“State Of The Union” (1) Message for married couples By Dr. Michael Brooks

I get lots of questions from the articles that I write and believe me several article idea’s have come from you my readers. I thought the question I received below is a great question and worth sharing my thoughts on. Just a side note feel free to email me with your questions or give me a call anytime. So here is the question I received last week.

Saving a dead marriage, takes a lot of work. Do you have what it takes?

Saving a dead marriage, takes a lot of work. Do you have what it takes?

“Dr. Mike, I would just love to sit down with my husband and talk about where our marriage is going. He’s a good man, I know he loves me but I want to know what he thinks about our marriage. I want to ask him how I can be a better wife to him and share how he can be a better husband to me. Am I wrong in my thinking?” Lori in Golden, CO

Lori, absolutely not. I think it’s crucial to have a time set aside to talk about the condition of your marriage. It may be a fantastic marriage but sitting down and talking about your feelings and what expectations you may have about your marriage is a good thing. If your marriage is struggling and needs some work sitting down can open good lines of communication and help you get back on track. How often should we have a state of the union meeting to see where our marriage is at? That depends, for some once a year for others quarterly and others monthly. It totally depends on you and what your needs are as a couple. Remember, the purpose of the State of the union is to bring attention to the condition of your marriage whether good or bad.

The purpose of your meeting is not to humiliate or bring attention to the failures of each other, but to try to open the doors of communication and bridge the gap by being open and honest. Don’t go into your State Of The Union meeting with an attitude of sharing just the good contributions and not the failures in your marriage. You need to come up with a plan to help maintain a healthy relationship and fix the problems that can be addressed and worked on.

So how does this work when one of the partners is dragging their feet or refuses to sit down and talk? The plain truth of the matter is the marriage is doomed to die unless both come to the table and be brutally honest with each other. Being a taker and not being part of the solution will cause the death of your marriage as well. Trust me on this, I have seen this more then I care to say. There is no reason for any relationship to die on the vine unless one of the partners has their own agenda and will not work the marriage by pure and truthful communication.

The purpose of the state of the union is for each of you to share what the condition your marriage is in.
Talk about the ups and downs, the good things and the bad. After sharing you both need to come to an agreement and sit down and talk over the things you both feel are important and the changes you both would like to see made. The state of the union is also supposed to help find answers in resolving conflicts and issues in your marriage.

Then make a list and make sure that your list is not a list of attacks but things you’re willing to finally once and for all get it out in the open. It may be painful but resolution is key to making healing happen. The state of the union is not a spectator sport for either of you but a real effort in making your marriage better and healing the wounds and hurts caused over time. Forgiveness is key during this process of letting go of the past and moving forward to a healthy and vibrant marriage.

Questions that each of you should ask yourself before sitting down and talking with your partner. Then use these questions below for your “The State Of The Union meeting!” These are great questions that will help promote better understanding in your marriage.

•    Are your talking points important and causing friction between you and your spouse? Is it spending more time together, or making time to sit down and talk. You both have needs that you may want to cover during your meeting time. Your needs may not be as important to your spouse visa versa. Find a solution that works for both of you and make it happen.
•    What are the key issues that need to be talked about? Don’t be afraid to talk about difficult matters. If you avoid talking about sensitive issues then nothing gets resolved and that’s the point of the State Of The Union meetings.
•    What do I do that bothers you? A simple question for sure but also one that partners fail to be open and honest about. I know we don’t like hearing about negatives about us, but if don’t know what they are how can we fix them? You can share what bothers you about your spouse in a kind and loving way.
•    Do you feel and know that I love you? Sometimes in the busyness of our lives we often wonder if our spouse really loves us. We don’t say it enough or show it by our actions. Just a simple “I love you” can go a long way. I’m not suggesting once a year either.
•    Do you feel that you can talk with me and know that I am listening? Many couples list this is as a top reason for discord in a marriage. So many times we just don’t allow our partner to talk with us. Many times we interrupt and will not allow the spouse to talk.
•    Are there issues that are unresolved that you want to talk about? This is a big one and couples will get bogged down on this. Listen if you have a problem that keeps coming up then its best to get help for closure and moving forward. If it’s an issue that hasn’t been resolved and little time has been spent on talking it out by all means sit down and discuss it.

Next week we will be continuing our list of questions for your “State Of The Union” Talk with your spouse. If you have any questions please give me a call.

Do you need a state of the union meeting with your partner and are concerned on how it will be rejected? Do you want a meeting with your spouse and need guidelines to help you? Is your marriage on the brink of divorce and you want to try to save it before going to divorce court? Dr. Mike I’m not sure how this state of the union works and need some more information on it can I call you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions feel free to give Dr. Mike a call he can help you with your next steps.

In addition, online/phone Counseling and Life Coaching is affordable, accessible, anonymous, and available by appointment, from the privacy of your own home. Avoid the travel and time it takes to get my office. Since you never have to leave the comfort of your own home to meet with me, your anonymity and privacy is completely secured.

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