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Always allow your mate to be who they are as long as who they are is the wonderful and caring person that you were attracted to when you married them. But that is tricky because we as humans sometimes see and know what we are getting into when we get into unhealthy relationships. Remember that you have to be friends before you can move to the next level of your relationship. We all know when some relationships aren't good for us in the beginning. Sometimes we stay with our mates for different reasons. Sometimes it's the kids or sometimes it's just the pure shame of you knowing that you have an unsuccessful marriage. Having a failed marriage allows people to judge you and say things about you and your spouse that they don't even really know about. Think about the fact that no one lives with you and your spouse, so they have no reason to judge you.
Remember that humans are very big on giving other people advice that they normally don't follow themselves. Marriage mates need to learn how to listen to each other instead of talking at each other. Many marriages fail because no one wants to admit their faults. Everyone wants to be the angel of light in the relationship. Sometimes if you have to argue with your spouse about your success it's a red flag, because if you are in a highly skilled profession what's the point of debating your career with someone who also has a highly skilled profession, no couple should ever argue about the success of others. The beauty of having a failed marriage is that there are only two ways that you can take it. One, you can continue to wallow in your thoughts about why your marriage didn't work out, or two, you can use your hurt or anger to capture who you think and know you are on the inside so that you can learn to recycle all the problems that you might have been through in the marriage.
The scary thing about going through a divorce is that it will cause you to examine yourself and the people around you who were with you while your marriage was crumbling. You have to realize that you always provide entertainment for your family and friends when you tell them too much personal business. You have to remember that most people are not really interested in your problems if they're not going through the same type of problem that you are. It's like most rich people don't hang around people without money. Why? Because they don't have a lot in common financially. The point is that if you are going to talk to family and friends about your problems, let it be the ones who really feel your pain and who have been through things in life. Think about the simple concept of being around a group of people with bad marriages. Everybody is always talking about the same thing, but they are rarely talking about a solution to the problem. Most people want to be out of their marriage, but sometimes divorce will open up many doors of judgment from other people. You as a person have to always stay in control of your conversation with people, because, remember, your friends and family can be really critical of your situation if you don't learn how to stand up and be counted as an individual.
This is one of the oldest sayings in the book: misery loves company. You can tell, when you're around someone, if they really care about you, because they will treat you with dignity and respect, and they will always have kind words to say about your situation, and they really want to see you get through your pain. The other successful ingredient to look for in a mate is always the person's family background. Take a good look at who they really are by observing how they all get along as people. Is their behavior normal or it is what I call wolf behavior, which means that you can be around someone and realize that they just don't get this thing called life? This means most people don't have a lot of common sense about things, such as saying thank you to people or even saying "excuse me." When a person doesn't get normal behavior, I call it wolf-like behavior, and it goes right back to their family upbringing. So if you are thinking about marrying a person who can't even say thank you or "excuse me" to you or people around you, this means that you shouldn't look for this marriage to be too successful.
The important key to looking at the family background is that you have to realize that your in-laws will always be a part of your life, because most couples have kids. The point is to always respect your future in-laws and allow them to respect you, and if both parties follow that simple rule, the marriage will have a great chance of surviving. So you have to realize that if your in-laws don't like you or you don't like them in the beginning, that could kill a marriage right from the beginning because it's hard to have a really successful marriage if you don't like your in-laws or they don't like you. It puts a really big strain on everything, especially if you are dealing with a spouse who is very close with their parents and is always sharing your family secrets. And once everyone knows your personal business, you have no business, but we as humans have to be accountable for the things we put out there for people to talk about. Once again, when your marriage is an open book to people, it allows you to provide entertainment for people around you. When you come around them, they are always looking for a good horror story or updates about your marriage, and the funny thing about it is that most of the time the ones judging you have a worse marriage than you.
The only difference is that they never tell you their horror stories about what is really going on in their household. We have to learn how to get a good read on people. Stop letting people waste your time, because sometimes people see that you have something magical going on inside of you and they wish they had it. Instead of them wanting to build you up, they start finding a lot of fault in you because they become jealous. This happens to a lot of spouses because there tends to be a lot of secret competition between the two of them. One spouse could be jealous of the other one's relationship that he or she has with their family. The other could be jealous of his or her career, which means that if spouses can't compliment each other's success, then therein lies the problem. The big key is when a man doesn't want his wife to work, you have to wonder what the motive is for that. Believe me, there's always a reason. Think about it. Unless you are raising small kids, there is no need to not work once those kids get to a certain age. You need to get up and going and follow your dreams just as your husband is doing. Don't let that good education go to waste, because what ends up happening is that you end up angry on the inside because you realize that your soul is dying.
Sometimes a spouse can control you through money because when you are totally relying on your spouse financially, you are ultimately allowing your identity to be stolen, and that always leads to some form of control. Why would you let your spouse take your identity? When a spouse allows that to continue to happen, that shows that they are a very weak person, man or woman, and it happens every day to spouses. If your mate is always telling you to lose weight and they are just as out of shape as you are and you listen to them, that's a problem. That is a sign of an insecure person. Remember what i said earlier: people are good at giving advice that they rarely follow themselves. Also remember, when a spouse is always trying to control your environment and your friends, that person has an insecurity problem within themselves. When you don't allow your spouse to be who they are, your marriage won't have a happy ending. People will find a way to be happy somehow.
The funny thing is that when you try to control your spouse in every form and fashion, you naturally push them away from you because most of the time, when one mate wants to always criticize another, that person has a lot of insecurities within themselves, and the only way that they can stay on top of you emotionally is to continue to put you down. The hidden bitterness between spouses in a marriage is at an all-time high because the chemistry between mates is at a very critical state, especially if the couple has kids. Your kids are exposed to all of your and your spouse's negative energy, and trust me; they will take your negative energy and run with it. You have to realize that kids love an easy way out of things, so when a marriage is on the downslide, the kids know it because they have to become little adults in their own minds. The kids also like a certain amount of dysfunction because sometimes it gives them a lifetime of excuse-making. They know that society will understand them because most of society has had parents that have been through a divorce.
The key to keeping your kids mentally healthy is to talk to Them about the situation and why the marriage didn't work. Sometimes kids are so smart they already know without you even telling them, because they are just little human tape recorders capturing data every day of their lives. The kids can become very sensitive about their parents, and they always want to defend their parents in everyway because kids carry around their own personal feelings about their parent's divorce. You have to realize that some kids are happy that their parents aren't together, because their parents had such a horrible relationship with each other the kids never saw a lot of good times between their parents. The good side for some kids is that they are able to turn the situation that their parents are going through into their own little fuel and create their own energy and sometimes they end up becoming doctors and lawyers and very productive citizens in society because they want to honor their parent's name because of the weight that they had to carry around because of their parent's failed marriage.
Some kids go to a whole different mindset because it is vindication for their family's name, but sometimes the sad thing about that is even when some kids go off and become highly successful, their parents start treating them funny because now this spins into a whole other level of competition. It's almost like you are back to square one because, remember, you just got out of a nightmare situation with your spouse and it's almost like you're running back to the same situation with your parents. You have to realize that sometimes parents can be worse than your spouse. They can also become dream- killers because instead of them being your biggest fans, they become your biggest obstacle. No kid wants to have to hurt their parent's feelings, but we all know and have certain family members who can't celebrate our success. The scary thing about it is that sometimes we keep a lot of lot of poisonous people around us. Friends can also be huge dream-killers because, if you think about it, most people will value their friend's opinions more than they value their parent's opinion, and spouses have to be very careful about the people they keep in their inner circle, because you can always tell if you are around a dream-killing friend. Sometimes you have to ask yourself:
1. Do they ever compliment you on your success?
2. Do they ever compliment your family on their success, if you have family worthy of being complimented?
3. Are you always the friend who's paying for lunches and dinners?
4. Can your friend compliment you on your recent purchases such as a new home or a job promotion?
5. Can your friend ever compliment you on your style as a person?
6. Do you have a friend who its always about them and its never about you?
If you are around a friend or friends like that, you have to ask yourself, What is it about you that makes you want to stay around people who never seem happy for your success in business or as a person? When people are like that, they are no different than your jealous spouse and parents, so you have to get away from all of them. The key to a successful marriage and friendship is to stay around positive people who have the same type of values and morals that you have. Sometimes we try to blame our friends for the trouble that we get in. We as humans are always in control of whatever we do in our daily lives.
I always say that adults play more games than kids because little kids are just little kids, and they have a lot of pure thoughts. We as grown people are in control of our surroundings at all times. Sometimes we put ourselves in situations that we know are not good for us, and we always try to justify our actions even when we know we are wrong or even when we get caught. It's always funny when spouses continue to hang around the opposite sex and continue to allow someone other than their spouse to entertain them, whether its through e-mail, text-messaging, phone calls, or sitting down and having lunch. Being on a personal level with the opposite sex is always a big risk because we all experience and know the laws of attraction.
The funny thing about it is that we all love to be entertained by the opposite sex, especially when they are attractive and when you allow yourself to stop being entertained by your spouse. You are in so many words saying that you are and have been looking for a way out of your situation. Like I said, we all know in our hearts when our relationship is over with our spouse. Sometimes we just prolong everything for different reasons, but the marriage will crumble because there is no positive energy being provided by either spouse to keep the emotional flame burning. Most of the time, we are all on emotional autopilot. Another huge mistake that couples make is that they stop having fun with each other, and when you stop having fun with each other, the marriage is heading into the emotional red zone. If you can't have fun with someone that you plan on spending the rest of your life with, this marriage will end up in a divorce.
The stress of everyday life is enough to drive you crazy because with all of the competition in the workplace and in pretty much everything we do, you should be able to come home and allow that to be a safe and relaxing place. But sometimes there's more tension at your home than there is in your workplace. The big hazard of your home not being a place of refuge is that once the laughs and the conversation stop between marriage mates, one or both of the mates are looking for a way out of the situation. At that point it becomes a waste of time for both spouses to even continue with each other. You both have come to the realization that it is just a matter of time before you have to dismantle the marriage. The other huge factor in the demise of the marriage is the number-one killer. When a spouse decides to cheat, you invite and introduce a different element into your life, because once you introduce that element, you will never ever be able to recapture your spouse's trust again. You have to realize that people forgive but they never forget. The emotional dart board that you become to your kids, family, and friends can be overwhelming, and sometimes you never forgive yourself on the inside for really destroying your spouse's trust and destroying your family's trust. Everyone will always want to understand how you could be so stupid.
Excerpted from My Spouse Made Me Rich by Roger Louis Kennedy Copyright © 2007 by Roger Louis Kennedy. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted April 2, 2008