The Easy Way Out (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks
As I sat and listened to a distraught wife yelling at her husband of ten years asking him why didn’t he wasn’t willing to fight for their marriage. He sat motionless and unwavering. He stared at the office clock like it was the last seconds of a tied playoff game and his team was about to give up the winning score. He wanted out of my office; his body language was speaking loud and clear. Arms folded, leaning back in the chair and legs stretched out. He was not listening to his wife whatsoever. She was crying, begging, pleading, and groveling just to get him to talk with her. He agreed to sit down with her for one hour and listen to what she had to say. When the hour was up, he stood up then looked at me thanking me for my time and headed out the door.
The wife watched him walk out the door and then ran out after him pleading with him to stay with her and the kids. He made no effort to look at her and opened his truck door got in and drove off. She looked at me and then watched as her husband drove out of sight. We went back into the office and sat down and talked. I had given her a game plan to make this a productive talk and she said that she would listen to what he had to say. It was anything but the game plan. She didn’t stay on track and sounded so desperate and whiney. When you negotiate and present the facts of why you want to save your marriage, you must have a plan, and you must listen to the other side and work the plan.
If you want to save your marriage, you need to sit down and write out all the pro’s and con’s on a sheet of paper. Write down important dates, the reason why you want to remain married and how you will work on improvements for yourself to be a healthy partner. When a marriage starts to go bad, usually there are warning signs. There are complaints from your spouse and these usually, go unnoticed by you and you rarely respond to them. There will be attention grabbers like (episodes of silent treatments) or not doing the normal things you would do for your spouse (these could be from not making the morning coffee to making dinner for you). There will be less physical touch from them, less holding hands, the neck rubs maybe you would get or give while watching TV will not happen. The signs are there but seldom acted on. Pay close attention if these warning signs are there!
I want to tell you if you notice anything that may seem like one of these signs, act on it. Ask questions of your spouse and fix what the problem is, don’t ignore the symptoms. Learn how to communicate issues in your marriage. They don’t just go away, they fester and will get out of control. I believe most divorces can be prevented if couples knew how to communicate better and at deeper levels. The surface talks will not fix anything in your marriage. Someone has to take the initiative in confronting the issues in your marriage. Marriage problems just don’t go away and waiting for the perfect time to talk about them never happens.
You need to make a meeting time happen so that you can sit down and privately talk things over. Be open and honest about the issues and struggles that you are facing in your marriage. You need a plan before you sit down and talk. If you have a solidly based plan, you will eliminate the confusion these talks can create and hopefully prevent your spouse from taking the “Easy Way Out.” Most sit down meetings that have a plan and purpose will work and will open healthy communication between the two of you. If you’re unorganized and bunny trail during your meeting, then that also speaks of the state of your marriage. It shows that you’re in disarray and unable to communicate effectively. Most people think that sitting down and talking with your spouse is bad, it leads to awful and painful discussions. Not necessarily so, if you have things to work on and need to make some changes for a better marriage, then it’s well worth the investment of being uncomfortable for the short time.
Next week, I will be giving you tips on how to deal with the “the easy way out” individual. These tips are valuable tools that will help you in your communication skills.
Do you fear confrontation and will avoid it at any cost, even if it complicates your relationship with your spouse? Do you feel that taking the path of least resistance is painful and has hurt you in the past? Would you like help in being able to stand up and address taking the easy way out? If you answered yes to any of these questions, give Dr. Mike a call. He can help you today. His number is 303.880.9878.
Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and Life Coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype. The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of the Denver-metro area. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!