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The Remarried Life


Jun 2, 2020

Brian Mayer discusses staying fully mentally present in your remarriage.  Now more than ever with more stress and more technology, we can often find ourselves physically present but not completely connected with our spouse.  We will talk today about some ways to help you stay more present so that your connection with your spouse deepens.  In addition to listening to today’s episode, don’t forget to pick up my free Shared Parenting Checklist and get access to my email newsletter to get all kind of great information about upcoming shows and other blended family resources.  We hope you are inspired by today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • In today’s world it is harder than ever to be consistently and fully emotionally present in our relationships.
  • Ever catch yourself thinking about work, the kids, doing yardwork, working out, the need to check your email or social media.  Do you ever take your phone out to check something when your spouse is talking to you. 
  • Do you sometimes multi-task like watch a movie AND scroll through your phone?  Ugh, I am majorly guilty of this one. 
  • Are you in a relationship where one or both of you have accepted this as the norm or do you get highly upset with each other when this is happening?  I tend to see a wide variety of couples where this may or may not trigger upset or anger. 
  • No doubt the blended family situations with all that goes into that and the many ways in which you each are pulled can certainly be a hindrance. 
  • In my marriage therapy, I hear lots of stories about how one partner says they will be venting or even pouring out something emotional, and they will get blank stares or a very unempathetic response. 
  • I recently worked with a couple, where the male would actually change the subject or walk away when his wife would start to talk about something emotional.  Now interestingly, as we dug a little bit on this there were some keys to his past that played a role for sure which helped get a better understanding of why he might respond this way.
  • So let’s talk about some very common ways that we are not fully present: 
    • Thinking about other things and situations when our spouse is talking to us.  I find the longer we are in a specific relationship, the more frequent this tends to occur.     
    • Technology is something we have already discussed, but again spending too much time on our smartphones and things like social media within the phone. 
    • Sometimes latching on to something your spouse said that caused an emotion to stir.  At that point you are so locked on to that, that you no longer register much of what is going on with the rest of what is being said. 
    • General mental health struggles like anxiety and depression can inhibit staying fully present. Now sometimes those struggles are due to chemical imbalances and other times it can be related to stress and other outside factors like situations that are out of the norm. 
    • Finally when we get to a place of making judgments about the things we see.  When we do this we are not keeping up with what we are seeing and doing in the moment.  So for example when we see our spouse come home late, we will often make a snap judgment about what we think has happened and we can often carry on with these thoughts for quite awhile.  And to further complicate, we will then often assign a positive or negative spin on this. 
  • So now that you know what are some of the things to watch out for, let’s talk about some ways to help you be more fully present in your relationship:
    • Catch yourself making judgments.  Becoming more aware of this and working to reduce these will first help make you more fully present and secondly will hopefully make you happier. 
    • Mindfulness Meditation is a meditation where you work to become more aware of your thoughts, accept them and thus their power will usually reduce. 
    • Repeat back on occasion what you heard your partner say.  This actually helps you stay on the conversation but also makes your partner often feel heard and understood. 
    • Unload some stressful pieces of your life.  Are there things you can let go of?  Maybe it is something you do like yardwork?  Could you hire it out?  Maybe it is all of the volunteering you do?  Maybe it is something internal like the guilt you feel over your past divorce? 
    • If the inability to stay present is significant, make an appointment with a mental health care professional to look for something clinical like Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, OCD, or PTSD.  Medication could also be something to talk your doctor or psychiatrist about. 

 Resources:

 

Thanks For Listening!

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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.