As I mentioned in my previous article, Husband #2 and I are not in marriage counseling and we’re not involved in deep relationship talks, so what am I doing to encourage healing and restore a romantic relationship? My last post was about looking for the exceptions Today I’ll talk about something I learned from another source: Marriage Fitness by Mort Fertel.
The book is interesting and easy to read and will give you some very practical information on improving your relationship whether you’ve been together 1 year or 100 years. One of the major points for fixing your marriage is to temporarily set aside all problems and concentrate on connecting with each other.
What that meant for me was no talk about how I felt neglected, how husband was a work-aholic who put his clients before his home life, no nagging, no expectations, no negativity. NO BLAMING.
Instead, we were to concentrate on rediscovering each other and essentially starting fresh. Since we’re separated and live many miles apart, I had to really take advantage of the rare opportunities I was given when we did get together. Simple things, like a weekly phone call, turned into golden moments to connect.
And I did this all on my own, without Husband #2’s participation, once again showing that I could change our relationship just by changing my own actions and reactions.
Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. Husband #2 and I have been in our downward spiral for so long that it was second nature. He knew which buttons to push to get my blood pressure boiling. I knew what words to say to him to deflate his ego. Breaking my side of the habit was tough as he continued to poke me like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Only I wasn’t laughing.
So in the midst of filing divorce papers, Husband #2 asked me to join him for a weekend away, somewhere neutral, halfway between here and there. I knew a lawyer had been contacted by this time but what I didn’t know was that Husband #2 had received the divorce papers from the court. All he had to do was hand the envelope to me and it would be my responsibility to respond to his petition.
But he didn’t give me the papers.
We decided (jointly) to have a good weekend together and not talk about our relationship. And that’s what we did.
A month later I received a surprising phone call from Husband #2 telling me that he was withdrawing the divorce petition. Plans were made to have a second meeting in January.
Just as expected, we had another great long weekend together. Coffee shops, romantic dinners, hot sex, wine tastings, and even a deep, meaningful conversation about Husband #2’s aging parents. We connected again.
Upon returning from our second weekend trip together, almost like karma, the mail contained a letter from the courts showing the official withdrawal of the divorce petition. I know that letter represents more than just the divorce withdrawal. It represents Husband #2’s return to hope…hope regarding our relationship and a possible future together. It represents a certain level of comfort and security that Husband #2 has started feeling in regards to me.
And here’s where the temporary part comes in…
After only two get-togethers, we’ve started to approach each other with concerns and insights from our previous relationship…the old marriage. We’ve started to talk about what we want and need out of a future relationship. We’re able to discuss our downward spiral without defensiveness and fingerpointing. We’ve each taken responsibility for the parts we played in our marriage’s demise.
And with all that, we scheduled our third visit to take place in March. Where we’ll concentrate on building even more of a connection.