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I Settled, Got Married – Now What?

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by Frankie Doiron

I Settled, Got Married – Now What?

Dear Coaches,
I married because many of my friends were doing it at the time. I didn't want to be a left over or left alone. So I attracted someone who would put a ring on my finger and would offer me the financial security I desired. I got caught up in the fun of the romance, the endless wedding planning and all the excitement of sharing the newlywed fun and lifestyle with my girlfriends. For me, it was more about the experience rather than the relationship.
So here I find myself with all the newfound fun a distant memory and wondering how to "make this work." We do love each other and that has grown over the years. But how do I refresh and restart and basically "start over" with the man in my life? I don't think I was or my intentions were truly honest or authentic when we met. But now I want more for the both of us. I want to connect with him from my true self. How do I learn to authentically connect with the man to whom I said "I do"? Can it be done and how do I do this?

Denise responds ...
Shelley, your self-awareness is commendable. Many people engage in the romance dance and never come out the other side conscious of that missing something. The missing piece for you is the emotional connection that takes us from being friends and lovers to being soul mates. Congrats on recognizing it. Since, by your own admission, you do love each other, the foundation is there. The infrastructure of a relationship is built with three concrete values:
1. Trust, which comes from being open, honest, and honoring mutual commitments.
2. Knowledge, which comes from a deep understanding of each other's unique and individual requirements, needs, and wants.
3. Alignment of priorities, which is the future upon which you both will create your relationship, home, and possibly family.
If you are open to the idea, I would suggest enrolling in a couples coaching program or marriage enrichment course that will open up the channel of communication. I would be honest with your partner about your desire to deepen the emotional connection.
The majority of men don't get excited about the process, but love the results. As far as the "Cinderella Syndrome" of your past, it's very common and not worth judging yourself over.
Denise Wade, PH.D. | |             1.215.913.7997     

Udall responds ...
It is absolutely fantastic that you find yourself loving your husband even more now than three years ago. Even though you may have married him for security and "not to be left out and alone," we all have different needs and desires that may lead us into one relationship versus another. Love is not the only reason, but may be one of the many reasons we choose to marry a particular partner.
It appears that you have grown over the years and are now in a different place in your life with a different state of mind. Your marriage has grown into everything you wanted and more. It is time for you to let go of "why" you married him and rejoice in the present of what is happening with you, your partner, and your relationship now.
In this new place in your marriage, you and your partner can choose to renew your love and commitment to each other. Working together, plan a ceremony or celebration as a testimony or demonstration of the love and happiness you share.
Udall DeOleo |

Jianny responds ...
It seems you have successfully moved though the honeymoon or romanticized love phase of your relationship which centers on attraction, bonding, ecstasy, hopes and dreams, and which usually lasts about 2 to 3 years.
The next phase is described as the power struggle depicted with disillusionment, frustration, anger and/or being at an impasse, which would explain why the fun is a distant memory and you're wondering how to "make it work."
Congratulations for wanting to have an intentional, authentic and loving relationship. You've entered the re-commitment phase, which is a journey of growth and healing. From here you move into doing the work to co-create the marriage of your dreams.
Start by asking yourself what your ideal marriage looks like. You can create a collage of pictures or a mindmap of words to help you. Be real with yourself first. Then share your dreams with your husband, keeping an open mind that he may have his own visions and dreams.
With a renewed vision of what marriage is, for the both of you, and dedication to it, you can attain the love and connection that only exists in an intimate relationship called marriage. Enjoy the journey of rediscovering love.
Jianny Adamo, MA | |             1.954.495.4566     

Mari responds …
Kudos first of all for admitting your mistakes and desiring to correct them. Let's get started! Regardless of the reason you married your husband, all marriages take work, granted yours perhaps more so because you didn't marry for love.
#1: Gauge whether or not coming completely clean with your husband will help lay a sturdy foundation from here on in. If being "totally" honest would hurt, more so than help, then forego this step.
#2: Become friends - "besties" - who look out for one another and have each other's back and enjoy one another just for the sake of "being."
#3: Since there are no children yet, figure out ways to spend as much time together as possible to bond, to get to know one another intimately, and to get inside each other's heads. Take classes, if need be, on conversational and intellectual intimacy.
#4: List the qualities you love in your husband, and concentrate on the ways in which he pleases you, no matter how small. Next, make a list of things you do which you know your husband takes pleasure in.
Strive to become the wife he married you for by beginning with these few, simple steps.
Mari Lyles |             1.301.249.5921     

Doris responds ...

"How can we make this work?" sounds more like struggling to fulfill a prison sentence than creating the loving relationship you want. No wonder fun has become a distant memory! Even though excellent relationships require work, the strongest are packed with passion, play and fun.
Begin with a clear vision for your ideal future. Discover the bliss that emerges when you and your partner imagine dreams so exciting that they pull you forward like the fragrance of hot chocolate on a frosty night. You two will be captivated by curiosity when you ponder critical questions like, "Who are we now?", "How can we help each other become all we can be?", and "How can we feel safe plunging into deeper and more fulfilling levels of love and intimacy?"
Even conflict resolution and problem solving become fascinating and light-hearted when you focus on creating a nurturing relationship cocoon that feeds your spirit and tickles your Soul. When the two of you emerge from your safety zone into the world, you'll inspire others with your authenticity and the quality of your love.
A qualified relationship coach will provide you with proven tools that are essential for this exciting, joyful journey.
Doris Helge, Ph.D. | |             1.360.748.4365

Tags: friends and lovers newlywed soul mates wedding planning financial security

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