MarriageorDivorce.com

Schemes and Patterns in Married Life, Part 2

How can you improve your marriage by changing old systems that are no longer sustainable?

Married couples often use predetermined patterns of behavior called schemes or systems to maintain equilibrium or balance in a relationship. However, there are many schemes that do more harm than good in a relationship.

If you want to start fixing your marriage, you have to start recognizing the negative schemes that are ruining your relationship with your spouse.

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What negative systems can dissolve a marriage from the inside?

If your marriage is wracked by discord and pain and there seems to be no way out, you and your spouse may have inadvertently trapped yourself in a behavioral pattern that has taken on a life of its own within the relationship.

Here are some harmful patterns that may be lurking in your own marriage. If you do find them, you will already have an idea as to why they are harming your marriage in the first place.

1. Strict Roles – It is quite common for married couples to play different roles within the relationship. These roles tend to increase when there are kids so it’s also common for a married couple to juggle two or more roles at a time.

Playing specific roles in a marriage is actually healthy and normal. However, when a person feels that he “has” to perform a role just because it’s the right thing to do, he may find himself longing for a more rewarding role within the relationship.

Are you happy with the role you’re playing?

If your role/s within the relationship does not bring you happiness or it causes you severe fatigue or stress then it’s possible that you are: 1) performing roles that are beyond you capacity to fulfill or 2) you feel trapped by the role/s that have been assigned to you by the marriage.

To maintain a healthy relationship, people should be more flexible about the roles that they play, especially if these roles involve taking care of the children or earning money.

Are you happy with the role you’re playing?

If your role/s within the relationship does not bring you happiness or it causes you severe fatigue or stress then it’s possible that you are: 1) performing roles that are beyond you capacity to fulfill or 2) you feel trapped by the role/s that have been assigned to you by the marriage.

To maintain a healthy relationship, people should be more flexible about the roles that they play, especially if these roles involve taking care of the children or earning money.

What causes the most trouble in marriage?

Fixed and rigid assignation of roles often causes terrible conflict within marriages because people do get tired of performing the same duties over and over.

You have to realize that you are also responsible for easing your spouse’s burdens while keeping yours in check, too. No one should be sacrificed in the process – both parties should be as happy as possible with the roles they are playing in the marriage.

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2. Contending Interests – When two people have contending interests, one person ends up chasing the other for support while the other party feels pressured to do things that he/she doesn’t want to do.

For example, if the husband is interested in inventing small gadgets at home and the wife is interested in visiting museums and concerts, the wife may find herself chasing her husband whenever she wants company in pursuing her interests.

The husband may feel trapped and pressured by the demands of thewife, which causes him to distance himself every time the wife tries to force him into doing something that he doesn’t really want/like.

3. Endless Blaming – Some people seem to have a natural desire to blame others for the most mundane things. When the endless blame game mars your married life, you may find yourself in a position where you’re the one doing all pleasing and soothing while the other party enjoys all the attention.

It’s possible that the other party is unaware of the behavior pattern but it is still reinforced because the other party is providing a positive reward every time it is performed (e.g. when criticism is met with placation).

4. Overcompensation – This is an exceedingly common behavior pattern in married relationships. One party often performs more tasks and responsibilities while the other spouse does very little to help support the relationship.

This cyclical overcompensation is often the result of not coming to terms with why the overcompensation is being done in the first place. It takes a lot of energy, time and sometimes, even money, to overcompensate in a marriage so it’s not something that just erupts out of the blue.

If you are overcompensating in your relationship, ask yourself why you are putting up with an under-functioning spouse in the first place. Some of you might say that there’s no real reason why you do it, but trust me, there is probably a very good reason why this behavior pattern is being perpetuated in the relationship.

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