Robin will help you assess what can and cannot be changed in your marriage. She will also help you determine which of those issues you can live with and which are intolerable. In your coaching sessions, Robin will help you see down the road — based on her nearly twenty year of experience working with divorcing couples — to determine what changes are necessary to sustain a long and fulfilling marriage, or what needs to be done to prepare for a divorce.
Determine what you can comfortably live with for the long haul. There are many things that you cannot change in a marriage. The trick is to determine what you can comfortably live with for the long haul and what you absolutely cannot tolerate.
Affairs. If your spouse had an affair in the past, but you believe he or she will never do it again, can you live with that without always wondering “what is he or she up to now?” If you cannot completely hit the “reset” button, your marriage will surely struggle. Marriage without trust are almost always lost causes.
Addiction. If your spouse has an addiction, and has repeatedly failed to rehabilitate him or herself, can you live with that? Some people can. They know what they are dealing with and have chosen to stay. If the addicted spouse is a pretty nice person and makes a decent living, they deal with it. However, if you want someone who is present and contributing to the relationship in a meaningful way, you will need to think long and hard about staying in a marriage with an addict.
Narcissism. If your spouse is a narcissist, but you have learned to navigate around that disorder, can you continue to make that effort for the long haul? Sometimes you can live with a spouse’s narcissistic personality, but only with your teeth gritted and only for a short period of time. That won’t work for a marriage. If you find that you can deal with your spouse’s narcissism, but only because you ignore him or her, that is not a marriage. That is détente.
You Cannot Change Another Person. It is important to remember that you cannot change your spouse. You can only change yourself. While it is true that your spouse can also change, he or she will have to want to do that very strongly. Personalities are made up of many habits. Habits are hard to change. If you find yourself changing yourself in order to accommodate your spouse’s personality, in a manner that makes you wonder “who am I?”, you have gone too far. That marriage will not work in any meaningful way.