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You May Not Know These 8 Things Are Pushing Your Husband Away

You May Not Know These 8 Things Are Pushing Your Husband Away

My wife and I have a wonderful and happy marriage. Over these last several years we have learned from each other, grown with each other, loved each other and fought with each other.

I still remember when we first got married; all the hope and faith we had of being together forever, living happily ever after. We are still living our journey towards “happily ever after,” however a brief separation only two years into our marriage would challenge the strength and foundation of our friendship and act as a wake-up call to how difficult that journey could be.

The road to healing our relationship was paved with tons of hard work. In any relationship, there will be times you just want to give up and throw in the towel, however, I urge you not to give in too soon. You will be amazed what time and self-reflection can fix.

I write this to you as a husband, to remind you that your husband is not just your spouse. He is your best friend, your teammate and your partner. This is the one person in the entire world who truly has your back.

These 8 tips are from my experience and may point out things you probably don’t know are pushing your husband away and destroying your marriage.

1. Being oblivious to financial matters.

There is almost always one person in a relationship who oversees all the financial matters. Stereotypically this role would fall on the husband, (though please note I said stereotypically as I am well aware that there are many wife’s that take on this burden as well.) leaving his partner completely oblivious to the state of their financial affairs.

This paradigm can lead to an unbalanced relationship. The wife could end up resenting the husband for being too controlling or naggy around topics of money and the husband could end up resentful of the wife’s frivolous spending and blissful ignorance. It is unfair for both parties in a relationship for one person to take on all the stress, risk and responsibility that comes with financial decisions.

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You are partners that have come together in marriage to build a future and part of that is sharing the responsibility of building your financial security.

2. Putting your parents or friends in the middle of your relationship.

Two’s a party, three’s a crowd. As single individuals it is a common practice for us to share our troubles and woes with those we love and who love us. This is not a bad thing; in fact it is completely natural. So it is understandable that this is a common mistake couples make at the beginning of a relationship.

The problem stems from the fact that our family and friends love us so much that they will automatically go to bat for us, even if we were the one in the wrong. Not to mention the fact that often it is too easy for us to tell our “version” of the truth that depicts ourselves as the sainted victim and our spouse as the heartless villain.

If you truly and deeply love your spouse, once you have vented all of your anger and hurt out to your loved ones, you realize how silly the whole thing was and it is much easier to return home with an open mind and a calmer more forgiving heart. Not so for your friends and family. You see, they truly and deeply love you, not your spouse. So it’s a lot harder for them to forgive, much less forget.

3. Micromanaging him on the little stuff.

Remember that before you became one in marriage, you were two independent people with independent thoughts, actions, likes and dislikes. Marriage doesn’t change this. She likes coffee, he prefers beer. She likes to sleep in; he gets up at the crack of dawn. These same wonderful differences that caused you to fall in love with each other can often be the very things that drive you apart.

At the beginning of a romance it’s all sunshine and rainbows. You wouldn’t believe that your Love could ever annoy you… much less drive you to the edge of sanity. Anyone who has been in any long term relationship can tell you though that there is a point where you will begin to fight about the most inane and pointless things; things like him not putting the toilet seat down or the lid back on the toothpaste or her spending all afternoon watching I Love Lucy reruns.

The easiest way to escape this spiral of doom is to remember that you are both human and therefore wonderfully and perfectly flawed. As much as your husband might be annoying you, don’t forget that you are no peach to live with either.

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Learn to have patience and understanding for each other. Compromise is important but don’t compromise yourself out of existence; allow each other “me” time where you can enjoy and express your individuality.

4. Not being on the same page on the big stuff.

Often, we can be so busy obsessing and micromanaging the little things in our relationships that we completely forget to address the big stuff until it is too late and we are blind sighted when our partner is not on the same page as we are.

Some of these issues are the simple basic stuff such as life goals, finances, when to have kids and how to raise them, politics, religion, etc. While these may seem obvious factors to have settled early on in a relationship, it is often not the case.

These topics can be very stressful and hard to discuss and most people are very set in their opinions with no desire to compromise. Because of this, when building a relationship, many people choose to ignore and skirt around these topics in an attempt to avoid conflict. I urge you to avoid this trap though because these topics will invariable come up in your relationship; you may find that not only are you not on the same page, you’re not even reading out of the same book.

5. Not trusting your husband.

If you believe your spouse is cheating, chances are that they probably are. If they haven’t though and you continue to suspect or not trust them they invariably will cheat on you.

Because you fear they may be cheating you will naturally withdraw physical affection. Then, your doubts, fears and lack of trust will seep further into your relationship and manifest itself by you snooping through their phone, grilling them about every aspect of their day and acting jealous and territorial in front of all members of the opposite sex.

Trust is fundamental to a healthy relationship. No one can feel truly loved in a relationship that they know that are not trusted in. Eventually, they will naturally gravitate towards someone else in order to find that love and trust.

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If you have been hurt before by someone else in the past it is understandable that you would have fears and insecurities. But if your significant other hasn’t given you any cause to doubt them, be cautious of punishing them with your fears caused by someone else’s actions. If you are not careful, your doubt will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

6. Thinking that Men read minds

One of the main elements that led to the separation between my wife and I was a lack of communication. There were times when I would say or do things that would upset her, however being a passive person she would bottle it up and not tell me. If you don’t share your hurt or feeling when asked, you can’t ever come to a common ground with your spouse. Which means you will never find healing. Don’t just respond with nothing when something bothers you.

7. Not taking care of yourself.

Some may view this as a harsh, but I feel it is something that needs to be said. Love and physical attraction are not the same thing. Most people typically fall in lust before they fall in love. While marriage can result from a deeper love of your personality, character and ideals; there was still an element of physical attraction that first drew you to each other.

Think back to the first year of your romance, chances are you would never go out on a date without attempting to look your absolute best. Now with hectic life, kids, jobs and the numbing effects of familiarity it is all too easy to forget to put yourself first. This may manifest itself in a few extra pounds, un-tweezed eyebrows and overused sweatpants.

While your partner will still love you, they may not be as physically attracted to you. Sex isn’t the only factor in a healthy marriage, but it is a key stone in the foundation and it begins with you. Not only because your partner may not find you as attractive, but because you will find yourself less attractive.

Taking care of yourself by putting yourself first will increase self-esteem; higher self-esteem translates into you feeling sexier. Feeling sexier leads to sex which leads to orgasms. Orgasms raise serotonin levels, reduce stress and will make you feel sexier which will in turn raise your self-esteem. I think you get the picture.

8. Being embarrassed to share your sexual fantasies

If you assume that most people do not enter into marriage prepared for divorce or the death of the spouse, then I believe it is also safe to assume that a common preconception accompanying marriage is that this is, ideally, the only person you will be having sex with for the rest of your life.

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If this thought is going to have any kind of appealing nature for either party, it is going to need more than just your love and loyalty. We are all created as sexual creatures. It is that simple. And yet, our sexuality is as unique and complex as our individuality.

You could possess all the carnal knowledge and skill in the world but if you do not understand the likes and dislikes of your partner, you may not necessarily enjoy new levels of intimacy in your relationship.

Your mind is your most powerful sexual organ and if you are going to have a healthy, lasting and satisfying sexual relationship you cannot be afraid or embarrassed to share your ultimate desires and fantasies.

Sex can be one of the most open, exposing and vulnerable expressions of love. It is not just your body that is exposed and shared, but your mind and soul as well. Let your partner in on the imaginations of your mind.

Reflect on the 8 things and see if any one of them can be used to spice up and sustain your relationship.

Featured photo credit: niched wallpaper via google.com

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Last Updated on June 12, 2018

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

You know how this looks:

  • Parents constantly comparing children.
  • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Adultery…
  • And many others.

For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

How to fix a dysfunctional family

In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

Dysfunctional… Or just average?

Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of interest and time spent together
  • Sexism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unequal or unfair treatment
  • Disrespect towards boundaries
  • Control Issues
  • Jealousy
  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

How to turn it around

When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

Correction is possible

In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

Verbalize it.

All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

Putting it to work in real life

In real life it would be something like this:

“OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

Or:

“Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

Or:

“Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

This is what you have to remember:

1-Stop.

2-Why it’s wrong?

3-What you need.

And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

It’s a family thing

A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

In other words, you will need cooperation…

So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

It’s not a free-for-all battle

In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

The method

1. Drop the ego

Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

2. Not blame, but responsibility

When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

You will do something like this:

“Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

What happened here?

We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

3. Doing the work

What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

“When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

Love is all you need

You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

And what happens if it simply is not there?

What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

There is only one thing you can do:

To break away.

Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

“We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

Putting distance

So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

What do I mean?

Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

I choose my peace of mind.

And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

How to prevent it

There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

  • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
  • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

Priorities and clear thought

You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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