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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

More by this author

Jacqui Olliver

Psychosexual Relationship Specialist

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career? If you’re ready to take responsibility for your life, then you need to tap into some principles for success.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their passion and purpose way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you reach your goals and live a rich life on your terms.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand[1].

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work[2].

Give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life and help you focus on goal setting.

2. Focus on Your Strengths

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

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Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

To use this principle for success, take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it. Is it what you really want? If it’s what you really want to be doing, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP, the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life, it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut[3].

Silencing your inner critic is one of the best principles for success.

    To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

    This is one of the principles for success that will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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    5. Embrace Your Inner Self

    Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid people will find out how odd or strange we are. However, our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths.

    Odds are that you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

    • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
    • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
    • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

    The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

    Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

    6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

    I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you, but you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

    To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

    Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

    A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

    Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

    Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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    7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

    Pretend I’m your fairy godmother, and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

    What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

    8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

    Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time[4].

    Furthermore, a Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere[5].

    What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

    These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

    9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

    Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

    This is one of the most powerful principles for success for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

    Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

    “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

    To learn more about how to get off autopilot and take specific actions towards your goals, check out this video:

    10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

    Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

    Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

    You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, and you can succeed again.

    Final Thoughts

    Eleanor Roosevelt said,

    “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

    Following these principles for success will help you find the time and energy to achieve your goals and live with clear intention.

    Stand still, get quiet, and listen. Your life is constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rock star potential in life and business. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

    More About Success in Life

    Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

    Reference

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