You’ve spotted the symptoms but how can you identify what’s causing the damage to your relationship?
When men realize their marriage is bleeding out they rush into my “emergency room”…which means I receive an urgent email asking for help. I have to remain calm to help them calm down. Breathe. Focus.
And I have to help them learn quickly how to not make matters worse. Even with the trauma of “imminent divorce” you have to learn how to slow down so you can focus on finding the real source of the bleeding.
Panicking and thrashing about will normally lead to certain death.
Assessing the Urgency of the Wounds
Triage is vitally important. You don’t want to work on wounds that aren’t life threatening before addressing the more serious ones. Most guys want to work on everything – all at once.
When I ask about the nature of the injury, I hear a flood of concerns.
“She just isn’t responsive anymore.
She has no pulse for me.
She says I’m smothering her.
All she wants is space.
She says she loves me but doesn’t feel ‘in love’ with me.
We haven’t sex in months.
She can’t tell me exactly where she hurts so I can’t fix anything.
She says we just don’t communicate or connect.
I think she is having an emotional affair.”
I remember being in those shoes. I remember the floundering feeling of not knowing what to say or do next while watching something die right in front of me. I remember trying all kinds of quick fixes. I remember thinking I should have seen it coming and was now in search of a miracle cure.
What I learned is there is no miracle cure. There is nothing you can “do” to help.
At this point in your marriage the injuries are too severe for painkillers and Band-aids. The best thing you can do at this moment is to simply stop the bleeding.
And that will require you to stop doing the things that will increase the bleeding.
The Hardest Things You Need to Stop Doing
Guys are “doers”. When stuff breaks, we figure it and then we fix it.
“There, I fixed it. Next problem.”
This doesn’t work in the emergency room marriage. In fact, acting like we can just quickly patch things up is like rubbing salt into the wounds. It ignores the severity of her pain and it makes everything worse.
If you want to have any chance at saving the patient, here’s what you need to stop doing immediately to slow the bleeding. Pick the ones that apply to you.
Angry outbursts, yelling, screaming, punching holes in walls and slamming doors
Questions, questions and more questions. Heated interrogations
Any sentence that starts with who, what, where, why, when or how
Deep, heavy, long conversations until your eyes bleed
Accusations, blaming, finger pointing and complaining
Ten paragraph text messages and emails
Having emotional conversations in text messages
Pinging her with text messages every 30 minutes
Scouring Facebook, Instagram, etc. every 5 minutes
Snooping, spying, and interviewing friends and family members
Pressuring, pushing, demanding, controlling and/or dominating the situation
Being nice, super nice, overly nice or sickeningly nice
Buying gifts, special dates, or vacations or even a new car
Incessant cleaning and toiling over housework
Talking or complaining about it to your kids
There are many more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Start with stopping those first and the bleeding will slow down. The more you stop with frantic attempts to “fix it”, the better chance she may be able to hit the reset button.
Patience at this time is excruciating and there’s no guarantee she will change anytime soon – if at all.
I know. It’s like being crushed by your own car and having the paramedic say, “Sir, I need you to stay calm.” You know he’s probably right, but he doesn’t have a freaking car sitting on his chest.
You need to breathe, get a grip and stay focused here.
The Best Thing You Can Do Isn’t “Doing” – It’s “Being”
This is not going to be easy.
You’re going to have to take a leap of faith that I know what I’m talking about or just go ahead with your plan.
The best gift you can give to yourself and her right now is a consistent energy of calm confidence.
You don’t need to physically do anything.
All you need to be is unshaken, cool headed and compassionate. You need to be focused on how you are thinking about this. No matter what she says, this situation is not all your fault. You’re not a mean, horrible man or an inadequate husband.
Her downward spiral must not suck you down with it. You can’t help yourself or anyone else if you go down there. Down there is where guys do those 16 things listed above.
The best way to avoid the downward spiral is to know one thing is absolutely true. You’ve got a higher purpose right now.
This is not the time to lose your shit. You owe it to yourself and your family to stay clear headed and strong. This is not all about you and you can’t allow it to crush your soul.
Is part of it about you? Yes, no doubt. And this is the time when men can use this realization to spark a major mojo transformation or whip themselves up into a hot mess that lasts for months or years.
When you understand the real reasons many women spin out of control and away from their relationships you won’t feel so personally attacked. This will allow your pulse and respiration to drop. And then it will be possible for you to have empathy for some of the confusion and pain she is going through.
Yeah, empathy. This is part of your mojo transformation that will change all of your relationships – maybe even this one. When you can muster true empathy you can stop doing those destructive things and start feeling your own clear, calm, confident strength within.
From my experience, this is often the only thing she really needs from you at this very moment.
My new book Straight Talk Tools for the Desperate Husband will help you to lead yourself and your relationship back to good health. Understand why your partner acts the way she does toward you and learn how to lead your life in the direction you want it to go. You CAN have the relationship you want, fulfilling all your desires while maintaining love and respect.
I wrote a free e-book to help men learn how to lose their fear and be more bold in their marriage to create the love and connection they want. Get The Hard to Swallow Truth About Saving Your Marriage HERE
If you want to learn more about how to take a bigger step toward being a clear-headed, confident man of action, then find out more here. I would be thrilled to help you get there – our first discovery call is always free and always gives you a BIG boost of confidence.
You WILL become a clearer, stronger, more confident man only through other men. Your woman cannot take you there – and she doesn’t WANT to…trust me on that.
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Photo Sage Therapy/Flickr