I Feel Like I'm Drowning In My Marriage: Feeling Empty In Marriage

I often hear from wives who are desperate to save their marriages but who are unfortunately the only ones who are still invested in doing so. Often, the husband has made it very clear that he's just not interested in saving the marriage. This can leave the wife in a very lonely and difficult spot. Of course, she hears what her husband is saying. She may even understand it. But her heart is telling her that she can't just surrender her marriage without a fight. Yet, she often sees the main obstacle quite clearly. She's on her own. He isn't going to help her, at least at first.

I often hear comments like "I am desperate to save my marriage but my husband doesn't want to. Is there any way that I can do this on my own, without my husband's cooperation?" I believe that there are ways to do this. But they are often quite gradual and deliberate. I will discuss this more in the following article.

Saving Your Marriage When Your Husband Doesn't Want To Doesn't Always Mean Immediately Changing His Mind: Often, wives who are in this situation feel as if their main goal is to convince their husband to join them in the fight to save the marriage as soon as possible. Often, they hyper focus on this goal and end up making things worse for themselves even if this was not their intention.

Unfortunately, sometimes if you push too hard, you will only make him more determined that working with you is something that he doesn't want to do because his perception of you and the process continues to decline. So sometimes, you have to back off of this as you main goal and change course a bit.

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Because by doing so, you will usually get at least some pause in his resistance and you can then focus on gradually getting to where you want to go as it becomes possible. So you're no longer in the position where you're trying to do the impossible and he's opposing you every step of the way.

Instead of constantly attempting to get him to work with you to save the marriage, you may want to consider changing that definition. I've seen wives change course to make it clear that although every one knows they'd like to save the marriage, they have to concede that no one can foresee the future. Plus, they want to show their husband they are respectful of his position and perceptions instead of constantly implying that he's wrong and needs to be corrected.

This generally works much better than trying to strong arm him into doing something which he believes (at least for now) he doesn't want to do. I've seen much more success when wives break saving the marriage into manageable goals. The first goal might be to just improve the communications and encounters between you. It may be to just discuss things without him disagreeing or shutting down. The next step would be interacting positively and eventually having fun together and so on.

Understanding How Your Husband's Perceptions Stand In The Way Of Your Saving The Marriage: As you're coming up with a gradual plan, you'll need to evaluate what is really standing in your way. Obviously, I don't know you or your husband. I don't know all that much about your marriage. But because of my articles and my blog, I do interact with people in this same situation quite often.

And, I can tell you that many times, the reluctant partner (usually the husband) isn't convinced that they want to work with you to save the marriage because of a few common reasons. First, many just believe that the marriage is too far gone to save. Many times, they believe that everything has been tried and no changes have really "stuck." They may also believe that it's just going to be too much work that results in failure anyway.

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And, I often hear comments like: "we're two different people now. My wife used to laugh all of the time and really want to spend time with me. She used to have a sense of adventure. She used to listen and was my best friend. But over time, we've both become different people. I'm not sure I recognize her anymore and maybe the same is true for her. I don't know. But what I do know is that I just can't see things changing when they haven't in so long. And I also can't see myself living like this anymore."

I'm not giving you this example because I'm making the assumption that this is how your husband feels. Only you know that. I'm trying to show you the perceptions that might be standing in your way. Because I'm hoping that the light bulb will go on and you'll see what you need to focus on right now. And it's not changing your husband's mind before he's really ready to do so and before you've both experienced some real change.

What you'll often need to do is to show him that the person who used to be his best friend and bring a smile to his face and a laugh to his lips is still there and available to him. He needs to see that the two of you can have fun together before he's likely willing to work together. And, you have to show him that real change can and will take place without it being all that painful or difficult.

Once he begins to gradually see these changes and improvements, then you have a much better chance of him wanting to save the marriage. But you always have to be careful how you package this request. Asking a man to "work" on anything will often fall upon deaf ears. You know what your husband best responds to. You want to keep this in mind when you make any requests.

But getting him on board isn't necessarily the main goal, at least right now. It truly is beginning to change the perceptions and eventually the behaviors. Once these things happen, you'll often begin to see much more cooperation, even if you aren't defining it in any particular way.

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Energy levels, passions, deep-seated values, and traditions - these are just some of the things that couples will find separates them, pragmatically, from the oneness of marital bliss.

It's imperative to predict and cater for these differences.

If we don't, and as early on as possible, then we allow divisive forces to intermittently undermine what is good and functional about the relationship.

We know of too many couples who've endured pain for these unreconciled differences, as we too have been affected perhaps, personally.

IDENTIFYING DIFFERENCES

Similarities are what draw a couple together. But every couple soon finds differences are what most define their mutual being.

Still, differences are not hard to identify.

Certainly we delve into each other's families-of-origin, and how they operated. Whether we liked these or not, chances are we're following in these ways. Our families have more influence than we'd readily acknowledge. They characterise us.

Identifying differences is about understanding the worth of formation - an inescapable force for every one of us.

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RESOLVING TO MAKE THEM VOID-OF-EFFECT

These differences we have cannot be resolved unless we're intentional about them.

We should remember that these negative effects were never supposed to define us as a couple. We can quickly lose sight of this.

Differences needn't be eradicated as much as they need to be voided of vexatious effect. They can't be allowed to disrupt the positive dynamic anymore than they create a negative dynamic.

This is not ignoring the issues. It's compensating for them.

APPRECIATING DIFFERENCES

There has to be room in every relationship for both individuals to be right.

To be right is to enjoy freedom. The best part in being single is the freedom in autonomy. Most coupled partners happily sacrifice this attribute of singleness to be a partner. Yet, appreciating differences is giving up want of control over the other. Suddenly, a safe sense of autonomy is available again.

The best of both worlds - single and in relationship - is known when two people will happily agree to laugh about the other's quirks.

This is, presumably, what marital status is all about. The best of life in relationship is possible when unnecessary 'noise' between two people is quieted.

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?

This is the poignant question.

Winning is not the point. Being right isn't either.

When we're happily able to enjoy our partners' differences, in the mode of the solidity of respect, we find a new level of satisfaction in the companionate love we share.

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Getting rid of jealousy from your relationship is more than just getting rid of the emotions that arise from jealousy. Getting rid of jealousy is choosing to live a life and have a relationship that is sound, nurturing and loving.

By any calculation this has to be worth any effort it should take to get rid of jealousy.

One area of your life that is fundamentally affected by choosing to live with jealousy is your own self esteem - how secure you feel about your self and who you are.

The feelings of jealousy are hard enough on that aspect of your life, but put the decision to live with jealousy in your life on top of all that and you are creating an insidious condition or environment that before long will have you wondering just who you are and that will end up destroying your relationship.

You may tell yourself that you are not making a decision to live with jealousy. But the fact that you are neither making the conscious choice to get rid of it reflects a state of mind that seems comfortable with living with it rather than doing something to get rid of it.

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All of this may take place at a subconscious level so it gives the excuse that well, you are not really making the choice that results in this situation so you do not feel responsible.

Well, that in a nutshell is the problem when you do not make a conscious choice to rid your relationship of jealousy, to get rid of jealousy from your life. That is a choice that you make that says it is OK to live with misery given the pay-offs or given the difficulty that would be faced in dealing with the underlying issues.

And you know the saying - misery loves company. Well particularly in this case it is true. What you are most likely to find is that if you do not make the conscious choice to get rid of jealousy, then you are also likely to cause your partner undue misery given your state of mind.

You will seek out situations to make the environment uncomfortable for him or her, and pretty soon it will become so miserable that no one will want to be around you for long and then the relationship which you wanted so much will be destroyed.

This is how not dealing with jealousy in your relationship can become insidious. It is why you should make a conscious decision to get rid of jealousy if it is indeed a part of your life.

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Why are there so many divorced couples living together? Is this a reaction to the divorce rate being so high or the tough economic times?

A lot of people in their fifties and over are staying together long after the marriage has ended because they want to avoid a cut in their social security payments and also to protect their children's inheritance. The other reason is companionship as they may have been married to the same partner for 30 years or so.

Other reasons are financial as a young couple with children wanting to divorce may not have the money to pay for it. An average divorce in the States can be around $15000.00 and if you add to that the expense of a partner moving into a new residence it is not surprising couples continue to live together.

The slow recovery in the housing market is another reason couples can be divorced and living in the same house. This is generally the biggest asset many people have and the sale of it could bring for many more independence in their single future. Houses are not selling well in most parts of the world and this is slowing down a lot of divorces. On top of that a house may no longer be worth the amount a couple paid for it. Rather than sell it for less a lot of separated and divorced couples figure it is smarter to live in the same house and hold out for things to improve.

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With such a lot to gain and lose married couples make the transition to roommates or companions and adjust their lives to suit.

If you consider that marriage is still regarded as a binding agreement and for some with strong religious conviction a contract for life how does it evolve into such a casual kind of arrangement?

There are couples who have been separated and living together for many years that date other people but still live with their ex husband or wife. Are we seeing a return to the 60's where experimentation in relationships was the norm? Not quite the same as the sentiment sung by The Beatles "All you need is love" but still these people have an unspoken bond as they try to make good of a bad situation

Apart from the recession forcing a lot of divorcing couples to stay together perhaps it is a reaction to the overwhelming statistics regarding the failure of marriage itself.

Whatever the reason couples who are divorced or separated and still living together make this choice the concept is here to stay.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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