It did not phase me so much the first time I heard a client answer, " I don't know what I want." I chalked it up to someone not in touch with who they were. Now, it is almost common to hear this phrase. Hearing "I don't know what I want from a marriage" causes my coaching radar to beep. These couples have put the marriages and relationships on auto pilot. A marriage on auto pilot requires no attention, no accountability, no worry, and therefore no thought for the future. A marriage on auto pilot means someone else will pick up the pieces or "we will just think about it another day."
Let's look at a few examples of what auto pilot looks like a marriage:
Differing situations of lack of attention
Playing video games, texting, reading the paper or book, listening with earphones to iPod. All these forms of entertainment are not meant to neglect or create lack of attention. They are ways to entertain us or help us chill out. But many who want to talk, be listened to or spend time with their spouse may will find these all a hindrance to full attention and quality time.
Did you know you have three options?
1. turn the devise off or put down the book
2. ask if your partner to give you x number of minutes to finish (and then follow through)
3. ignore your partner and send the message that you do not care.
The best option is to take control of your relationship by not allowing technology to suck you in.
Sweeping it under the rug syndrome
If you experience this syndrome don't fret. Maybe you or your partner are just not good at expressing your feelings. If you are unable to air your pent up feelings you could be sweeping them under the rug. Soon there will be a lump under that rug. That lump will likely cause you to trip over it as you react to that same old issue. This lashing out (reaction) is from stuffing your feelings and thoughts.
See if this is a doable remedy.
Take notes in your phone or tablet of what happened and how it made you feel. Be sure to think of a way you would like it handled next time. This little exercise will allow you to vent and will give you the words to say whenyou have the ability to talk it out with your partner. Venting is a way to release the pressure. Writing is a safe way to express your feelings in safety. But complete the steps by deciding what or how you would like the issue to be solved and then ask to explain this to your spouse. You will find that these small changes can help in big ways.
Having a don't care attitude
This kind of attitude is dangerous for your marriage. A marriage partnership is all about the caring and loving of one another. It is about having your partner's back, them supporting you as well. A great way to bring concern and caring back in your relationship is to imagine not having your partner, home, job, or family when you woke up the next day. We usually take for granted our partners and this can easily turn into not caring.
Living with head in the clouds
Are you a dreamer? Do you dream of the future and forget to live in the present. Do you wish that one day you would be happy. Maybe you secretly wish your partner would change so your life would be happier. Real life means excepting the decisions you have made and making the best by being the best you. Live in the now. Live each day as it was your last and love your partner warts and all.
Not knowing what we want is the catalyst to a failing marriage. Turn off autopilot and manage your marriage. Take control again. Wake up and open your eyes; notice little things; start eye contact; smile more; tell jokes; do extra curricula activities; show appreciation.
Debbie Kessler loves her husband, Wally Kessler. She is a southern girl who loves Jesus and loves building up people to do Good Works of Love.