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50% of Marriages Ends up in Divorce, Is It That Hard to Save a Marriage?

50% of Marriages Ends up in Divorce, Is It That Hard to Save a Marriage?

Do you know that around 50% of marriages in the US ends up in divorce? There’s also an alarming increase of second-time marriages. It looks like a lot of married couples are in a relationship crisis, but why then couples counseling is still something that sounds like a taboo to many? Why hasn’t it been widely accepted yet?

Compared to others, the divorce rate is 5.2% higher in the 40 to 50 age group, in which most of the divorces were initiated by women, according to a study done by by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This may be because of the increased tendency of women seeking higher education degrees and better-paid jobs[1]. And this may also because of a more open mindset towards ending a marriage due to different reasons such as domestic violence.

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Although getting divorced is easier now, not all couples want to end their relationships just like that. In fact, many choose to give their relationship another chance by seeking help from others – couples counseling.

Seeking couples counseling services is giving your relationship another chance.

The reason why the divorce rate is high among the couples aged 40 to 50 is that they’ve reached reached a point in life where routine becomes a killer. The sparks’ gone because of different struggles they’re dealing with in the family and possibly in their lives. Here are some signs that maybe it’s time to consider asking for help:

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  • When communication is, overall, negative: You don’t talk, you just spend half of your time arguing over the weather, money, kids, your broken car, your work troubles and even your neighbors’ new lawn mower. Everything can become a reason to start a heated argument.
  • When you start losing trust: Relationships are built upon trust, and when that starts to quake, you start to question even the stupidest things that can come across your mind, like how and when did that new friend showed up, since when that new hobby started to take that much interest, etc.
  • When you feel the need to keep secrets: Of course we all have our personal stuff that we prefer not to talk about, but when you feel that you need to keep things from your partner, then it’s a sign that things aren’t working the way they should.
  • When there are severe financial differences: Some of the essential aspects of marriages rely on a good financial management. If one wants to start saving money for retirement and the other spends more from what’s making in a month’s salary, and the tendency doesn’t change over months (or even years), then probably it’s time to seek advice someplace else.
  • When there is no intimacy: No one expects marriages to be like the first year over time [2] as people change, responsibilities show up, and we tend to get accustomed to the same things – meaning that the initial spark may be lost. But if now you don’t even kiss each other goodbye, then something else is going on here.
  • When you live separate lives: To put this in a few words, you share a roof, and that’s all. If even your roommate in college was more aware of your routine and things that went on in your life than your spouse, something’s not quite right in your relationship.

If you can relate to one to two of the above signs, then it’s time to sit down and talk about your relationship with your partner.[3] If you can identify more than four of the above signs with your marriage, you should book a session of couples counseling soon. There is still time to fix things if you love each other.

To save your relationship, let the counselor help you. But your effort counts too.

Pick a therapist that really suits you and your partner.

Referral is the best way to find a professional that suits you and your partner. Either a friend who went through the same as you do at the moment, or your parents, or a co-worker you trust, or your doctor, etc. can give a helping hand to find the person who can set a middle-ground to your constant quarrels or a lack of affection.

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But be sure your therapist’s opinion isn’t biased towards keeping a marriage no matter what because sometimes, there is no viable way to make a relationship work if the differences are way too many. Also, make sure the therapist is someone who’s neutral when it comes to helping your relationship. A friend of one of the spouses definitely isn’t a good choice. You don’t want a biased opinion that can make the relationship worse than before.

Always remember the good times.

One doesn’t simply marry another person because they see each other in the street, fall in love immediately and then tie the knot; there is so much more behind each love story.[4] Think of the first date you two had, a memorable moment while you were dating, a gift you loved, and bring them along to the therapy session.

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Sometimes, the only reason why a therapy works is that the counselor helps us to talk [5] – yes, talk – without being afraid of what our spouse may say. The counselor is there to help, to make your other half understand your feelings and to help you to understand what your spouse thinks about your relationship.

Commitment is the key.

A healthy marriage takes two,[6] nothing is going to change if both people aren’t willing to work together.

If you get to the point that one believes seeking therapy to mend the relationship is a waste of time, then it’s probably best to move on with your life.[7]

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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