Getting Meaning from the Hurt You Feel

December 31, 2008 | Leave a Comment

By Andrew Rusbatch
Co-author of Save My Marriage Today

Marriage is a cycle of life, and while we have a lot of good days, we all have our fair share of bad days too. Recently I had a bad day, one of those ones where it felt like all the things around me were being sent to challenge me. As much as I try my best to be one of those people who doesn’t let their moods rule them, my usual store of patience had evaporated by the time I got home and I was totally immersed in the events that had been going on around me.

I’m told by others that I have a transparent personality. This means that I see and feel things quite keenly, and speak about it. I’m told by others that that’s a good thing. You always know where you stand with people like that, and if you love them or you disappoint them you are always made aware of it. However, one other character trait that I possess is that I set very high standards for myself and the way I conduct myself around others, always careful to show the appropriate amount of love and respect to those that are close to me. The downside is that I set the same high standards for those around me and am disappointed when they let me down. I was talking to a friend about it last night, looking for ways to find meaning from the hurt I was feeling at being let down by a loved one, and she told me the most poignant thing:

“You feel disappointment so keenly because you love people so much”

So is it the same when we feel disappointed or let down by our partners? Do we feel disappointment or hurt so keenly because we put our partners up on such a pedestal and expect them to always get it right? This was perhaps a little more complicated than I had first anticipated, and it made me wonder whether the fault was on them for not living up to our expectations or standards, or whether our standards were in fact what was at fault. Is it fair to expect the same level of respect and love that you offer so freely to those that you love?

I tell myself that I must lower my expectations of others and that I will do so in what they expect of me, but the reality is that I seem unable to do so. I think the world of my friends. If I love someone I feel compelled to share this thought with them so that they might know that they are valued, and I constantly live in hope that the same feelings are felt in return.

But in taking a closer look, we realize that this is part of what love is about. Sharing our feelings of connection with others, and letting them know that what they do is valued. We feel a sense of togetherness when we are able to share our feelings with others. Love is also what keeps us coming back for more, keeps us trying to do things better, and helps us to keep trying even when we feel let down.

So how do we let go of the hurt?

Some would say that unconditional love is giving love without the expectation of reciprocation. But it doesn’t make it any easier. Part of loving those around you is knowing that they share the same values as you, and that they will be there to support you when you need it. Knowing that quitting isn’t an option, and that the benefit of hanging in there is going to deliver benefits to both of you is what keeps many people going. Telling your partner about your feelings and expectations is a hard thing to do, and exposes you to a certain amount of vulnerability. There is also the fear that your comments can be taken the wrong way, or that they can be used against you or interpreted as a criticism.

It’s not about criticism. It’s about helping your partner see why you feel the way you do. It’s about helping communicate a part of what makes you tick. It may not be perfect, and it feels scary, but that is one of the most valuable parts of this exercise. In talking to a partner about your feelings and what leads you to feel these feelings is a valuable part of intimacy. It’s about getting to know each other better.

And realising that loving someone is about loving them even when they let you down.

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What Do You Want In Your Relationship?

December 25, 2008 | Leave a Comment

From a friend:


A very valuable lesson to learn …

Interesting quote from the movie ‘Why did I get married?

In most cases, especially in relationships, you will only get 80% of what you NEED and you will hardly get the other 20% that you WANT in your relationship.

There is always another person (man or women) that you will meet and that will offer you the other 20% which is lacking in your relationship that you WANT And believe me, 20% looks really good when you are not getting it at all in your current relationship.

But the problem is that you will always be tempted to leave that good 80% that you know you have, thinking that you will get something better with the other 20% that you WANT

But as reality has proven, in most cases, you will always end up with having the 20% that you WANT and loosing the 80% that you really NEED and that you already had.

Be careful in deciding between what you WANT and NEED in your life.

Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don’t have.

“Wow, this girl in my office is a real looker. But it’s not her Wynona Rider features that got me. I’m crazy about her because she’s also understanding, intelligent, tender – so many things that my spouse is not.”

Somewhere along the way, you’ll find a woman or a man who will be more charming or sensitive. More alluring. More thoughtful. Richer. Have greater sex appeal. And you will find a woman or man who will need you and pursue you and go look over you more than your spouse ever did.

Because no wife or husband is perfect. Because a spouse will only have 80% of what you’re looking for. So adultery takes place when a husband or wife looks for the missing 20%. Let’s say your wife is melancholic by nature.

You may find yourself drawn to the pretty clerk who has a cherry laugh no matter what she says:
“I broke my arm yesterday, Hahahaha . . ..”

Or because your wife is a homebody in slippers and pajamas, smelling of garlic and fish oil, you may fall for a fresh-smelling young sales representative that visits your office in a sharp black blazer, high heels, and a red pencil-cut skirt Or because your husband is the quiet type, your heart may skip a beat when you meet an old college flame who has the makings of a talk show host.

But wait! That’s only 20% of what you don’t have.

Don’t throw away the 80% that you already have!

That’s not all. Add to your spouse’s 80% the 100% that represents all the years that you have been with each other. The storms you have weathered together. The unforgettable moments of sadness and joy as a couple. The many adjustments you have made to love the other. The wealth of memories that you’ve accumulated as lovers.

Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don’t have.

But faithfulness happens when you start thanking God for what you already have.

But I’m not just talking about marriage.

I’m talking about life!

About your jobs.
About your friends.
About your children.
About your lifestyles.

Are you like the economy airline passenger that perennially peeks through the door of the first class cabin, obsessed with what he’s missing? ‘They have got more leg room! Oh my, their food is served in porcelain! Wow, their seats recline at an 80% angle and they’ve got personal videos!’

I guarantee you’ll be miserable for the entire trip! Don’t live your life like that. Forget about what the world says is first class. Do you know that there are many first class passengers who are miserable in first class because they are not flying in a private Lear Jet?

The main message???

If you start appreciating what you have right now, wherever you are, you are first class!

My So Called Married Life

December 22, 2008 | Leave a Comment

I posted here a problem faced by a young mother of two. I hope readers can share their views to help the mother to provide the best for her children and hopefully, her marriage.

When we were engaged, I could see that my fiancé was lazy to work. However because I love him, I just ignored that. We have been married for 2 years and have two kids. My husband had quit his job, he said he wanted to do freelance. What I can see is that he just sitting at the café with his laptop, and maybe doing some investment. I think he feel secured because I’m working in an oil and gas company.

To my friends, I have a happy marriage. Maybe because we got two kids although we just been married for two years. The truth is we seldom make love, and there was a time when we don’t make love for 6 months. He doesn’t give attention that I wanted, he and his own world. He went out every night and only be back at dawn. How long can I tolerate him? If the kid falls sick, I’m the one who has to bring her to hospital. When I admitted to the hospital, he didn’t visit me. He was sleeping at home. He doesn’t care about me. What I got from this marriage? Just burden, burden and burden.

I have talk to him several times about it. But he doesn’t change. He has been doing his so called freelance work for a year now. I don’t see any money coming in. I’m the one who has to support the family. He is enjoying himself at the café with his friends, I’m suffering at home.

I have asked him to go for marriage counseling which he refused. He said if I want a divorce, just ask for it. I have asked for a divorce, but he doesn’t want a divorce.

What should I do? I can’t take it anymore. Please help me save my marriage.

Pre Marriage Counseling – The Answer to a Long and Healthy Marriage!

December 20, 2008 | Leave a Comment

There is no need to ask whether pre marriage counseling is for you or not. The answer is always YES. Pre marriage counseling is a psychological counseling given to couples before marriage. It is given to prepare them for and make them aware of possible marital issues that they may encounter in their marriage. This is quite important, as marriage experts say that pre marriage counseling helps reduce the possibility of divorce of up to thirty percent.

Counseling is usually given by a religious adviser and can range from two meetings to four meetings. The couple can choose what the content of the counseling will have as well as the amount of service to be given. It is also possible that the counseling be religion-neutral. No matter what the couple chooses, the counseling should include activities that allow them to adapt real skills, and give them real expectations and education about themselves and their partners so they can face the obstacles that they may encounter in their commitment as a married couple.

When looking for a good pre marriage counselor, it is important to research well on each prospect to get the best results. Make sure that the pre marriage counseling deals with your compatibility as a couple, your expectations, proper communication skills, your long-term goals, how to resolve conflicts, families, and intimacy and sexuality. It is also important to ask whether the counseling will handle a big or small group. Usually, a small group setting can be more engaging and more focused, but on the other hand, being part of a big group may yield advantages as well such as being more systematic and comprehensive. If working with a group, ask whether the approach is flexible enough to accommodate all the couples involved. Some skills are best developed on a one-couple counseling session.

Answering these questions will help you to resolve much better what kind of pre marriage counseling to consider as well as what pre marriage counselor to go to. Pre marriage counseling is very important to strengthen a couple’s relationship and constructively prepare both individuals, especially while they still have plenty of positive energy in their relationship. Couples nowadays face more pressure and maybe less support than before, which is why this counseling can be a big help. It is important to build a strong foundation before committing into this life-changing event. Without this strong foundation, it becomes easier to be overwhelmed by the pressure or the stress that may occur.

Living together is not enough to prove that you are ready for marriage. Do not be afraid of the issues that may be raised when you get into counseling. This will not make you love each other less, but instead help you both to work out these issues early on in the relationship with the help of an expert so to help you avoid encountering this kind of conflict when you are already a married couple.

Contributed by: Want to eliminate your pre marriage counseling? Don’t worry – you can save and strengthen it now! Get free award winning advice on how to save your marriage at

Unhappy Marriages Cost Businesses $6.8 Billion a Year

December 14, 2008 | Leave a Comment

All businesses are concerned with boosting productivity and reducing health care costs and employee turnover. This combination has become even more crucial in today’s competitive economy. Often missed, however, is the significant economic cost businesses actually bear for carrying employees on the payroll who are unhappily married or undergoing divorce.

Whether corporate America notices it or not, employees in failing relationships are costing it about $6.8 billion a year. Employees with relationship woes are frequently absent or sick, present at their desks in body but not spirit, or just too stressed out to do their jobs properly. Stress-related problems cost corporate America $300 billion a year.

What is more, couples who aren’t getting along are more likely to be troubled by domestic violence in an attempt to “solve” their conflict, which costs corporate America 7.9 million in lost work days each year. In addition, employees in such relationships are more prone to substance abuse problems and depression that, in turn, lead to higher health care costs.

As bad as failing marriages are for corporate America, the financial fallout for divorce is no better. A 2006 research study found that the projected cost to a company of an employee making $20 an hour who gets divorced is more than $8,000. In fact, recently divorced employees spend eight percent of their work days away from work because of relationship-related issues. That is the equivalent of being absent from work an entire month!

Even more telling, researchers have found that it can take as many as five years for employee productivity to return to what it was before an employee got divorced.

So far I have examined what happens to employees in troubled relationships who stay on the job. But what happens if the stress of a bad marriage or difficult divorce leads an employee to quit? The financial impact of this situation varies depending on whether the employee occupied a blue collar position or managerial post. A company forced to replace a blue collar worker will spend 150 percent of his total benefit package to do so. Meanwhile, the true cost of replacing a manager is 250 percent of his total benefit package.

As a marriage and family therapist who often consults with large corporations, I am offering these figures not just to illuminate a little-known problem but to suggest a solution. I believe it is imperative that all executives concerned with the welfare of their employees realize that the health of employees’ marriages is directly correlated with the health of their business’s bottom line. Companies can not afford to turn a blind eye to or ignore the marital problems of their employees. Instead they must look for creative ways to help their employees improve their relationships. This will be a win-win situation for everyone – the employees and their spouses who can enjoy the benefits of a strong union, and the employers who stand to gain stable and happier employees who are more able to make a strong contribution to the day to day operations of the companies for which they work. Of course, then employees and their families are spared the high emotional cost of marital turmoil and divorce as well.

About the Author: Beth Erickson is a marriage and family therapist, radio host, book author and developer of “The Best Part of Your Life” program for executives, entrepreneurs and their spouses. Dr. Beth has appeared on NPR and in Cosmo, USA Today and other national media.

Visit to receive email updates from her and take a marriage assessment quiz that lets you know how your marriage stacks up against others. And visit if you want to ask her a question

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