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3 Tips to Deal with Relationship Doubts

How to Get off the Fence and into the Relationship You Want

Everybody has doubts about their relationship from time to time. Like the time I woke up sick the night after a trip to Tijuana and my husband’s first response was “Ha ha ha!”

That was our first anniversary. And I thought “What is this thing that I’ve married?”

But I had much more serious doubts a few years later, so severe that I nearly ended my marriage. So I know how painful it is when you’re feeling like your values don’t match your husband’s at all or he’s engaging in behavior that you never would have condoned or his parenting is not at all what you see your children needing to thrive.

If you’re wrestling with those doubts multiple times a day, it’s an exhausting and scary place to be.

What if those doubts make you question your own judgment about having said “I do”?

What if your marriage is a big mistake and you can’t get back to the life you should be leading while you’re married? Then you should leave, right?

But what if you leave and you devastate your husband and your kids and you end up breaking your own heart too? What if you don’t really want to leave but you have a nagging suspicion that you should?

It’s a terrible quandary, and since you can’t know what your life in a parallel universe where you do leave would look like, how can you really know what the right decision is?

It’s very tempting to jump on the fence and stay there.

But doubt is the devil. It eats away at the joy and connection you could be having if only you could find your faith, and it pretends that you have no choice but to suffer or leave.

Here are three tips that will help you get off the fence:

1. Get Out Your Magic Wand

Positive Mindset in Marriage

First, you want to ask yourself: If you had a magic wand and everything in your relationship were just as you wanted it to be, what would you have that you don’t have now?

Would you be getting more attention or affection, feeling more special, having more time to do the things you want to do? Maybe there would be more peace and playfulness in your marriage.

Think about what experience YOU would be having, not what he would do or not do, but what you would feel.

Also, see if you can phrase it as a positive instead of a negative. So instead of saying, “I would not have to do everything,” it might be “I would feel supported and taken care of.”

This is important because sometimes doubt is just a feeling that you’re not going to get what you want, but you can’t get what you want until you know what you want.

Thinking about what you don’t want is not the same. That might come out as a complaint, which reinforces and grows the pain you’re experiencing.

To get your butt off the pointy fence, you’ve got to figure out what you want.

2. Talk to Your Future Self

Become your best self in your relationship

In the Harry Potter books, Harry has to create a patronus, a spell that he’s never done before and isn’t really old enough to pull off. He’s nervous that he won’t be able to do it.

But then he time-travels just a few minutes into the future and sees someone across the lake who looks like him create a patronus of a stag.

He thinks it’s his father, but then he realizes it’s actually him doing it! So when the moment to create his patronus comes, he knows he can because he has already seen himself do it, and he nails it.

Once you know what you want, you know what your intentions are. It’s time to have a talk with Future You from a year from now and ask her how everything went with your relationship.

Here’s a spoiler alert: Everything went your way!

You created exactly what you’re dreaming of now, and your future self is going to tell you all about it, in great detail so you can make your decisions about how you’re showing up in your relationship based on your confidence that it’s all going to come out just the way you dreamed it would.

What about him, you might ask! What if he doesn’t change? What if he can’t change?

The more important question is: Can you change? Because when you show up differently, he responds to you differently.

When you become your best self, he will follow suit.

3. Find the Evidence

Laws of Attraction in Relationships

Now it’s just a matter of gathering all the evidence you can that your dream, your intention for your marriage, is true.

What proof, however tiny, do you have that your marriage is becoming what you’ve set out to make it?

Can you find three things—or five—today? And a few more tomorrow?

The more you focus on the evidence that you’re already having the experience you want to have, the more that will become your experience, in my experience.

Just like Henry David Thoreau wrote, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”

That applies to your dreams about your relationship too.

How will you start building your foundations today? I’d love to hear in the comments.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife--until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

9 replies on “3 Tips to Deal with Relationship Doubts”

After a divorce and many long term relationships, I felt so worried I would not make a good decision on the next guy. I got into a mind habit of analysis paralysis over whether he was the ‘right guy.’ I was hyper-focused on HIM. What would my family think? Is his career good enough? Parenting skills? Etc.

Laura, your tip to receive graciously and be my best self has got me out of my head. He makes me FEEL great. I now sleep better and I don’t feel a background anxiety anymore.

Thank you so much. Men were a mystery to me nearly my whole life but you’ve brought clarity.

B, AMAZING! You’re welcome. Thank you for sharing your breakthrough! So happy for you.

You have given me so much to think about and say to my future self. Thank you for the hope and for teaching me the methods to sneak peek into my future, our future. I am struggling with the evidence. I have to go way back to when we first married, before the storms, threats, and hurt, to find evidence. My current evidence is as small as he responded to my message, even when it is a hurtful, painful response. Really reaching over here. Is that too far-reaching to find valid evidence from his painful messages? You have helped me so much at this time, and I am truly grateful for everything 🙂

You’re welcome, Tai. His response sounds hurtful–ouch! Yet your willingness to find evidence even there, even when it’s a stretch, says a lot about your commitment to your marriage. Kudos to you for stretching and choosing your focus so carefully. You’ve got this, Tai.

I just want to say how much i appreciate your authentic and charming way of being totally yourself which allows other women to relate to you (and relate to themselves!). I have been a member of the ridiculously happy wife program for a little over a month, and it has brought me so much peace of mind and support in knowing what areas to work on to improve to get the interactions that I want. The things you write are refreshing, relatable, and funny, and I am glad you decided to do what you do. It’s been a big help to me. Thanks Laura.

You’re welcome, Rose! Thank you for taking the time to express your beautiful gratitude and compliments! Hearing how helpful this has been to you means a lot to me. I can tell you’re a Ridiculously Happy Wife–you exude the Intimacy Skills!

I’m so overwhelmed with pain and Sorrow for the cold way and lack of love and care and understanding and I feel so tired so much giving and he don’t appreciate anything I do. I have 2 smalll kids and I think they will suffer if we separate but it’s like living in hell and big pain everyday that kill me and destroy me little by little

I’m so sad to hear that you feel like you’re living in hell, slowly being destroyed. This sounds incredibly painful, lonely and difficult. I can see why you’re so tired and overwhelmed! No one deserves to live this way.

I remember the days when I needed a miracle to fix my marriage. To paraphrase Thomas Wolfe, miracles not only happen around here, they happen all the time! As the wife, you have enormous power to fix your relationship, in my experience.

Get coaching here so you can stop feeling overwhelmed and hurt, and start feeling supported and appreciated. You deserve to be happy.

I am so happy that I have found Laura Doyle. She have only just started with the 6 skills and reading and listening to Laura has given me hope.

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