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  • Writer's pictureTehilla Luttig

5 Things I’d Do If I Were Starting Over in My Marriage

Ps. It’s never too late to do these things, even if you’re already separated.

couples therapy; couples coaching; relationship coaching; relationship advice; relationship reset;
Happily Married Does NOT Only Belong To Fairytales

1.        Get inner-child healing parts-therapy to help me break my ‘relationship attachments’.

We live on autopilot and are stuck in patterns most of the time, many of which we’re not even aware of.

And on top of that, we feel comfortable with familiarity - even if the familiarity isn’t great. So we mistake familiarity (similar traits we grew up with, for eg. not seeing the addiction in your partner when your parent(s) also struggled with addiction), with safety.

This means we keep falling for the same type of person, or try to make it work with someone opposite to what we grew up with. But even in those attempts at opposite - it’s often forced because it’s not from self but from a reaction to our childhood experiences.

Working on integrating your inner child and breaking the pattern of being overlooked or Fawning, etc, means choosing from your safer authentic self. I wasted 8 years with an abusive narcissist before I met my husband. And could have (see next points) saved hubby and I more time, having done deeper healing too.

For those of you, who like me, you’re already married, it can help you see and decipher what’s “you” in this and what’s “them”. This can give you the confidence to make the personal changes and request the requests necessary. If you’re afraid of growing apart, it might but it usually actually means you’re already apart and you now have the confidence and courage to take whatever the next steps may be.

I love how Esther Perel says (paraphrased): “It takes two to create a cycle, but thankfully only one needs to step out of it to break it”. I’ve seen many marriages turned around and grow together, even though I was just working with one person.

2. Worked Through My Conflict Avoidance & People Pleasing Traits.

Conflict avoidance, people pleasing are self-abandonment. Great tips for those considering marriage - or divorce, on my personal journey and actions as a couples therapist.
Conflict Avoidance & People Pleasing is Self-Abandonment.

People pleasing & conflict avoidance would have been taken care of in step one, but it’s worth addressing here too.

A good relationship isn’t free of disagreements or differences, but a good relationship is free to explore those disagreements and differences in a respectful, emotionally safe way.

As a conflict avoiding people-pleaser, we often abandon ourselves for what we think is the good of the relationship, but by leaving ‘us’ out of the relationship (as we’re just attending to others’ needs), we are cutting the relationship short of a vital ingredient of you.

Having a different opinion, or wanting more (or less) of something, being different – isn’t wrong and doesn’t risk the marriage. In fact, it can add to the marriage when done right.

3.      Spend more time exploring our dreams and our vision for family, and less time worrying if he liked me as much as I liked him.

I spent way to much time, energy and focus on wondering if he loved me as much as I loved him. I would analyse his behaviours through the eyes of my logic (very typical of anxious attachments).

We are different, we have different logics, and frankly - him liking me or not is a him problem! It’s his responsibility to speak up for his wants, needs, desires and struggles too.

Not worrying about how he thinks of me (and not assuming the worst), would have freed more time and given more confidence to spend more time exploring beliefs, values and desires for our family life. This gives a couple clearer direction and less room for disappointment with mismatched expectations.

Ps. You don’t need to have the same life dreams to be compatible, but you need to be able support each others dreams and share excitement for each other.

therapy; masculinity; toxic patriarchy; feminism; equal value doesn’t mean equal roles.
Therapy to break our automatic patterns that keep us stuck.

4.        Asked my partner to do his own therapy too.

We expect from our partners (and they from us) what used to take a whole village to provide (it used to take a village to raise a child).

And our partners are not excempt from needing inner child emotional healing and attachment wound pattern disruption. Avoidant attachments (like my husband), tend to prioritize logic over emotions, and in the effort see it as an either-or situation. Healthy attachments see the benefit in both. But anxious attachments (like myself) often find avoidant attachments impressive (see point 1 too), thinking that their calmness is confidence.

His own healing earlier would’ve allowed him the trust to lean on me more when he was going through stuff, and left me knowing him more (than guessing, like I was).

Both of us doing the work gives us both more capacity to stay strong together in the storms of life, and also permission for a lot more play.

Unfortunately, what many think is masculinity is toxic patriarchy, and also mistake femininity for feminism. We need guidance to navigate these new roles, especially if we didn’t grow up seeing healthy masculine or feminine in action.

5. Get clearer on the invisible load it takes to run and manage a household and have deep, meaningful discussions about our gender expectations, our individual strengths and preferences (like our love languages), be okay with having needs - and so able to talk about them; and create a more supportive plan (that is still flexible, as that is what is needed in life – flexibility is the ultimate flex).

I was amazed at how entrenched I believed my worth was wrapped into how much I was able to handle the little ones, manage the household, and build my business (on 2-4 hours sleep a night for years)! And social media as a comparison made me many times think I was failing miserably - no matter how much my logic tried to say otherwise.

Honestly, I still sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being willing to do more. But it’s much much rarer. And this time I notice it, sooth it, and release it. I don’t let it poison me like it used to. And our marriage, and the kids are better for it.

Navigating and balancing parenthood, work and life is a FULL TIME, often under-appreciated non-stop undertaking. But its not just my responsibility, and only through intention and conversations do we get to resentment-free, valued support.

Did any of this resonate with you? What would you like to focus on? I’d love to hear from you.

Ps. In May I kick off with my group for moms, Motherhood, Marriage & Me. Here we go deep into our roles, expectations, fears, patterns, and dreams. We build boundaries, shake off expectations, rewrite the rules, and refuel our passion – all with the family in mind, so guilt-free! If you’d like to be added to the waiting list, please feel free to click here.

couples therapist; relationship coach; relationship blog; couples blog; life skills; discreet coaching for celebrities; conflict avoidance;
Tehilla Luttig, Mom, Wife, International Relationship Coach

Written by Tehilla Luttig

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (Registered Counselor, South Africa)

The Relationship Factor Coach

Ex play-therapist now global coach helping individuals and couples reclaim their happy in love, life and relationships.

Her focus is on healing the relationships with our past and our selves, build our emotional capacity, and give clients a multi-disciplinary psychology-based toolbox.

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