Should I Leave My Marriage Or Fix It? | Paul Friedman

Hi, my name is Paul Friedman. I founded
The Marriage Foundation and I’m going to share a very important topic with you.
This is”When Do I Know I Should Start Doing Something About My Marriage” so the
simplest answer is that if you’re looking at videos like this now is a
really good time but I want to give you some encouragement to do something that
is proactive and that will really benefit you and your spouse. I do
this with total humility but I’m gonna share with you some of what I discovered
because I used to be a divorce mediator so I’ve seen a lot and one day a couple
came to me, a young couple, couple of kids and I asked them, “Why are you getting
a divorce?” I always asked that just and as an icebreaker, terrible
icebreaker I know but it’s an icebreaker and they both started to cry. Now look
it’s not unusual for one of them to cry but both of them started to cry and both
of them said the same thing, “We don’t really want to get a divorce but we
don’t know what to do.” Well, I’ve been a communications expert for a long time
and so I don’t know what took me over it it doesn’t matter but I said, “Look if I can
help you stay together I won’t charge you. You want to give it a try and just
give me some time to think this through.” Oh my God, they were so excited
and so I said, “Alright, let’s let’s meet again. Give me two or three
months.” And so, I told them “I won’t charge you” but that’s not what made them
happy. They didn’t want to get a divorce. You can’t blame them so
I asked around, I called up I mean I had so many psychologists who
would refer people to me and I said “What’s the key here for
helping people?” And they all gave me these sort of vague not answer answers
you know, “Well, we got to get to the bottom of it. It really depends.”
“What’s the problem that you’re dealing with?” And that didn’t satisfy me
so the thought occurred to me I need to understand why people get married in the
first place. What is it that propels us that makes us think “I should get married?” And I know the answer most of the time is well everyone gets married
that’s what you do and then it’s followed by one-half kids. I want to be
with the person I love. I wanna have companionship and all of that and I
thought, “You know what, there’s got to be something like below those things sort
of an underlying purpose.” Oh my God I was shocked that I had never
asked myself that question before I got married and at the time I wasn’t and I
thought, “Wow, had I known that? Maybe I could have still been married.” And so, I
scratched my head and I asked, and I asked. Nobody had a good answer and
finally it occurred to me well, “Hey, we get married to be happier.” Duh! No one
ever asks, answered me that way and then I thought, “Okay, that’s pretty easy so
what makes you happy?” Well, kids. Yeah but not everyone wants kids.
Well companionship, yeah but sometimes you want to be alone. I mean what really
makes you happy and I’m not gonna lie to you. It took me a little while to finally
have that obvious, it turned out to be an obvious answer. It took a while for it to
drop into my mind but when it did, I realized it’s a
universal answer. No one is exempt from it. It works for everyone and the lack of
this means no one’s happy. Did you guess yet? It’s love, we want love. We get
married because in this world nobody really loves you even your parents, they
love you but they’re compelled to love you because they’re your parents but who.
loves you because they love you forever Who does that?
It’s rare and that’s what we seek that’s what we want and we want it in the form
of unconditional. We want unconditional love and now, I had a basis. Aha! This is
what we want, okay let’s meet. Let’s talk about it. And so, we sat down and I
said this to them so, “What do you want?” Love, love. “Do you love each other?” “Yeah,
I still love him.” “I still love her.” Okay, so let’s start with acknowledging that and
we started and we acknowledge the love and I said, “Now,
how are we gonna keep this going?” And what I did was I had made a list cuz I
used to do this, I used to sell a long time ago and before I’d go into a call I
would draw a vertical line and I go say this, don’t say this. That works for
virtually everything in the world “do this”, “don’t do this” and I put together
this whole list. It’s evolved, trust me but it started with things simple things
like the three C’s. Don’t criticize, don’t condemn, don’t complain. I mean I added
things as it is I learned, don’t have expectations, and what to do.
Express love, there’s different ways to express love and learn how to
communicate, you got to learn how to communicate. We put all this together
and it worked. How amazing? So that’s the main point here, you can approach
your marriage scientifically. You could really make it happen and you can have a
starting point today. You don’t have to wait, you don’t have to do anything
special but you do have to learn so I did all the work and you could learn too.
Now, if your marriage is on the brink and let’s face it, some people wait until
it’s on the brink. I can’t tell you how many times we get emails at The Marriage
Foundation, by the way, it’s free you could write to one of our counselors and
a guy usually, a guy but sometimes women will write, “My wife left two months ago
and I realized she’s the love of my life when I want her back, how do I show her
that it’s the right thing to do?” Alright, it’s usually not too late even in
cases when you’re on the brink even sometimes when you’re off the brink
because you may think you’re off the brink and we think you’re still on the
brink and so for that we have a course design that will really speed up the
process so you can do this. Alright, I hope this
was helpful for you. I want to inspire you to know though that when you do
marriage correctly and it’s not that hard, it’s kind of simple but you got to
learn these things. Your marriage will just surprise you at how much happiness
it produces, unbelievable level of happiness that is ever-expanding.
That’s it. Blessings to you, blessings to your spouse, blessings to your family.
Take care!

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