Natalie had lost herself in her marriage. She was constantly running errands for her children, husband and checking in on both sets of parents, that she had neglected her own needs. By her own admission, she was far too busy and stressed to enjoy life. David her husband was also stressed, travelling and working long hours to pay for all the growing household expenses. Both felt unappreciated, drained of energy and frustrated at the lack of attention, love and care they were receiving. They were angry at each other, resentment and distance was building. The only thing they thought would get them out of this difficult time and tension was if each other would change and make them happy! They had spent many months and years wishing time away and hoping for change by the time they had met me. This is a natural consequence of losing touch with our innermost desires, neglecting ourselves and expecting our partner to be our everything.

So welcome to How to Fix A Struggling Marriage – Step #1

In this article, I will outline the first step to having a close relationship and explain how to fix a struggling marriage

STEP #1 Part 1 How to Fix a Struggling Marriage

Accepting and Loving Yourself

Ironically the first step to having an intimate relationship starts with ourselves. For true intimacy, we need to be fully present in all our glory. To be fully present we need to be connected to all parts of ourselves, accept all parts of ourselves, even those we dislike or that make us feel uncomfortable, ashamed or vulnerable. When we deny parts of ourselves, we tend to attract them and notice them more in our partners. When we accept our imperfections it allows us to just be, be who we are and therefore we are able to connect more deeply.

We have all heard the statement

“you need to love yourself before you can truly love others”

I used to think this line was a load of rubbish, to be honest. I didn’t believe it. I thought I don’t love myself much but I can easily love other people. Being hard on myself was how I got so far in life, I pushed myself with criticism and not accepting anything less than perfection and never gave myself a rest. From others, I took criticism and talked down or refused the praise I was getting.

It wasn’t until I finally did learn to love myself fully, I found I could love more people and open my heart wider and wider to all people. People that may have annoyed, angered or repulsed me before, I had love for. I see loving yourself more as a journey, it takes practice and you get better at it over time. I began my journey of self-acceptance and love 6 years ago and I’m always improving.

First I started by not criticising myself. That was a big step for me, I used to wake up and moan at myself from the moment I woke up. I had done this for 15 years, so it had become a habit. I would call myself ugly, stupid, fat, some days. Other days I would criticise what I said, what I ate, what I drank, how much work I got done, how much money I saved, it was exhausting! I was my biggest critic and own worst enemy. Consumed with so much self-hate, I was attracting in people who also had a lot of hate in them, either towards others or themselves. For sure this was blocking love in and by blocking love in, love was not pouring out. Love HAS to flow for intimacy to flow.

The great thing about accepting yourself is that you can also accept others attitudes, behaviours and actions more easily. Without getting bothered by them. There is a great saying in NLP “everybody is doing the best they can with the resources they have.” Once I adopted that as a core belief forgiveness came easily, I forgave my mum for the heartache and abuse, I forgave my dad for leaving, I forgave my ex for not wanting to commit to me, and most importantly I forgave myself for all the misery I had put myself through.

What do you need to love more about yourself, what do you need to accept about yourself and what in your life needs your care and attention?

STEP #1 – Part 2 How to Fix a Struggling Marriage

Putting it into ACTION through Self-Care

The next step is demonstrating your self-acceptance and love, by taking care of your feelings, needs, mind, body and spirit.

I used to think I don’t have time for a spiritual practice or exercise. It was always put on my list of when I have this setup, then I will take more time out for me or when I earn this much, I will be able to do that.

However, I learnt never to short-change yourself in business and relationships. You deserve to put money aside for you and pay yourself first, no matter how well your business is doing, and relaxation and fun time for yourself in life and close relationships is also crucial.

The key here is to be in touch with your own feelings and needs and then get into action and take care of those needs. Either by sharing your desires with your partner or by finding out ways to get your needs met. Your partner can never meet all of your needs.

If you are ignoring your own needs and feelings in the relationship and life more generally it will impact your happiness and this will impact the relationship and your closeness. If you have lost yourself and no longer know what makes you happy and fulfilled, then you won’t be able to bring your fullness into the relationship. When you neglect yourself, it is hard to find or experience any real joy in life.

The more you can focus on yourself, your happiness, your needs, dreams and wants, the better version of yourself you will become. Relationships flourish when both are being the best versions of themselves and are accepted fully for who they are. This is especially true when trying to fix a struggling marriage, in order to repair the connection and closeness, you need to feel positive. Positive with life, your partner overall and about the future.

STEP #1 – Part 3 How to Fix a Struggling Marriage –

Inject more Positivity into Your Lives

If you are in a bad spot; you need HOPE! Hope can pull you through a and this hope will inspire you to take action.

A lack of positivity is often what destroys marriages most. Sadly I see this all the time. Negativity is the enemy. As negativity becomes a feeding ground for criticism and seeing only wrongs with your partner and in the relationship. The more you focus on what is bad, the more negative things you will attract and the more resentment will build. So this is why self-care is important for an intimate, close and happy relationship. If you are taking care of your energy, happiness and health, you will be in a far better position to stir the relationship back into a positive one. Low self-esteem, depression, addictions and exhaustion, will keep a relationship operating on a low or aggressive way.

So what I really wanted to get across is that self-care, self-love, or whatever you want to call it, is not selfish, it is not something that should be ignored. Nearly all the husbands and wives I’ve worked with would rather see their spouse a bit less or accept fewer things being done around the house, or have a smaller home or garden for a more relaxed, kinder and happier environment.

Don’t delay, Start today

Author's Bio: 

Nicola Beer is an International Relationship & Divorce Coach who helps her clients find peace and create a new beginning after Marriage Breakdown and Divorce. This includes helping couples on the verge of a breakup to resolve their relationship issues once and for all so that they can revive the love, passion, respect, and fun that's been missing.

As well as helping clients during and after Divorce to manage stress, create more income and adjust to new financial realities, redefine who they are, create a new social life, and when they are ready to attract someone great. Nicola also runs 2 parenting programs that support children through and after divorce

Nicola has combined 11 years' experience helping people with emotional issues. This comprises 7 years private coaching and 4 years as a volunteer for the Samaritans where she supported callers dealing with any emotional distress. She is UK certified in Coaching, Grief Recovery for Adults and Children, NLP, Time Line Therapy, Hypnosis.

Nicola's passion for supporting people before, during and after divorce comes from her own childhood, where due to the stress of divorce her mother suffered a mental breakdown. As 1 of 5 children the divorce was devastating for her family and affected each of her family in different ways. More recently Nicola's older sister with 4 children is going through a difficult divorce. Having experienced and seen the pain and stress associated with divorce Nicola is focused on proving solutions. She knows divorce doesn't have to mean disaster and takes her clients and their children from surviving to thriving. She is equally passionate about saving marriages, so has a program to overcome relationship problems.

Nicola works with expats and locals, Muslims and Non-Muslims from all over the world, mainly from Dubai, London, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, either in person for a 2 day intensive package or further afield US, Australia via video conference and phone.