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Published on July 3, 2020

3 Signs of a Failing Marriage (And How to Deal With It)

3 Signs of a Failing Marriage (And How to Deal With It)

It is said that marriage is the most difficult job in the world. Statistics show that the divorce rate is approximately 50% in western countries[1]. What are the most typical signs of a failing marriage and the best ways to deal with it?

Sign #1 You’re Just Not Feeling Attracted

When you look back on the reason you chose your spouse in the first place, that reason doesn’t resonate with you anymore. Consequently, it feels like your marriage has lost its spark. This is an important sign of a failing marriage.

Why is that?

Loss of attraction usually has as much to do with you as with your partner. Somewhere along the line, you stopped looking for what you like about your spouse and stopped noticing all their special qualities that you were initially drawn to.

You may have even noticed that the more you become focused on those little things about them that annoy you, the more frequently these things appear to occur!

Annoyance is one of the precursors to a failing marriage because it’s one of the biggest causes of becoming emotionally triggered. When we are triggered, our body becomes tense as our physiology prepares for fight or flight. We take on a threatening stance. This includes our facial expression and hand gestures. Our eyes bulge, or we stare accusingly.

There is nothing about our body language that is open or welcoming to our partner when we become triggered, and the tension they feel radiating from us is usually enough to trigger them as well.

Now we’re both focused on what we don’t like in each other and how we don’t want to feel.

Every action we take from a triggered emotional state will result in chaos. This is because when we are emotionally triggered[2], our prefrontal cortex shuts down to the degree that we lose the ability to think and act clearly. So, instead of clearly communicating an issue we would appreciate being resolved, we blame or accuse our partner to the point where they feel undervalued and start questioning why they would want to stay with us.

Complacency is a major relationship killer, and it’s important to note that it works both ways. If you’re not taking responsibility for how you are showing up in your relationship, you’re equally responsible for your relationship breaking down.

How to Ignite Feelings of Attraction

As with any relationship problem, the first person to look at is you. How are you showing up in your relationship? At the risk of pointing out the obvious, personal hygiene and cleaning up after yourself are paramount. How often do you think to check your breath and body odor? It takes just a moment to check your underarms, breath ,and genitals each time you go to the bathroom — and remedying any issues you find will go a long way to keeping yourself attractive to your partner.

In addition to that, are you nurturing a happy and healthy marriage with humor, calmness, and appreciation or fostering a failing marriage with resistance, accusations, and blame?

It’s amazing how quickly you can restore a happy and mutually fulfilling relationship when you lift your own “A” game to be the best version of yourself; give regular and specific praise and appreciation and focus on co-creating the best outcomes with your partner.

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Sign #2 You Are Not Being Sexually Intimate

When you are not enjoying sexual intimacy with your spouse, you may be heading toward a sexless marriage. This obvious sign of a failing marriage is more common than you may think.

You are not alone; 80% of people suffer from the negative consequences of sex problems in their relationship, ranging from:

  • Inner vaginal dryness (this is not just a menopause issue!)
  • Problems reaching orgasm (this happens in both male and female partners)
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Emotional disconnection (arguments, poor communication, accusations, blame)
  • Unwanted sexual technique (fictional sex education)

Let’s go deeper into understanding the hidden causes of intimacy issues and how you can swiftly restore a happier sex life.

Inner Vaginal Dryness

Many people think this only affects a woman after menopause, but that’s not the case — inner vaginal dryness can happen to women of all ages. More than 50% of women experience this issue, and it’s one of the biggest causes of avoidance of sex, which can lead to a failing marriage.

External lubricant does not solve this problem! This is because that dryness affects her inner vaginal walls. Every thrust can make a woman feel like her inner vaginal walls are being rubbed with coarse sandpaper. Intercourse can make her raw and sore for several days after.

So how can a woman and her partner deal with this issue?

It all comes down to one simple technique, which can be executed before and during foreplay, penetration, and intercourse. The Inner Vaginal Flush Technique can help to prevent loss of libido and desire for sex associated with inner vaginal dryness[3].

Problems Reaching Orgasm

This is another common sexual function issue affecting males as well as females and may be thought to be associated with a failing marriage. A staggering 43% of women suffer from the inability to reach orgasm, even more so during intercourse.

When a person is unable to reach orgasm, it is usually because they are mentally distracted.

The inability to reach orgasm is often tied into other emotional and sexual challenges including (but not limited to) past sexual abuse, feeling disconnected from your partner, a partner’s own sexual function issue, a partner’s unwanted sexual technique, or inner vaginal dryness causing tightness and pain.

A person also cannot reach orgasm if they are unaware of feeling — and that’s what happens when your mind is distracted or you are too focused on the actions of sex.

If you are suffering from sexual frustration in a relationship, you need to make sure you are dealing with the cause of the issue.

Many commonly prescribed hormonal therapies and drugs are ineffective at addressing problems reaching orgasm because the mental contamination problem goes unresolved. The person continues to focus on the wrong subject matter, so they don’t initiate the correct hormonal response at the time of sexual activity to complete the sexual program in their brain.

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Premature Ejaculation (PE)

Many partners of this sexual challenge think their partner is selfish and that it’s a sure sign of a failing marriage. However, this is usually as far from the truth as they can get. The challenge a man with premature ejaculation has is that he is overly focused on how arousing his partner is, and how arousing the whole sexual act is.

But he’s also worrying about how long he will last, along with trying not to think about that!

This leads to his brain only receiving arousing signals, which takes him directly from gaining an erection to ejaculating with little or no fun in between.

A man with PE needs to focus more of his attention on his partner, but it needs to be in the right way and not for too long…otherwise he can cause the opposite problem which is:

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

I call this a caring man’s challenge. It’s usually the result of putting too much attention on his partner and therefore not giving his brain the correct amount of arousing signals to either attain or maintain a hard erection.

Most women have no idea of the fine line a male has to walk sexually. Not only is he expected to remain hard throughout the duration of foreplay, but he needs to be ready to penetrate “on demand” and stay hard and in control of ejaculation for as long as it takes for his partner to reach an orgasm.

When his partner has (her) own challenge of taking a long time to reach orgasm, this compounds his performance anxiety and can lead to both partners feeling like their marriage is failing.

Emotional Disconnection

Is connection the chicken or the egg when it comes to being in a relationship? Feeling emotionally disconnected from our partner can lead to a lack of interest in connecting sexually. After all, when we’re not feeling connected with our partner, why would we want to engage in an act which signifies the ultimate connection?

To stop a marriage from failing, it’s important to understand the consequences of cause and effect. If we hold off from sexual intimacy with our partner, they may become emotionally distant. Then neither gets what they want.

We need to deal with any relationship challenges that are triggering us so we don’t contaminate our relationship with negative thoughts and their negative consequences.

Sex can be one of the best ways to get out of our mind, reconnect with our body, and generate oxytocin (known as the love hormone) and endorphins. Dealing with our emotions will not only prevent arguments but also lower stress hormones and increase our happy hormones.

Deal with both and get help to resolve any sexual function issues, and you may be surprised at how fast your libido switches back on, regardless of your age.

Unwanted Sexual Technique

Realistically, this is at the crux of many sex problems, and it’s usually due to a lack of real-life sex education. If we were lucky enough to have received any sex education, we were taught safety but not technique. This is what leads to so many instances of sexual dysfunction.

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If you don’t have the correct knowledge to reference your problem against, then how do you know what you need to change? In my experience in solving these issues for thousands of men, women, and couples, most sexual challenges stem from incorrect sexual imprinting or focusing on the wrong action at the wrong time.

In the case of unwanted sexual technique, most of us receive our “real-life” sex education from porn or romance novels, which contain unrealistic scenarios.

There is much guesswork involved in sex, and because it is a topic not generally discussed, our sexual education generally results from trial and error. This can set us up for sexual failure because we never learn how to correctly balance our sexual focus during foreplay, penetration and intercourse so that sex can be mutually fulfilling.

How to Ignite a Happy and Fulfilling Sex Life

Unresolved sexual challenges tend to eat away at your confidence and self-esteem, as well as undermine the very fabric which holds your marriage together. Don’t wait until something goes seriously wrong with your marriage before addressing sex problems as they can usually be resolved with the correct knowledge and technique.

Have an open and honest discussion with your partner to find out what is wanted and unwanted, and then work together to resolve the issues, seeking expert help if needed.

Sign #3 You Don’t Have a Shared Vision

The motivation for dealing with issues in your relationship usually comes from having a shared vision. When you know how you want to feel, what you want your relationship to look like, and what you are working toward (and your partner shares this vision), it is much easier to realign yourselves during times of disagreement or when life challenges you.

Without that shared vision, your marriage can become vulnerable.

How to Ignite a Shared Vision

It’s important to get some perspective on what you both want and how you want to move forward together—instead of constantly rehashing and reliving what you don’t want!

So take 15 minutes, remove all distractions, and do the following exercise together.

Step one is for each of you to write down 7 core feelings that resonate with your core nature. How do you like to feel? Which feelings resonate with the core of your being?

Now establish your connection with your core nature by writing a brief descriptive sentence about what each of those core feelings means to you.

Here is an example:

Core Feeling: Connected

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What feeling Connected means for me: I love the feeling of being effortlessly aligned with myself and those around me.

Now it’s time to take it turns sharing each of your 7 core feelings and what they mean to you with your partner.

What’s really interesting is that while you may have some core feelings that are the same, your interpretation of what they mean to you will likely be entirely different.

This is why sharing your core feelings isn’t enough. To avoid misunderstandings later, you need to understand what each of these core feelings means to both of you. Feeling connected for your partner may mean enjoying connecting sexually!

Using the above example, you know when you’re not in alignment with the core feeling connected because it feels like you’re out of sync and out of alignment with your core nature.

These are the times when you’re more likely to give in to feeling emotionally triggered and overreact to something your partner is saying or doing. You’re also more likely to accuse or lay blame instead of taking responsibility for your own actions.

The most important thing to do during these times is to remember the cause and effect principle of mind renaissance[4]  and get back in alignment with your core nature.

The most effective shared vision is for each of us to stay focused on recreating our core feelings with our actions rather than getting caught up in judgements, misunderstandings, and petty arguments.

In Summary

Many times we become completely fixated on how our partner is violating something important to us or going against what we want to experience. However, what we usually don’t accept or realize is that we ourselves are often operating well below par and causing just as much damage to our relationship.

When you’re clear on how you want to feel long-term and you have a compass (focused action) to get there, it’s so much easier to feel motivated to move forward into being the best version of yourself, a person who keeps your partner engaged and attracted in your marriage.

More Ways to Deal With a Failing Marriage

Featured photo credit: Elizabeth Tsung via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] American Psychological Association: Marriage & divorce
[2] End the Problem: The Emotional Reset Technique – The Secret to Enjoying Life
[3] End the Problem: The Best Natural Cures for Female Dryness
[4] Mates Cafe: Mind Renaissance – Feel The Power

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Jacqui Olliver

Psychosexual Relationship Specialist

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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