How to Prevent Indecision From Dragging Your Marriage Down Wanting a closer relationship and achieving one can leave a lot of couples in a lurch. Don't let indecision suffocate your happiness, here's how. BY DR. NOELLE NELSON
Take action if you want to get closer and end an indecision.
“ You know what you don't want running your life anymore, but you haven't chosen what you do want running your life.”
It is night. The princess flees the dragon—running, running into the woods. The handsome young prince charges up on his valiant steed, grabs the fearful dragon by the throat, and shows the princess it was only a paper dragon, nothing to be feared at all. The princess sighs with relief. The prince looks soulfully into the princess's eyes:
Prince: "I will take you wherever you want to go, beautiful one, you have but to say where." Princess: "Where?" Prince: "Yes, tell me where you want to go." Princess: "I don't know where." Prince: "Well, where were you running to?" Princess: "I don't know, I was just running." Prince: "Forget it, lady, I'll just go find a princess who knows where she's going!"
Fairy tales aren't supposed to turn out this way. Marriage isn’t supposed to turn out this way either! Yet this is all too often what happens when you are motivated by fear, pain or anger. You know what you don't want running your life anymore, but you haven't chosen what you do want running your life.
You’re unhappy with your spouse. You feel that the two of you are drifting apart. Oh, the love is still there, that deep and enduring bond, but the intimacy, the shared laughter, the closeness is but a distant memory.
You tell your husband or wife you’re unhappy. You describe the pain of the missing closeness and all the rest. Your spouse, good soul that he/she is, commiserates. But when you look to your spouse for answers, for solutions—none are forthcoming.
Well, that’s no big surprise! Or it shouldn’t be. You’re the one who’s feeling the lack. Only you can know what will restore the closeness you seek. Maybe you don’t know exactly what will do it, but it is up to you to come up with some ideas, some suggestions, that will be the basis of a meaningful discussion between the two of you.
Let’s say you decide more quality time away from the kids, in-laws and work would be beneficial. Great! You pick Saturday night through Sunday morning as your "us" time. Commit to it. Try it for a few weeks. Book the sitter, turn off your mobiles, plan something you both enjoy, whether it’s a picnic under the stars or a B&B overnight.
Did it work? Was your choice something that increased your emotional/physical intimacy? If not, no big deal. Make a new choice. Try that for a few weeks. And so on.
Here’s the thing: what’s important isn’t that you get "The Answer" spot-on first time you choose a possible solution. What’s important is that you choose a solution.
Now you have the building blocks of what will eventually be the solution. Well, for now, anyway, because marriage is an ever-growing, ever-expanding phenomenon. But in the absence of committing to a solution, you’ll be like poor princess, left in the dust, still hurt, afraid, and alone.
Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., is a relationship expert, popular speaker in the U.S. and abroad, and author of nine best-selling books, including "Your Man is Wonderful" and "Dangerous Relationships." Dr. Nelson focuses on how we can all enjoy happy, fulfilling lives while accomplishing great things in love, at home and at work, as we appreciate ourselves, our world and all others. For more, visit www.noellenelson.com and follow her on Twitter @DrNoelleNelson and Google+.