Self and Marital Difficulties

Over many years, as a psychotherapist, I’ve witnessed a common denominator among couples going through marital difficulties. 

Often unnoticed, it’s this: a lack of or inadequate self love of one or both of the partners.

“I failed to love my self,” said a battered wife when the dust settled after more than 30 years of marriage to an abusive husband.

Healthy self-love. This an essential key to making relationships work.

How does self-love look like?

It means owning and taking responsibility over your problems. Your unresolved business. Your hang ups. Your lack of happiness.

Breaking “circular” unhealthy patterns of relating does not mean blaming the other.

Rather, it’s using the courage and energy that flows from the deeper parts of your self to adjust your own behavior.

The Serenity Prayer says it well:

“Lord, grant me the serenity 
     to accept the things I cannot change,
     the courage to change the things I can,
     and the wisdom to know the difference.”

So in marriage difficulties, whether the partner responds positively or negatively, whether things get better or worse, you’ll be at peace with your self. 

Such happens only when you have a loving, healthy relationship with your self.