Written by marriageenrichment  |  21. June 2004

Are there early warning signs? All married couples remember standing at the altar and saying their beautiful marriage vows. Each is certain at that moment that their marriage will be a success, full of joy and happiness. After all we marry a person we love and who loves us so much that they are willing to spend the rest of their lives with us. The reality - 50% get divorced and half of those who stay married are afraid to leave for various reasons. What are the early warning signs that may signal trouble down the line? Did you ever have any of these thoughts more than once? I don't feel appreciated He or she isn't the person I married The romance is gone I don't feel understood Every conversation deteriorates into blaming each other He or she doesn't listen He or she doesn't want to communicate He or she is too bossy I don't have a partnership His or her family is more important than I His or her friends are more important than I We don't see eye to eye about spending/saving money His or her work is more important than I His or her hubby is more important than I I am only here because of the children I am afraid to leave I am afraid leaving might be a mistake I don't know how to get my marriage back on track All marriages are the same once the honeymoon is over I need to call my best friend, mom, etc. to get things of my chest Of course, there are a lot more negative thoughts that enter people's minds when they are unhappy. These are just some examples. Is this normal? No. People who have good marriages don't allow these feelings to go on without speaking about them in depth. That is why they are happily married. The rest have had too many experiences of not being able to communicate their feelings and ideas effectively - and so have stopped trying. That is your greatest warning sign of all. If you have feelings and thoughts and you are not comfortable expressing them, you will resent your partner more and more. Being afraid to express oneself, afraid of getting the other person upset or angry, is a debilitating feeling. The person we should feel the safest with, we have the greatest problem with. Whether you ultimately divorce or stay together is not central - either way the quality of the relationship will suffer greatly. Is there a solution? Yes. MARRIAGE ENRICHMENT COURSES! Initially you don't want or need marriage counseling. People who are trained to look for problems will tend to emphasize them, rather than the strengths of the marriage. They are also more apt to sit and listen without giving you simple proactive guidance or train you in the communication and listening skills you are weak in. Marriage Enrichment is just what it says - enriching a marriage, like you enrich the soil of your beautiful plants, to keep them healthy, growing and glowing. We eat nutritious food, exercise, and mange stress all to keep our physical bodies healthy. We need to nourish our relationship, exercise, and learn some new concepts that will manage the stresses in marriage, to keep it healthy.

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