Have you been thinking about your relationship a lot? Is that an understatement? Are you the type of person who obsesses over your relationship?
If you’re experiencing marital distress, odds are, you’ve likely spent a significant amount of time and energy mulling over your situation. Maybe you’ve spoken to a friend, family member, or even a therapist about what’s not working and trying to pinpoint where things started going wrong. This can be therapeutic.
But sometimes, all the thinking and talking falls flat. When you spend so much time analyzing these aspects of your relationship, you often fail to take action. Thinking deeply about your marriage is a good starting point, but when it becomes a substitute for real and actual change, then you’re not doing anything to improve the situation.
Picture this real life scenario: I once did a series of phone sessions with a woman who had been in therapy for years. During our first session, I asked what changes she and her husband had implemented as a result of their couples counseling. She admitted that they’d made no real changes – though she understood their relationship much better.
This perfectly sums up what I like to call “analysis paralysis”.
She spent so much time focusing on their problems and analyzing their issues that they had failed to integrate real, actionable change into their lives.
Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living” but I’d counter that by saying “the unlived life is not worth examining”.
Love is articulated though action. New thoughts and new language are most useful when they inspire you to demonstrate new behavior.
Ideally, rigorous thinking should spur intelligent action, and action supplies critical feedback for further thought. Ultimately it’s the give and take of these two that leads to clarity and an improved marriage.
Don’t fall pray to analysis paralysis. Take the steps necessary to change your marriage for the better.
If you’re experiencing marital problems, the odds are very good that you need some external guidance. That’s a great place to start. Just don’t let that be the only step you take. Accept advice, think about what it will take to renew your marriage, and then, take action to make it happen.