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June 20, 2024 27 mins

Welcome to another episode of One Hot Mess with Brittany! In today's episode, we delve into the critical decision of whether to stay or leave a relationship or marriage. We explore the motivations behind these choices and how understanding them can help you take control of your future.

We discuss how moving towards a goal, such as raising children together or working on personal issues, can strengthen a marriage, while staying out of fear may indicate a lack of healthy connection. We also examine the differences between fear-based and action-based decision-making and their impacts on happiness and self-esteem.

Furthermore, we introduce an eight-step rescue plan for couples facing marital problems, focusing on constructive communication, eliminating negative behaviors, and increasing positive interactions. We emphasize the importance of balancing personal needs with the needs of the family and making decisions that align with your truth.

Lastly, we provide tips on avoiding behaviors that sabotage relationships, especially when one partner wants out. These include avoiding blame, criticism, controlling behaviors, and emotional shutdowns.

Tune in to gain valuable insights and practical advice on navigating the complexities of relationships and making empowered decisions. Don't forget to follow and share One Hot Mess with a friend!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
(00:03):
Hi guys, it's Brittany and welcome to another episode of One Hot Mess.
Music.
Hi guys, okay y'all, so today we're going to be talking about how do you choose

(00:27):
whether Whether to stay or go in a relationship or a marriage,
knowing what is behind your decision, it can help you take control of your future.
So let's get into it.
If the desire to stay married is based on moving forward or toward a goal,

(00:51):
for example, like I want to raise my children in one house with two parents,
or I want to work on my anger issues and be a better spouse and parent,
the person is more likely to stay married.
On the other hand, when people explain that they are staying in the marriage to avoid pain or fear,

(01:14):
like I'm staying because I'm afraid of not seeing my children every day or I
don't know how I would make ends meet without my spouse,
or no one will ever love me like this again well this indicates that the marriage
doesn't have much healthy glue and those marriages aren't as likely to continue.

(01:41):
And,
those who are contemplating leaving to move toward a goal are more likely to
actually especially leave in those who are averting pain or potential consequences.
Like examples of going toward a goal or away from a fear are,

(02:03):
I want more out of life than staying in an unhappy marriage,
or I need to get away from this abuse.
All of the reasons people have for making their decisions have merit.
It's a personal choice. and no one outside of the couple really has a right

(02:26):
to judge another for whichever path they choose.
So the point in this episode is not to make anyone feel ashamed or judged for
any decisions to say or go, but it's meant to encourage people to maybe take
a deeper look at what the truth is and where their authenticity lies.

(02:48):
Anyone moving toward a goal like providing a stable home for the kids or choosing
to be more independent independent,
is going to feel better about their situation than someone who is running away
from something or trying to avoid something like being alone.

(03:09):
And those who are motivated primarily by avoiding something are usually fear-based people.
These people see the world through the eyes of whatever
problems and negative repercussions might
arise from their actions and they are often imprisoned
by their fears not only

(03:31):
as they pertain to deciding whether
to stay in or leave their marriages but in all areas of their lives these people
will more likely stay in unhappy and an unfulfilled situation with the misguided
belief that they are staying safe.

(03:55):
Now, action-based or faith-based people have the opposite view of the world.
When they set their sights on a goal, they see what opportunities and benefits
might come from moving forward.
And these people are more willing to take risks and go for what they want,
and they will also be less likely to settle for less than what they believe that they deserve.

(04:20):
And of course, you can be partially both fear-based and action-based,
but whichever mode is dominant will usually win the arguments in your mind about whether to stay or go.
Action-based people tend to be happier and have higher self-esteem.
And the good news is that these aspects of decision-making are not necessarily set in stone.

(04:46):
If you are primarily a fear-based person but would rather be action-based,
you can push through your fears and accomplish your goals.
Most people just need some training or support, a little nudge to make some
changes, but it is an alteration to anyone or that anyone can make.

(05:14):
And make what you need a priority. With a decision as big as whether or not
to stay married, it is imperative that you consider the possible ramifications.
Your leaving may have on others, but you must also balance that decision with your own need.

(05:39):
Where people sometimes go wrong in such a decision is when they forego their
own needs and focus primarily on meeting the needs of their spouses or children or on the contrary,
they consider only their own needs and ignore the potential impact on their children and spouses.

(06:03):
So maybe they don't want to divorce because they're afraid of losing the co-parenting
relationship or the spouse's income,
only to realize at some point that they alone already carry that load of responsibilities
and that their spouse never contributed that much to the marriage.

(06:28):
You know, which is crazy. But when people have these revelations,
they become ready to stop making choices based on what might happen.
Even though breakups are difficult, a difficult transition or,
you know, almost pretty much everybody letting go of an unhealthy relationship

(06:50):
is the best decision that you can ever make.
And just about every decision we have to make in life, it entails trade-offs.
Going through a divorce is hard.
Staying in a bad marriage is hard.
Even so, if your truth is you believe leaving is what you need to do,

(07:15):
well, it's important to look beyond the
immediate challenges you will face and factor in the benefits that that might
await further into the future and one exercise you can do to project out five
years and ask yourself where you want to be in your life.

(07:39):
If you can't stand thinking about one of those scenarios, that may just be your
indication of what to do.
If you're not happy, but you feel you just need to sacrifice yourself for a
few more years until the kids are launched and your spirit.

(08:02):
Won't, you know, kind of drown in the meantime, then that may be the way to go.
But remember that there will be no easy path or path without pain.
The pain of doing something that goes against your truth, it will perpetuate
your pain, whereas the pain of healing has an end.

(08:26):
If your relationship can be salvaged, it is absolutely worth putting in the
work, but if your gut is telling you it's time to leave, it's worth enduring
the pain of divorce and getting to the other side.
Music.

(08:49):
You,
Okay, so now we're going to go over an eight-step rescue plan if you are having marriage problems.
Because marriage problems, they need fixing, not ignoring, of course.

(09:10):
So what transitions couples from desperation about their difficulties to delight
in sharing their lives together?
Well here is an
eight-step pathway that you
can think about do follow whatever and this is actually this was came up with

(09:38):
came up with a psychologist came up with this who specializes in marriage rescue
for couples facing marital problems.
So yes. So first of all, you want to make a list of all the issues about which
you have disagreements.
And this includes the issues that you refrain from talking about out of fear

(10:02):
that talking might lead to arguing.
Your self-help treatment will
be complete when you have both found mutually agreeable solutions to all of
these issues and have learned the skills to resolve new issues as they arise
with win-win solutions and if the list it seems.

(10:29):
Interminable because you fight about everything from where
you should live to the time of day odds are the problem is less that you are
facing some extraordinarily challenging differences rather it's more likely
that your manner of talking with each other needs a major upgrade.

(10:51):
Next, fix your focus solidly on yourself.
Attempts to get your partner to change invite defensiveness.
No one likes being told that they're doing things wrong or far worse,
that they are a bad person.
So it's better for both of you to each use your energies and your intelligence

(11:15):
to figure out what you could do differently.
So a question that can get you started, what would enable you to stay loving
and good-humored even if the frustrating pieces in your spouse's repertoire never get an upgrade?
That's how to become self-centered in the best sense.

(11:37):
If both of you are seeking to facilitate your own upgrades, the marriage will blossom.
All right, next up is cut the crap. The point is that negative crap that you
give each other is totally unhelpful.
It only taints a positive relationship.
That means no more criticism, complaints, blame, accusations,

(12:01):
anger, sarcasm, mean digs, snide remarks. You get the point, right?
No more anger escalations either.
Just stay in the calm zone. exit early and often if
either of you is beginning to get heated and learn to
calm yourself and then re-engage and be
cooperative research psychologist john gottman has found that marriages generally

(12:28):
survive if the ratio of good to bad interactions is five to one do you want
to barely survive or do you want to save the marriage in a way that will make
it thrive Thank you for watching.
So, yeah, cut the shit, y'all.
And learn how to express concerns constructively. And a simple way to do that

(12:51):
in sensitive conversations is to stick with this sentence starter options, okay?
Okay, so you're encouraged to use, well, it's actually not really here,

(13:11):
but yes, I don't really know where I was going with that one.
They're just starter phrases that
you're encouraged to use in checking
how to start each comment that might be
sensitive or on topics that you
know could be kind of prickly like i

(13:35):
feel followed by a one
word feeling such as anxious or sad
and my concern is I would like to and note never use I would like you to and
also how would you feel about that or what are your thoughts on that learn how

(13:58):
to make decisions cooperatively.
Collaborative decision making so win-win decision making aims for a plan of
action that That pleases you both.
No more insistence designed to get your way.
Instead, when you have differences, quietly express your underlying concerns,

(14:21):
listen calmly to understand your partner's concerns, and then create a solution
that's responsive to both of your concerns.
Practice this skill set on all the issues you listed in the very first step,
and you may be amazed to discover that even on issues that seemed intractable,

(14:45):
you will be able to co-create solutions that work for the both of you.
And you're going to need to eliminate the three A's that ruin marriages,
affairs, addictions, and excessive anger.
They are deal breakers. They are out of bounds in a healthy the marriage,
fix the habit, or it's game over.

(15:07):
If you or your spouse has these problems, saving this kind of marriage could be a mistaken goal.
Better to end a marriage than to continue a marriage with these hurtful habits. Better yet, it's...
For each of you to figure out what you can do differently in the future.

(15:28):
The one with the A habit needs to figure out how to end it and the partner needs
to heal and also to learn alternatives to tolerating the habit.
Most importantly, especially if you have children who need you to learn how
to be more emotionally healthy as individuals and as a couple,

(15:49):
it's for the two of you to both to commit
to building a new kind of marriage that is in the old marriage build a new one
with the same partner build a marriage where there are zero affairs addictions
or excessive anger and instead abounding love and trust makes sense to me.

(16:13):
And radically increase the positive energies you give your partner you know
smile more touch more hug more, more eye kisses, more sex, more shared time
and shared projects, more appreciation,
more dwelling on what you like about your partner.
Respond more often with agreement in response to things your partner says that

(16:35):
in the past you might have answered with, but you know, listening is loving,
especially when you are listening to
take in information, not to show what's wrong with what your partner says,
or to show that you know more, help out more, give more praise and more gratitude,

(16:58):
do more fun activities together, laugh and joke more, do new things, go new places together.
The best things in life really are free, and the more positives you give, the more you will get.
And maybe even look back at your parents' marriage and assess its strengths
and weaknesses and decide what you want to do differently.

(17:22):
When people marry, they bring along a recording in their head of how their parents
treated each other as well as how they were treated by their parents.
These relationships are where people learn patterns of interacting for intimate relationships,
Relationships decide consciously what to keep from your parents and what to do differently.

(17:49):
So are you ready to get started? Would you expect to drive a car without first taking driver's ed?
Search out books and marriage courses to learn the communication and the conflict
resolution skills for marriage partnership.
And then in addition to ending your marriage problems, you will make your partnership a loving success.

(18:17):
Hopefully, I hope that for everyone.
So if you are having marriage issues, I really truly hope that you got some
insight from this and that this could help you in even the tiniest way possible.
Music.

(18:43):
All right, say your partner does want out.
Well, here's five behaviors to avoid if that is the case and avoid sabotaging
the success of your marriage.
So if you're leaning out of your marriage and considering separation or divorce,
this is for you to listen to just really quickly.

(19:04):
If you're leaning into your marriage and are willing to do whatever it takes
to save your relationship, this, of course, is also for you to listen to.
But research indicates that 30% of couples seeking marriage counseling have
one spouse who is leaning into the marriage and one spouse who's leaning out.

(19:26):
So in other words, one person is all in and wants to do everything possible
to save the relationship, while the other is deeply wrestling with whether or
not they want the relationship to continue.
You and many couples in this predicament have worked tirelessly in therapy and
on their own to save the relationship and often well.

(19:53):
Of course they are hopefully
going to therapy to you
know try to save what is left of their relationship or
their marriage and with a
therapist they can work you can work
with the therapist on setting

(20:14):
ground rules for communication and daily living especially
in one-in-one-out relationships and
that's because the internal problems each spouse is facing and deciding whether
to stay combined with the often painful cycles and external problems that that
have led them to seek counseling continue to heighten the tension in an already tense relationship.

(20:41):
And with this as a backdrop, in many cases, the leaning in partner's anxiety
increases because of the absence of knowing and or controlling the outcome,
and they start engaging in behavior that most likely will make things worse.
And in such a sensitive time, it's easy for either partner to engage in immature,

(21:03):
anger-fueled, or fear-based behavior.
If you're in such a relationship, please avoid these five behaviors.
Number one, don't blame your partner for all the problems in your relationship.
I mean, of course, when anxiety is high and you want to change the outcome and
gain some sense of control, it's natural to want to point fingers and get the

(21:26):
other partner to see what they have done to the relationship.
But instead of doing that, instead, you know, like avoid blaming and ask questions.
Listen to learn and speak to be
known to increase intimacy share statements about your experience and ask about
your partner's experience and stay true to your goal of staying calm and coming

(21:50):
from a grounded place focus on the work you need to do and what you can control in the situation,
number two don't criticize name call
or launch verbal attacks and this
is one of the easiest negative behaviors in which
to engage when two spouses are alone or when

(22:12):
they are talking about emotionally charged issues when you feel like you're
not getting through and you have no power over what your partner decides a lot
of people will use inflammatory statements to keep their partner engaged in a debate.
Remind yourself that you cannot control their behavior and find ways to be okay with the outcome.

(22:37):
Taking a breath before speaking and thinking through what you want to say can
help elevate the need to belittle or berate.
Number three is forego controlling behaviors and actions of jealousy.
So examples of this would include checking phone logs and text messages or crossing

(22:59):
personal boundaries that you wouldn't have crossed during the better moments of your partnership.
This is particularly difficult for marriages in which one partner has had an affair. bear.
But checking up on the offending spouse will likely only push them further away.

(23:21):
By exerting slightly more control, you're likely losing much more control.
Most people, they want their spouse to choose to be in the marriage because
they want to, not because they feel pressured or controlled to have to stay.
Number four refrain from a

(23:43):
constant state of intensity and seriousness
so many couples and spouses
on the verge of separation or divorce they fall
prey to a sustained emotional intensity that physically and mentally wears them
down it's like the body has gotten stuck in fight flight or freeze mode because

(24:06):
either spouse is always prepared to go on the defensive.
And you know one or both partners maintains such seriousness all the time that
it could be difficult for the other to want to communicate,
Don't erect extra walls when so many barriers have already been put into place.

(24:31):
Remember how to laugh or at least how to de-stress.
And number five, do not emotionally shut down.
During a time of uncertainty, it's tempting to shut down and close yourself off completely.
Completely being uncommunicative or

(24:52):
refusing to share how you really you're really feeling
over time it can suffocate the relationship this acting in behavior it tends
to pave the way for the future emotional outbursts or periods of depression
now while you don't want to be led by your emotions,

(25:15):
you also don't want to stifle them.
And this is a tough balance to negotiate, but an essential ingredient for the
sustainability of the relationship.
So for example, if your partner says something that hurts you,
instead of shutting down and going inward, you could respond by saying,
I'm sure you didn't mean to, but what you just said hurt my feeling.

(25:39):
Just get it out without expecting a certain response practice noticing and saying what you feel.
And the ultimate reason for following these steps when your relationship may
be on the brink of ending is that you can't control your partner's behavior.
You can only control you. If you choose to be loving, kind, honest,

(26:02):
and authentic and live from a place of emotional maturity,
the probability of a renewed connection will have a better environment in which to grow.
But again, even if you do all the right things that was just suggested,
you still cannot control your partner's reactions, beliefs, or emotions.

(26:26):
Solutions and when faced with a
marriage in crisis increase your self-awareness pay
attention to yourself and the ways to calm your
fear seek to become the best version of yourself even if that means individual
therapy or talking with a spiritual leader or discussing what's happening with

(26:48):
a close friend and when you learn how to calm your heart quiet your mind and
soothe your own anxieties,
you will definitely be making it easier for yourself and your spouse to re-enter
the marriage with a renewed focus and commitment.
And no matter what happens to the relationship, you take yourself with you wherever you go.

(27:10):
These are all beneficial tips for personal growth within any emotionally healthy relationship.
You might as well start practicing now regardless of of the current state of your marriage.
All right, y'all. That is it for today. Thank you so much for listening.

(27:35):
Please be sure to hit that follow button and share when hot mess with a friend
and I will talk to you guys next time. Have a beautiful day.
Music.
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