Saturday, November 13, 2010

You Can't Kill Time without Injuring Eternity: Problems in Relationships and Marriage Don't Just Go Away

What could it be costing you to put off dealing with your relationship problems until tomorrow? I’ll wager that it’s a lot more than you might think…

I was out running some errands one afternoon and noticed a sign in front of a church that read, “You can’t kill time without injuring eternity.” I don’t know if they fully realized that statement’s meaning when they posted it, but the instant I read it I was reminded of many letters I’ve received from people who were having problems. I’m not going to disclose their names or anything personally identifiable because being in such a predicament is stressful and embarrassing for them, but I want you to see the kinds of things that can happen when you let little problems go unresolved (each paragraph is from a different reader comment or letter):

I filed for divorce after he physically abused me, so poor choice in mate, he wouldn't take your site seriously, so wish you all the best of success. You have some great advice and wonderful readers.

Question: we split up and now she is seeing someone else ... any advice on how to win her heart back?

My wife has sex when she wants & not when I want this has gone on so long that I don't even bother trying to be sexy with her, once again we have spoken but this ends up in a shouting match

My wife and I have been married for 18 years. We haven’t had sex more than once every few months since our second anniversary, and I’m sick of it. Can you help us?

For years my wife won’t kiss me I tell her it hurts but she says there’s no need. My wife thinks I am odd because I want a kiss & cuddle from her but she won’t when I tell her how I feel she ends up shouting at me then crying then sayings things will change & they do for a day or two then she is the same cold person with me, can I go on for the rest of my live feeling so unloved by her, I am 42 after 17 years marriage.

After reading the above, even though I am not sure that I could leave her as we have 2 children but is there any point if feeling so low all the time & never seeing the light should I leave whilst I am able to start a new life, this would be the hardest ting that I have ever even thought about.

You need to know that my wife of 4-1/2 yrs (dated for one, lived together for one, then married) has decided to divorce me. We have a two year old son. She says she's lost her feelings for me, she doesn't hate me, she still cares about me, she still likes me as a friend, but the love is gone. There are some side issues, but nothing that I believe is the real problem. I have been coming to realize that I have been "weak" not asserting my "alpha male" thing. I suppose I have always wanted to please her, and when we have a problem (fight) I always give in, or she always "wins". I think that I need to get stronger, before this divorce is final. How can I win her back? How can I show her that I am attractive (physically, emotionally, etc.) How can I trigger the emotions I believe are still there? We had a fantastic dating life, we had a great marriage, then after my son was born I assumed the "father role" and quit all the romanticisms, and stopped helping out around the house and didn't help out with the child-care. I have come to grips with the fact that I lacked in those areas, and am willing to change, but I need to "win her back" first. What can I do before it's too late? Oh, I hope you can give me some good advice. I hope there is something I can do before it's too late. Please, help! I love my son, and my wife, I want this family to be unified again!


Do you see what’s going on here? These people have let problems fester for months, most for years, and there are some things that should be jumping off the page at you. First, and most important, is that they steadily get worse; real problems never just “fix themselves,” so don’t be a fool and wait for them to do so; they don’t even hold status quo without attention. You’ll also notice that it doesn’t matter if the deterioration of their relationship is fast or slow, the result is the same; they are either terminally unhappy and holding on out of fear, or they’re divorcing, and it’s not so easy to get out of or get over a 20-year relationship and start over in your forties or fifties, and one of these readers is in his sixties, and the wife he refers to is his second wife.

They’re all reaching out for help now, and most of them have chosen or will choose to accept it (some will reject help because they find the solution unpalatable, choosing instead of seek a “magic bullet” that makes all the problems go away with no effort or responsibility on their part), but look at how many years they’ve spent being miserable that they could have spent being happy if they had addressed their problems early and corrected them at that time. What’s the old saying? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

Financially speaking, with divorce and the burden of legal fees, settling estates that may value as high as in the millions and more, alimony, child support (that will almost always end up going for something other than the children, from what I hear), etc., an ounce of prevention would seem worth hundreds or thousands of tons of cure. Anybody want to compute the return on investment there?

Emotionally, it’s the same story; you can make a few small changes and live happily or fail to maintain your relationship properly and live miserably for years before finally either trying to undo the damage you’ve done or getting so sick of each other you go to war, pronounced “divorce court,” and then have to start over, and be miserable and alone during what should be the prime of your life because you still don’t know what happened to kill something that was very special to you. Meanwhile, the lawyers who handled the divorce are living it up on what used to be yours.

Speaking of prime of life, what if you’re with THE WRONG PERSON? What if there is no way to fix the relationship or marriage that you’re in? In spite of what some people want to believe, there are relationships that are doomed before they start because they lack basic compatibility, making everything in the relationship a competition instead of a cooperative effort toward mutual happiness. How many years do you want to waste banging your head against the wall before finding out that you never should have been married? How big a war do you want to fight when you try to end the relationship, after competitiveness and resentment have put both of you at DEFCON 1, ready for a full nuclear strike to wipe the other – and possibly yourself – off the map? Or if you’re too passive to go to war, would you like to spend those years bored out of your mind and trying to evade your marriage instead of taking an active and enjoyable part in it?

Every minute you spend putting off a solution holds the potential for one more mean-spirited and vengeful remark that can never be taken back, one more vengeful or stupid act that can’t be undone, one more toll of a bell that can never be unrung. And the more pain you inflict and endure, the harder it is to fix the problem. Any takers on the prevention offer?

The offer is this: Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and read it, learn a few really important things about relationships, women, and how to get along with them, and do a few cool and fun things as a result. Then watch what happens! It will save you years of misery and a small (or maybe large!) fortune that you’ll get to spend in your retirement with your wife instead of giving it all away to her and her lawyers to go somewhere else and enjoy while you sit around heartbroken, financially ruined, and wondering what happened.

If you’re on the fence, visit our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and see what some of the men there had to say about what they wish they could have done earlier; the common theme through many of their stories is the concept of “the frog in the pot.” They watched their marriage and their life slowly cook, not realizing the hot water they were in was boiling until their wives slapped them with divorce papers.

Life is short, too short to miss a chance, and second chances rarely come around. If you’re reading this, you’re looking for a second chance, and it’s here, staring you straight in the eye. Jump on it.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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