What If My Spouse isn’t Interested
Creating a Happy Marriage with an Unwilling Partner
In the last installment of our e-course: What If My Spouse isn’t Interested- 6 Things You Can Do to Create a Happy Marriage with an Unwilling Partner, you learned the importance of commitment to your relationship. In this installment of 6 things you Can Do to Create a Happy Marriage with an Unwilling Partner, we will discuss the 3rd thing you can do to create a happy marriage with an unwilling partner- take responsibility for your role in your relationship.
Step #3 Take Responsibility
When you change the way you “show up” in relationship, you may notice that your spouse’s resistance begins to wane and many of your complaints about your spouse disappear, creating a happy marriage.
One of my favorite stories is of the wife who would constantly ask her husband to do things for her. She was often faced with resistance. When she would ask him something, he would not provide a straight answer. He was full of excuses. As she started taking more responsibility around the house, cooking dinners, doing the laundry, jobs that her husband previously did, something interesting happened. Not only was he happier, he was much more responsive.
He no longer found himself threatened or annoyed by her requests because he knew that by taking on the role of the homemaker, she had taken action to give him more space. What changed? She changed and not because of his complaints or because she felt she had to. She changed from a place of health and well-being. After certain events triggered her to take a look at why she’d been avoiding doing basic homemaking tasks in the past, she became conscious about her feelings of resistance to being a homemaker. With that consciousness, she was able to make a decision that in the best interests of her family that she needed to take more responsibility around the house. This change allowed her husband, always vigilant for fear of being taken advantage of, to relax.
Change in a relationship is usually organic. It definitely need not be forced and it doesn’t even require both partners to “buy in”. When we take little steps to change ourselves and the way show up in our relationship, those moves help shift the relationship. Most relationship patterns stem from a lack of safety. When we feel unsafe we revert to self-preservation techniques, just as the husband did in the story. When we can add safety to the relationship, the annoying resistance we face from our spouse will often subside. Think of what you do to contribute to the state of your relationship. What parts can you take ownership for? What stretches can you make to do things a bit different? Although you may feel that your unwilling spouse is largely to blame, be the bigger one and make the change. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results!
Summary of what you learned in Lesson 3
- Take responsibility for your role in the relationship
- Change is usually organic
- Safety removes your spouse’s resistance
- Even if you feel you are not at fault, the more you change the more your spouse will