the future.

If you missed it, I got you a second chance. Dr. Stosny gave me permission to make the recording of the entire webinar available to you in movie form. Click on that link to download it as a .zip file. After you uncompress (unzip) the file, usually by double-clicking on it, you will have a .wmv file that should play automatically in Windows Media Player or QuickTime when you double-click on it.

At the end, they overview some upcoming webinars. To get on the mailing list for these, visit Dr. Stosny's Compassion Power website.

Let me know in the Comments whether you enjoyed this webinar and want more.

April 7, 2011

Why Be Married? To Share the Load

Last night, I read this article in my alumni news about Lita Nelsen, MIT's Director of Technology Licensing. She and her staff negotiate between faculty members, including Nobel Laureates, and the companies seeking to use their inventions. She graduated MIT ten years before me, when there were even fewer women in her class, only 22, so I know she must be pretty tough-skinned.

It was the last paragraph that made me smile. She is "especially proud of building a successful career while also raising two children...and staying happily married" to MIT grad Don Nelsen. Her secret? She says, "You marry the right guy who shares the load."

Want more reasons to be married? I put 25 of them in a free eBook for you.

April 4, 2011

Expect Love

While you wait for the help with housework or errands you expected, listen for the caring words you expected, wait for company for something you expected to do together, mourn the expected gifts you never get, or wait for an expected hug or caress of the hand, you miss out on everything else your husband or wife wants to offer you as soon as you prepare your heart to receive it without a "yes, but."

The Author

Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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