Ask Coach Steph: Was My Marriage a Mistake?

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Coach Steph,

Hi! I my name is (NAME WITHHELD) and I am afraid that I have a big problem.  I got married six months ago to a man that I love, and who I thought loved me.  But since the wedding, he has been different.  He’s just not interested in me.  We don’t talk and we don’t go out.  He just comes home and sits in the house.  I have asked what is wrong, and I get a “nothing.”  I don’t know what to do, and now I am wondering if my marriage was a mistake.  I am scared to ask him if he wants a divorce. It’s just been six months.

Help!

-A.K.

Dear A.K.,

I am sorry to hear about your problem.  Recently, I hosted a mediation for a couple in a similar situation, and I am happy to say that now they are doing much better–and planning to stay together.  In your situation, first of all, know that the problem may or may not be you.  Perhaps he is overwhelmed by the new role of husband, or perhaps something has happened financially that is making him distant from you, because he fears he cannot be the husband you want, or that he promised you he would be–men do not do well, when their role of provider is tampered with.

The truth of the matter is, that perhaps you should–CALM AND NICELY–ask him if he wants a divorce (if and only if that feels right).  Asking can remove your fears and stop you from carrying that burden.  Secondly, perhaps being asked such a direct question might coax him into revealing what is really going on with him.  You have to be prepared that he might say yes; however, that is more than likely not the case.

Now…If the divorce question doesn’t feel right–don’t do it, an alternative is to tell him that you’re here and promise to be understanding, whenever he wants to talk…this might also pave the way for him to reveal the issue, if he was afraid of your reaction.  You must keep the promise to be understanding, by the way, or you could cause more damage.

The early stages of a marriage can sometimes be the hardest.  The two of you are merging lives, and trying to build a life together.  This can be stressful, especially if you have been on your own for quite some time.  Consider that this transition is also going on within each of you.  As you move into the roles of husband and wife, understand that most people have no REAL clue what it means to be married.  This is why we offer pre-and post-marital visioning programs, so that couples can set their expectations together, and then live up to them in peaceful co-existence, versus just being married, and having no clue what that means to you individually or collectively.

Check out Allison Vesterfelt’s six tips after six months of marriage…here.

In conclusion, you cannot go on living like this.  I am sure that there is a fair amount of hurt in your heart at this time, and my prayer will be that you’re healed so you may go forward without pain–and the baggage that the pain brings.  Again, I caution you to ask about divorce only if it feels right, and if not don’t.  If you cannot get a meaningful answer from him, I recommend praying and then finding a coach or a counselor–if only for yourself.  Whatever has changed him is substantial, and saving a marriage is no easy feat.  But, continue to walk in love, and keep your household a place of peace, and keep smiling…very soon, this will pass–one way or another.

Keep me posted.

 

For The LOVE of Demi?

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The Celebrity Love Notes continue, and as another relationship bites the proverbial dust…I am here to give you some real considerations to avoid the mistakes you see in today’s headlines.

My Take:
This relationship had a good foundation.  Ashton seem to assimilate seamlessly into the Moore-Willis clan, and and Demi’s new physique didn’t hurt Ashton’s ego on the red carpet.

Now, I always picture Demi Moore emascualtingAshton beyond reproach, because at some point she knows that she could be his mother, and no amount of Kabbalah (or whatever she does) will change that.  Ashton, while a good Midwestern boy, can only take so much, and I think that this intolerance is what we see manifested in the now pending divorce for this A-list couple.

Well…that and something about the paparazzi and another woman…tsk-tsk.

If either of them were my client:
First of all, Demi and I have somethings to work on because this is her third marriage.  She is old enough to know what she wants in a relationship, but is still failing at marriage–which means that it’s not all their fault.  She, like my good friend JLo, might have some similar issues when it comes to understanding the purpose of marriage and how to sustain one.

Additionally, I need to confirm my suspicions about her ability to make a man feel like a tiny, little, impotent boy before she leaves many more casualties in the wake of her post-Ashton singleness.

One last thing, we have to establish is that she, nor Ashton are single at this point.  As I have told you before breakups and divorces are likened to death, and this is a time of mourning.  Matters not what he did, or she said, or she did, and he said, this relationship must be grieved and time must be taken to heal from it. Period. 

Now Ashton seems like a good guy.  He’s got good Midwestern roots, and an amusing personality.  If you’ve seen his pre-Demi modeling footage, then you know he’s not hard on the eyes either.

So, Ashton, what’s the problem here?

Ashton hadn’t been married before Demi and this isn’t a good or a bad thing, it just is.  But something has changed this 6-year relationship, and I need to know his role in those changes.

Once we establish what his present mistakes, and mis-takes have contributed to the failure of this marriage, we’ll look to the future.  I would probably give him about 6-9 months to get himself together and then start doing some Connestions (my version of  “matchmaking”) with mature, non-celebrity women his own age.  Emphasis on his OWN age.

What we can all learn from this:
We can all learn that marriages are challenging.  Ashton recently tweeted, I will forever cherish the time I spent with Demi. Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately sometimes they fail. Love and Light, AK”  If such is the case, and you cherish the time, why did you do anything to bring this to an end.

Understand that there are some things that should end a marriage, and some things that are challenges we should overcome.  We have become too spoiled with our relationships, and in the process, are ready to diss and dismiss at the slightest sign of trouble.  We have got to be committed to our relationships. 

Now, it’s not fair for me to judge the fault in this relationship, because I know neither of these individuals personally.  However, if they didn’t make a valiant effort to save this union, then both are at fault. If they’re getting divorced over an issue that existed prior to the marriage, then they shouldn’t have gotten friggin married!

Again, marriage is a MAGNIFIER of what is right and wrong in a relationship (Coach Stephism).  Nothing changes because you got married, it just becomes a bigger joy or a larger P.I.T.A.

So, we say farewell to the couple known as Demi and Ashton.  No more sappy tweets, and group red carpet pics…it’s all over now.  But since the two of them will soon be running around Hollywood making new headlines, I hope that they both get themselves together.

Oh yea, I won’t miss those tweets!

LOL!

Celebrity Love Note No.3: Oh Jenny!

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So..today I am speaking “to” good ol’ Jenny from the Block…check it out!

My Take:
This whole marriage concept is totally out of hand.  It seems as if Jennifer Lopez uses marriage to her advantage.  The first mistake is using it to her advantage.

 I don’t know if many of you know this, but a marriage is supposed to produce something positive in the world.  Not just children, but actually greatness.  Sum of you two, should be greater than your parts.  So, to use it to your advantage, is not the correct use of the institution.

 It is very irresponsible to continue to enter into a union that doesn’t last.  At some point, you have to admit that it’s not all about them.  You have some definitive fault in why these marriages aren’t working and going the distance.  Are you choosing the wrong men?  Is marriage just something you do? Do you love weddings?  What is the problem because clearly, there is one.

 Now that’s not to say that the individuals Jennifer marries are perfect.  But, really did the Latino busboy (AKA Hubby Number One) stand a chance?  That poor man was thrust from plastic runners to red carpets with a short period of time to adapt to the change, and when Jennifer’s career took off, eventually the marriage was left in the dust.

Some would say there is a pattern here.

If she were my client:
We would have to look very closely at these relationships before they were marriages, and explore why she thought this guy was husband material.  After discovering that answer, I am pretty sure that we need to explore her expectations for a husband, and if they are realistic.  We’ve all heard the stories of J-Lo’s outrageous performance riders, and perks for her entourage, it is possible that she asks outlandish things of her mate?  Does she think it’s over if he misses a 10 p.m. curfew?  Or if he doesn’t draw her bath at 81.3 degrees exactly?  Of course, I am over exaggerating (at least I hope that I am), but if anything remotely similar exists then we need to nip these things in the bud.

I also want to explore her vision for a marital relationship.  What are her beliefs about marriage founded upon?  What role does she play in bringing the vision to pass?  I will be whipping out all kinds of tools on Jenny from the Block…from Relationship Wheels to my beloved SWOT Analysis, I am going to work her until I get to the bottom of this nonsense.

 What we can learn from all of this:
Marriage is not something to be taken lightly.  Additionally, it is not something to be taken at all if we are not with someone we can see going old with.  One of my favorite tweets reads, “people are not getting divorced because marriage doesn’t work; they are getting divorced because they never should’ve gotten married.” 

Don’t be yet another person who engages in this new concept of marriage: the hobby.  You have to realize that marriage goes back to the Garden of Eden.  And if Adam can get over Eve talking to that snake and bringing him some bad fruit (with some pretty serious consequences), then we should be able to create marriages that last and overcome the challenges that two people inevitable will face when they say, “I do.”

Then again, maybe you adore Jennifer and see no problem with her getting married and getting divorced.

THIS JUST IN: I just read that it’s speculated that Marc Anthony and Jennifer’s divorce is over the educational plan for their twins—translation: what school the twins should go to?

 Seriously? 

 Well, perhaps the fourth time is the charm.

 Good luck, chica!