Part 9

Part 6

By changing your own behavior, you too
can save your marriage…

   That’s right, as unbelievable as it sounds, you too can save your marriage or relationship by changing your own behavior — it’s as simple as that.

   And that’s instead of trying to force your spouse to change, which never works.

   The difference is simply amazing and the effects are powerful.

   We know that might seem too simple to believe (we didn’t believe it ourselves at first), so let us explain because this just might be the missing ingredient that you’ve been looking for … they key to unlocking the love in your marriage

   Just think about the last time YOU tried to get your spouse to change the way they behaved.

   For instance, if your spouse was nagging you about something — even something simple like taking the trash out — and you yelled back at them to stop nagging you, did they stop?

   Or, if your spouse wasn’t paying enough attention to you and never spent time with you, when you demanded that they give your more love and affection, did they?

   Again, if your marriages or relationships are anything like ours, chances are the answer is “no”.

   Whenever WE try to get our spouses to change by demanding that they do something, we feel like fish trying to swim upstream … we never really get anywhere and we tire ourselves out trying.

   And what’s even worse, most of the time after we make our demands, we end up in a fight … and that’s just hopelessly frustrating.

   But what if we instead of demanding that our spouse change, we actually made some changes ourselves?

   What if we stopped being so selfish and started doing things for our spouse, fulfilling THEIR needs first instead of our own?

   At first it’s hard; after all, we’ve spent our whole lives becoming the selfish people that we are.

  But here’s the good news:  it quickly becomes easy through a little practice … and the best part is that it’s something that you can start doing right now this second.

  Just consider Janice and Kevin’s situation, a couple who recently sought help from Dr. Richard Hunt to solve problems with getting over what had happened in the past and with jealously…

 

Janice has been married five years to someone she describes as a “great guy.”“Kevin is thoughtful, he actually makes me chicken soup when I’m sick; romantic, he stops and picks wildflowers for me on the way home from work; and trustworthy beyond a doubt, he’s rarely late, always calls when he is, and is so focused on me and the family that he couldn’t possibly have room in his heart for anyone else.”

“And yet…”

“I can’t stop being jealous of him. I know I’m going to drive him away if I can’t stop myself from feeling and acting the way I do. When I look at it logically, I can’t find even one thing he does that should make me suspicious. I’ve stopped a lot of my outward behavior – like calling him ten times a day – but I still behave like a private detective a lot of the time.

“After five years, I’m still going through his pants pockets in the middle of the night, getting his credit reports to see if he’s hiding any credit cards from me, and checking his jacket for stray hairs. Kevin doesn’t deserve this, but I don’t know how to stop!”

As Dr. Hunt was quick to point out, the problem may lie in the past, not the present.  Getting over the past is a very common problem in relationships and is something he’s dealt with quite extensively.

“Maybe there’s nothing in your spouse’s behavior, appearance, body language or attitude that is anything short of trustworthy. If your spouse has given you everything you’ve asked for and you’re still crazy-jealous, then you need to ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Is there something about myself that I don’t like as much as I used to?
  • Is there something from my past that makes me overly prone to jealousy?”

After Janice spent time sorting out the root of her jealousy, it was helpful for her and Kevin to work together as a couple.

This work helped them both understand that Kevin’s behavior and Janice’s feelings were not properly aligned. It took time for Janice to get to the bottom of her jealous streak because…

…she didn’t believe she deserved Kevin.

Janice held a very low opinion of herself and had previously been with men who treated her poorly. When she finally found a great guy to love – and to love her in return – part of her was convinced it was “too good to be true.” She kept looking for the flaw.

When she couldn’t find any, she created them with her jealousy. The problem, she thought, must be something she couldn’t see, something Kevin was hiding from her.

Here is what she said…

“I was first shocked, then saddened, then relieved to know why I was acting the way I’d been. I stopped playing private detective with Kevin and started playing detective with my past. Now the only pockets I’m digging through are the ones to my past.”

Janice’s marriage with Kevin was fortunately saved and is much happier and stronger now that it’s not being poisoned by her jealousy.

Because Janice took the time to look into her own past and to start making changes with herself — INSTEAD of asking Kevin to himself — she was able to conquer the jealousy that was poisoning their relationship.

“I’m no longer pushing away the best person I’ve ever known.”


Dr. Richard Hunt, Ph.D.
A licensed practitioner for over 20 years and a career facilitator, Dr. Hunt’s approach provides a supportive and non-critical environment for people to explore their inner world, better understand themselves and their patterns, and develop new ways to cope with problems and relate to people.His goal is to help his clients improve on their relationships, find relief from internal distress, and find new and creative ways to resolve problems.

Dr. Hunt uses a psychotherapy approach that helps his clients rediscover the powerful healing potential that lies dormant in the troubled marriage.

His approach focuses on dissolving the fear, mistrust, and pain that limit the intimacy of your relationship and block the healing power in your relationship.

“Dr. Hunt is very gifted at grasping the most complex concepts and presenting them in a clear, concise, and engaging manner. If Richard Hunt says something, I listen.”— Dr. Robert Marino, Adjunct Professor, John F. Kennedy University Graduate School of Psychology; Adjunct Professor, Saint Mary’s College of California, School of Education; Psychologist in Private Practice, Lafayette, CA

 

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