Can a Lasting Marriage Begin with Online Dating? Try Local First.

Dating

What has changed so dramatically in the last few years is the number of men and women who enter committed relationships after meeting their partner online.

Statistics:  The latest figures are that 20 million people per month are engaging in online dating. About 70% of people surveyed said they would use an online dating service to find their partner if they were looking for a relationship. And in a large-scale survey 17% of couples married from 2007 to early 2010 said they had met online…

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Are you in a relationship yet feeling lonely?

No Communication

Most of us have found ourselves at some point in life flying solo. The first time is usually after you have left your family of origin and are out in the world working or studying. You have your coworkers and friends around you and you are busy creating a life for yourself in society. You are alone, but not particularly lonely.

Then you meet someone…

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Marriage Advice: Maintaining Peace in your Marriage

Hopeful Couple

When you bond with and commit to a long-term marriage relationship with another human being, you usually start from a place of peace. Both of you are accepted and loved and are interested in the interests, activities and passions of the other. There may be a lot going on, but your relationship is one of peace.

As the trials and tribulations of life intervene, there will be periodic conflict, at least if you are both alive. Conflicts can be dealt with however, and the hope is that any time there is a disagreement the two of you can resolve it and move on…

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Five Silly Ideas That Can Hurt Your Marriage Relationship

Marriage Ceremony

Some of the old notions about marriage relationships, often stated as wise truths by our grandmothers, are still floating around and are still doing damage. One of my grandmother’s favorites was “Never let the sun set on an argument.”

Silly idea number one: never go to bed angry.

I swallowed that one at about aged five. Then in my 20s my wife and I would argue half the night rather than go to sleep without settling the issue.

The problem was that nothing was ever resolved. The argument was “settled” with one of us giving in and the other having his or her way. To make matters worse, our anger was seldom about what we thought it was about. If we had just let the issues sit overnight, we might have realized what the anger was about and avoided an evening of pain and further alienation.

Silly idea number two: “You should know what I need without my telling you.”

Duh! I have written before about how expecting your partner to be a mind reader can lead to a mountain of disappointment.

Silly idea number three: “If you love me, you would…”

In the news last week a woman was granted a new trial regarding her involvement in her boyfriend’s killing a teenaged boy. She is reported to have said to her boyfriend as he beat the boy, “If you love me, you’ll kill him.”

Love is love. Never assume a specific action should automatically follow love.

Silly idea number four: once you’re married, the man should not look at other women and the woman should not look at other men.

We are social beings who live in families, towns and cities. We’re surrounded by people of both sexes, who are programmed to look good in public. And if that is not enough, there’s always someone out there who is better looking and younger than our spouse.

The insanity of expecting oneself not to look at what is good to look at leads to secrecy and insane jealousy, both of which can destroy a marriage relationship. Looking does not mean leering, touching or having a romantic interest. Looking is just part of being alive.

Silly idea number five: You should never vacation alone.

Vacations are good, and they can be very good if taken together. However, for some working couples especially, vacations would be few and far between if they had to take all of them together. So they take individual vacations when they can. Their solo vacations are okay as long as no one feels guilty about it, because guilt wrecks havoc on marriage relationships.

There are other such sillies out there, like “verbal abuse isn’t dangerous,” and “what happens at home, stays at home.” Can you think of a few more?

Four Signs of Victimhood in Marriage

Man blaming

I have never come across anyone who says they enjoy being a victim. However, over and over I see people playing the victim card in their marriages. Why do they do it? The answer is it is often habit, and much of the time, they are not fully conscious of doing it. So let’s look at a few of the more blatant indicators of victimhood.

Sign one: The first and most obvious sign of playing the victim card is blaming and criticism. The minute you blame your partner for anything, you are making yourself the victim. Perhaps not as obvious, you criticize your partner because you feel like a victim of a marriage relationship with a less-than-ideal partner.

Sign two: The second sign of victimhood is subservience or subordination to your partner. This form of victimhood often grows out a traditional family structure where the male is the major breadwinner. However, earning the most money is a role, not a right to dominate. You are still equal partners, so don’t allow yourself to sink into a subservient position (victim) for money reasons or any other reason. If you do, the probability is high that you will be exhibiting sign number one as well.

Sign three: The third sign that the victim card is being played in a marriage is rightness and bullying. The one who insists on being right, that is, the one who bullies the other into accepting their point of view, has at least a subconscious belief they are being victimized by their partner. Feel the emotional difference between, “This is what I prefer,” and “This is the right way.”

Aside: When people with an intense need to be right become fanatics, and, yes, fanaticism is just an extreme form of rightness, they see themselves as victims of an imperfect world, not just of an imperfect marriage with an imperfect partner. We all know such smiling but unhappy people.

Sign four: Chronic unhappiness. This sign can be tricky, because you could be going through a genuinely unhappy time that is not at all a reflection on your marriage. Nevertheless, with that caveat, chronic unhappiness is often a sign that at least one of you feels victimized by your marriage. The often-silent refrain is, “If only I had stayed single…”, “If only I hadn’t married such a loser…”, or “If only I had got an education before I married…” Each of these could signify a feeling of being stuck as a victim of a bad choice.

The solution is simple, although seldom easy. Take responsibility for your feelings and your life. Get help if you need it, but refuse to be a victim…or a victimizer.