We've got the answer.
I wanted to share with you my experience working with Maria recently and the marriage problem she wanted advice for — in case it it helps you too...
Maria had been married to Darren for 8 years, together for 16. He’s the only person she had ever been in a serious relationship with. She loves him deeply. But what kept her up at night was the fact that she no longer found him attractive or interesting anymore.
She often wondered what it would be like to be with someone else. She couldn't help but reflect on the past, what had happened to them and their relationship since they first met. She never cheated on him and wasn't planning too, but she often wondered what it would be like to be with someone else.
It broke her heart just thinking about how hurt he would be if he found out that she was bored with his company and his talk of work, that she no longer wanted to kiss or be held by him. She wondered if this marriage problem was a sign that their marriage was over.
They had been together for 16 years and she couldn't imagine life without him, they had a beautiful boy and girl which kept life busy, but there was zero excitement in the relationship. She was sick and tired with the same routine, and the way they were relating on a day to day basis.
The problem was... she did nothing.
She was too scared to bring it up because she didn't know how to say it without making things worse. Darren was always tired and so was she, and it wasn't easy for her to share information. So Maria stayed silent. Suffering in her own circling doubts, she soon became depressed.
Then other times, she would tell herself that she should be grateful with what he has got, beautiful children, husband that provides and has a good job and that she should just be happy. He hadn't done anything wrong after all. Plus she just couldn't imagine what would happen to the children if they split.
She didn't know how to address this marriage problem. So she did the worse thing possible...
She started believing that married life was like this, that she needed to accept being miserable, bored and wait it out. Wait it out either until something changed, the children grew up or forever.
Maria accepted that being miserable or bored was something she had to put up with
She had already lived in this turmoil for a few years. More recently though, the constant flip flopping back and forth was draining and started to affect how she reacted towards the children.
She would tell herself "Life is too short... You only live once." Yet, that just confused her even more and made her feel more depressed. She asked me, "Nicola, does this mean I need to stay or go? "
To which I replied, "It does not mean either. It means that what you must do NOW is focus on creating greater happiness in your life. in your relationship and then see."
It's difficult to make a decision on anything in life when we are deeply unhappy or caught up in a negative spiral of thoughts... or our partner is for that matter.
Two miserable people will create more misery. If one or both are happy the chances are much stronger of knowing what to do and getting the clarity you seek.
Having helped hundreds of people now through various challenges in their life, I believe the core of change must start with our own health and happiness. That's my first piece of marriage advice for happiness.
Worrying or feeling low and not taking any action is not going to get better over time. You don't get excitement, passion, desire, interest by waiting — It's something you create.
Maria joined the online program and worked out that in order to be more attracted to her husband, he would need to smell better, shower more and always keep his breath fresh, and appreciate her efforts more.
Together they would need to talk about more interesting things than work and make more time for each other without being on their phones all night.
Later, when he joined the program and listened to the audios, she found that he wanted more appreciation for how tired he is from work, do more fun and exciting things together, and more physical intimacy.
They started focusing on these and REALLY listening and things changed for them very quickly.
When you make an effort in any area of your life — typically that area goes well... you excel. Think about your fitness, health, work or other achievements you are proud of. The chances are you put in effort, gave it your focus and set a plan of steps.
So why don't we always out in the effort required for our relationships?
Often (not always) it can be our thoughts that get in our way.
Thoughts like... Why am I in this relationship? What am I doing here? Is this right for me? Shall I stay or go? Why is it always me? Why am I giving and getting nothing back?
Let me tell you, it is natural and normal to question a relationship — we all do it. However if the same thoughts keep resurfacing and it is affecting your relationship, your health, work and any children, then start moving towards steps that create more happiness.
I made a mistake thinking my relationship was over because I was so bored of them and their habits. I didn't know at the time that boredom is something a person can choose and therefore has the power to change.
There are literally thousands of ways to create more spice in your life and marriage... so many wonderful things that you can do to ensure that happiness and passion increases. When happiness, excitement and love are there, attraction and passion will follow.
Having made this error in a previous relationship myself, my wish is that you see boredom for what it is, a cop out! If you haven't worked on changing things with your spouse... now is the time.
If you're losing interest or feeling stuck on whether to stay or leave your marriage, take action and get support. Often the hardest part in change is the first step, but those that do something often don't regret it. Whether it's a self-help book, talking to close friends or family, or another solution, find something you trust.
Nicola Beer is a Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of Save My Marriage Program. Get the 7 Secrets Now.
This article was originally published at savemymarriageprogram.com . Reprinted with permission from the author.