The sooner you identify what’s wrong with your marriage, the better able you’ll be to save your relationship. If you can’t or aren’t willing to see what’s really going on (or WRONG) with your marriage, then you’ll never get your relationship back on track.
The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage by Gary Chapman is a great resource for married couples. Your marriage may be in the “wrong” season right now, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be wrong forever. Read the book, learn how marriages change over time.
The following marriage tips are inspired by two women: a reader who recently commented on my article about marriages ending and fixing broken relationships, and Sheryl Sandberg. Here on Quips and Tips during the month of May, I feature quotations from mothers who weren’t well-behaved. Take Sheryl Sandberg, for instance. She’s the COO of Facebook and the author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.
I recently heard Jian Ghomeshi interview Sandberg on Canada’s Q (CBC). She talked about “leaning in” (which is also the title of her book), feminism, guilt, and sitting at the table with men.
One of the things I liked best was when Sheryl Sandberg told Jian that men are honest and comfortable learning on the job. Women, on the other hand, try to build skills before they accept new positions. They aren’t as willing to just jump in and prove themselves (and learn) as they go. It’s about confidence and courage…or a lack thereof.
“Women attribute their success to working hard, luck and help from other people,” says Sandberg. “Men will attribute that same success to their own core skills.” What do you attribute your success to? But wait a minute – I’m supposed to be writing about how to see what’s wrong with your marriage – not how to run your career and life.
How to See What’s Wrong With Your Marriage
These tips are in direct response to a reader, who is in denial about what is going on in her relationship with her husband.
What is destroying your marriage?
“My husband’s job is going to ruin our marriage,” says my reader. “He travels constantly, three weeks at a time. If you add all the weeks of his traveling due to his job, he is gone approximately 5-6 months out of the year and that makes me very unhappy….He knows how I feel and he doesn’t seem to mind it at all.” ~ from 7 Signs Your Marriage May Be Over.
I don’t think her husband’s career will ruin their marriage. The problem is her HUSBAND. This wife can’t see what’s really wrong with her marriage because she doesn’t want to admit the truth.
The truth is that her husband doesn’t care – or doesn’t know – how unhappy his wife is. She says he knows how she feels, but we don’t know for sure what he knows. Is he deliberately ignoring how unhappy his wife is? I don’t know.
Have the courage to lean in
I think she and all wives should take a page from Sheryl Sandberg’s book and LEAN IN. To me, this means having the courage and confidence to say what we think about our husband’s behavior, job, comments, and choices. I think I’m a strong woman, but I often find myself hesitating to criticize or say what I really think to my husband. Maybe it’s because I fear he’ll stop loving me, or he’ll leave me.
Are you scared to lean in to your marriage? Read How to Be Yourself in Your Relationship – Self-Identity and Love.
Can you see the truth about what’s wrong with your marriage?
Here’s the rest of my reader’s comment:
“He cheated on me many times, over the Internet, and was thinking about meeting random ladies on dating websites for sex. This was a few years ago, so how am I supposed to trust him when he’s away? He says he isn’t cheating on me and that’s all in the past. But, I still can’t get over it and his business trips drive me crazy. My mind plays tricks on me and I’m just not happy. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do anymore…after 13 years of marriage…I keep waiting and waiting and nothing changes.”
There is so much going on here! Infidelity, lack of trust, selfishness, and lack of motivation to take action. Waiting for your marriage to change won’t work, my friend. The only thing that needs to change is YOU. You need to take action to try to fix what’s wrong with your marriage, or leave your husband.
And that involves leaning in, trusting yourself, and having faith that you ARE strong enough. Have you leaned in to your marriage? I haven’t explored Sandberg’s thoughts on “leaning in”, but Melissa Lawrence has on What Does Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” Really Mean? It’s a great article, and I firmly believe that Sandberg’s thoughts on women leaning in at work will benefit women in their marriages.
Control what you can in your marriage
Another tip from Sheryl Sandberg: “My message is not one of blaming women. There’s an awful lot we don’t control, but there is an awful lot we can control and we can do for ourselves, to sit at more tables, raise more hands.” What can you do for yourself? How can you take action in your marriage and life, to make things better? How can you take your power back?
Here’s a final quip from Sandberg, related to you seeing what’s wrong with your marriage: “Everyone knows that marriage is the biggest personal decision you make, but it’s the biggest career decision you can make… Partner with the right person because you cannot have a full career and a full life at home with the children if you are also doing all the housework and childcare.”
Have you partnered with the right man? If not, how can you change your marriage and life? I welcome your thoughts on how to see what’s wrong with your marriage, but I can’t offer advice.
May you move forward in love, hope, and faith. May your marriage be restored and saved.