Margaret had been married 15 years, and after all those years, things her husband was doing was “really grating on her last nerve”.
He left his clothes everywhere; he didn’t consider her in his day to day plans and didn’t help with jobs around the house. She had 100% of the mental load of running the house, working full time herself and organising their social engagements- basically it all!
She was ready to pack his bags and move him out.
She decided it needed to change now.
She couldn’t stand to live with such an “ungrateful pain in the arse”.
She searched for answers everywhere, talked with girlfriends about it, and finally thought maybe counselling was the answer.
She begged and pleaded with him to go to marriage counselling, but he flatly said no.
So desperate for something to change, she reached out and asked, “how could I get my husband to come and see you?”.
She was surprised when the recommendation was to get help for herself, something she had never even thought of.
She was told that working on herself could change her relationship. Changing the way she approaches asking for help, working on her mindset and happiness could benefit the relationship.
She wasn’t sure, as surely she needed him there to make real change, he was the problem after all!
But she was really at her wit’s end, so she said okay and started counselling.
Margaret went from a stressed, overworked and undervalued wife to a much happier version. She started doing things that she enjoyed and got some support around the house.
She started using clear communication with her husband, and well, let’s just say she hasn’t packed his bags….yet (just kidding).
They live together more peacefully, and the clothes even make it to the dirty clothes basket.
They are a work in progress (like all of us), but they are communicating better, showing affection towards one another, and making it work.
It is easy to blame the other person in the relationship and miss our part in contributing to the problem.
Your stress, fears, worries and communication style could add a lot of unnecessary tension and conflict to the relationship without you even recognising it!
One person working on themselves and learning ways to communicate, build trust, increase intimacy, and create change in the relationship is powerful!
It only takes one person to create change in their life and relationship.
“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try”- John F. Kennedy.
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Reminds me of Gail Sheehy’s insights that at midlife we shift polarities with women starting to find their voice rather than just suppressing everything to keep the peace.