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Hey, Cody here and I want to talk to you today about what to do if you have a partner who is not participating in the recovery process, and they are just difficult to deal with. There is a lot you can do in such a situation, and we are going to cover that. I have received many phone calls and questions about partners who don’t want to participate and how to overcome this.

The first thing we need to understand is that our situation is our situation, and we have to deal with the hand of cards we have been dealt. If your partner is not willing to participate, then they are not willing to participate. The only thing you can do at that point is to progress forward and work on yourself and the marriage by yourself. There is a ton of stuff you can do to make the marriage work by working on yourself.

Here’s the thing, if you’re in a situation where your partner doesn’t want to participate or is stonewalling you or has checked out physically or emotionally from the relationship, that’s fine. People respond to behavior, not just to you. They may have checked out because they don’t like certain behaviors, and they can no longer tolerate them. The secret is to identify those behaviors that your partner doesn’t like and remove them from the relationship. Figure out the behaviors that attract your partner and implement them into the relationship.

To save the marriage when your partner has checked out, you have to understand what behaviors are attractive to them and what behaviors are repelling them. Get rid of the bad behaviors and implement new behaviors that attract them. This is easily demonstrable. Let’s say we go to the grocery store. Is there a way we can annoy the person next to us when we’re checking out and make them unfavorable to us and not want to help us? Of course, there is. We can insult them, call them names, tell them they’re taking too long, or be impatient with them. We know this, and it’s very easy to do. But on the flip side, we could also give them a compliment, offer to help them, or do something nice. Our behavior could be different, more agreeable, and that same person would respond to us in a completely different way.

The same is going on in your relationship. Your partner is not responding to you personally, but to your behavior. Figure out what behaviors your partner responds to and have more of those. Figure out what behaviors they don’t respond to and eliminate them from your interactions with them.

Get rid of those and your relationship will start to change. I’m going to say it again: if your partner is checked out, they’re checking out from a behavior or a series or set of behaviors. They’re not checking out from you personally.

Now here’s the thing:

People go, “Well, I’ve tried to do this, I’ve made changes and stuff like that, and it hasn’t really worked.” Well, the chances are if your partner’s checked out either emotionally or physically right now, this behavior has been going on for a very long time. It’s probably not something that’s just happened.

You haven’t behaved in a way or a behavior hasn’t crept into the relationship overnight and the person’s going, “I can’t deal with this anymore, I’m out of here.” It’s been going on for a long time, and chances are they’ve been trying to let you know that they don’t like that behavior.

They’ve been giving you signs either verbally or through their behavior that they don’t like it, and quite possibly, they’ve asked over and over and over again for the change for the behavior to be changed, and it hasn’t. So understandably, your partner is going to be skeptical at this point.

I spoke to someone the other day, a client, and they said, “Well, I’ve changed my behavior yet nothing’s changed.” It’s like saying, “I’ve been overeating for 10 years and I haven’t been exercising for 10 years, and I’m obese now, and I changed my diet and I changed my exercise, and nothing’s happened, it’s not working.” How long have you done that for? “I’ve done it for a week.” Well, exactly, nothing’s going to happen.

It’s taken 10 years to get into this situation, it’s going to take some time to recover it, and it’s the same in your marriage and your relationship. If there’s been problems for an extended period of time, if you’ve been exhibiting behavior or they’ve been exhibiting behavior for an extended period of time, it’s going to take more than, “Hey, I’ve changed my behavior now,” or “I’ve changed.” There’s history there, and you have to overcome that history.

The only way you can do that is to continue in the new behavior for an extended period of time to where they can actually start to see that you’re changing. And it’s not a case of, “I’m telling you that I’ve changed.” It’s like, “Well, it’s you’re a day late and a dollar short on that, my friend.” I’m not listening to you because you’ve told me you’re going to change before, and I haven’t seen any changes happen. So you’re going to have to show them that you’re willing to change or that you have changed, and you’re going to have to demonstrate that for an extended period of time, or they’re going to have to see that.

And this is not a trick or a gimmick or something like that. This is just not something that we do just to get the person back. You have to genuinely and legitimately change the person that you are. Right now, I say this with all love, I mean this in the nicest way possible: the person that you are now is not going to be the person that is able to restore this relationship.

When I was having major issues in my marriage, I had to go into my bathroom, look myself in the eye and go, “You are fired, Cody. You are fired from being the CEO of your marriage. You are fired from being the CEO of your life.

I’ve given you control and this is what you’ve done. You’ve made a mess. You are not the person who’s going to turn this around. I had to upgrade myself. I had to make changes to myself, and it was over a period of time where my wife could start to see the fruit of the new and improved me. Things really started to reconcile and turn around very quickly because she could see the change was there. I wasn’t telling her that I was changing, I wasn’t telling her that I was making changes in my life. She could see it.

If you want to know what’s going on in your relationship, it’s not the fruit, it’s the root. You have to look at the root. The fruit is caused by the root, and if you want to change the fruit, you have to change the root. You have to re-program your mind, and we cover that in the “Reboot Your Marriage” five-day event. We have a whole section dedicated to what to do if your partner is not cooperating and the behaviors that you need to engage in to start turning things around.

Here’s the next thing:

What you have right now, let’s say it’s a level seven problem in your marriage. If your partner is stonewalling you, blocking you out, or has left the relationship, it’s a level seven problem. If you don’t know how to deal with it, the problem is that you are, and I say this again in love, a level five or a level six person. The problem is bigger than you right now.

A lot of times people will come to me when I work with them and say, “How do we reduce the level seven problem to a level four problem because I’m a level five person, and that makes it manageable for me?” That’s not really a great question. The best question is, “If I’ve got a level seven problem, how do I become a level eight person?” Because the bottom line is, when you become that level eight person, then the level seven problem isn’t going to be an issue anymore. It’s not going to be a problem, and everything below it is that way. We can see this.

As we go through life, I’ve got a two-year-old and if he doesn’t get the TV show that he wants, and one of his brothers puts on another show, which is a level one problem, he just loses his mind. He doesn’t have the emotional control because he’s a level zero or level one person right now. His TV show has been turned off, and he can’t overcome the problem. He just blows up and screams.

But if we fast forward a few years to when I’ve got a four-year-old as well, when the same thing happens, and it’s his turn to watch the TV show, he’ll come and get me or talk to his brothers. He’ll say, “Hey, it was my turn to watch the TV.” Or he’ll respond with a much more sophisticated level of emotional intelligence. It’s the same level one problem, but he’s gone from being a level zero or level one person to a level two or level three person. It’s not a problem for him anymore, and he doesn’t freak out or crack it when it happens.

As we move through life, the things that used to be level three or level four problems won’t be such a big deal anymore because we become a level seven or level eight or level nine person. This is the key to all of our problems. This is how we can work on relationships and make things better. When we get better, everything else gets better.

Personally, I’ve been working on this stuff for the better part of 20 years now, and it’s an ongoing process that never stops. My wife has seen the change in me, and she even mentioned it the other night when we had friends over. They were disagreeing with me, but I handled it well and didn’t react. I was more interested in keeping the peace of the house than being right or winning the debate. My wife noticed this change in me and commented on it. This is an ongoing thing that goes on in our marriage, day in and day out, forever and ever.

If you’re working on the relationship by yourself, it’s important to recognize that some of the problems may be caused by your own reactivity or behavior. But the good news is that you can work on yourself and become a better person, so that those problems don’t affect you as much anymore.

Maybe escalate situations a little bit,” you have some challenges that, if those issues were removed, if you became, let’s say, a level 8 person right now, if you became a level 9 person, maybe you wouldn’t be so reactive. Maybe you wouldn’t bite on all of the debate that’s thrown out there to start a fight and all of that stuff, right? So, a lot of this can make a very big difference because when you start talking to your partner, which you’re inevitably going to do at some time, even if you’re estranged, and they can see that you’re not as reactive as you once were because you’ve worked on that part of yourself. You’re not as volatile as you once were. You now decide to make intelligent emotional decisions about how you’re going to react to situations, instead of just blowing up uncontrollably.

They’re going to look at you and go, “What’s going on here? Things have changed here. Things are different here.” And they’re going to start to be drawn back into that relationship. Again, you’ve got to look at your situation. If they’ve left, then this is it. This is what you’ve got to do. You can’t say, “I don’t like this,” or “This is not what I want to do.” You don’t have any other choice. This is the only thing you can do at this point – to work on yourself and start to attract that behavior to pull the person and draw them back to you. So, again, we’ve said this before, that you can’t pursue the product directly. You can only pursue the process, and that’s what we’re talking about here – the restoration, restoring your marriage, getting a partner to come back. You’ve got to focus on the process. You can’t just focus on the end product, which is the restoration.

The question you really need to ask yourself is: what would have to happen, who would I have to be, and what environment would need to be present for restoration and healing to take place? That is the ultimate product you desire, right? The partner to come back. But then the question becomes, what is the process for creating that environment?

I’ve used the example before of creating ice. If you want ice, which is the end product, you can’t just go directly after it. You have to understand the process, which is a sub-zero or freezing environment and water. You have complete or a lot of control over the process if you understand the elements that go into it. Then, you can take charge of that, take control of it, and start to bring those elements together to work towards the end product.

But you have to understand that marriage restoration is all about the process. It’s not about the end product. What is the process? What environment needs to be present for your partner to come back? What do you need to be in order for your partner to come back? And what is the process to develop that?

It all comes down to being brutally honest with yourself and saying, “Hey, I need to work on myself.” I say that all the time. When my marriage was in trouble, I really had to look at myself and say, “I’m not going to blame my wife, my parents, society, or the people around me for what’s going on here. I’m going to look at myself and say, ‘I need to improve. I need to grow. I need to get bigger. I need to get better.'” That is an area that I have full ability to take control of and improve.

I have the ability to take action and truly improve myself, making a big difference. Ultimately, that’s all we have – the only area of influence we truly have is the ability to influence ourselves and change ourselves. Am I here to tell you that a lot of times, that is what it’s going to take? It’s going to be improving yourself to the point where you become big, strong, and emotionally healthy enough to be in that marriage without being needy of the other person. That’s it – that’s what I want to share with you here.

Ultimately, everybody we work with is an individual, whether we’re working with couples or individuals. I had a call the other day, and the person asked me who my target market is, who this is for – is it couples or individuals? The answer is really both – it’s couples and individuals, but ultimately, it’s just individuals because a couple is just two individuals. Both of those individuals within that couple have to work on themselves if they want to see ultimate success in the marriage.

It’s not a case of how we work together as a couple. Of course, there is an element of that, but ultimately, we have to work on ourselves. My wife has to work on herself as hard as I work on myself. Once she’s in a place of emotional security, with a high level of emotional intelligence and self-control, and the ability to respond to situations instead of reacting to them – that’s when we can truly work together.

When I am in a position to look at a situation that’s going on in my house and choose to respond to it instead of reacting to it, that’s when I know I am making progress. Not too long ago, something would happen at our dinner table or out and about with my wife.

I would not have the emotional intelligence to choose how I was going to respond to that situation. I would just react to the situation in my animalistic, unsophisticated, and emotionally unintelligent mind. Even though I knew it was going to cause a problem and a horrible atmosphere within the house, I would react anyway because I didn’t have the emotional control. It would cause a firestorm. I’m sure we can all relate to that. Whereas now, I can be in that exact same situation and step back from it because I’ve upped my game. I’m a bigger person now; I’ve worked on myself. I can look at that situation with the emotional intelligence of going okay. If I react this way, it’s going to cause this outcome, and if I react this way, it’s going to cause this different outcome. Even though it would feel good for me to blow up right now, even though it would feel good for me just to bite back and snap at her, that’s going to cause a much, much bigger problem. I have the emotional intelligence to respond to this situation, not to react to it.

If you and your spouse are working on yourselves simultaneously, to where you ultimately have the ability to respond to situations and not react to the situation, then your marriage is inevitably going to improve. When both of you as individuals have the ability to make better decisions because you have a higher level of emotional intelligence, you understand the consequences of your decisions. You’re able to make those decisions from a place of intelligence, and you choose to respond to the situation and not react to it. I’m telling you, if you can’t see that that’s the way to grow your marriage, then I don’t know what to say. Right now, that is absolutely the way, and when you have those skills, once you have those skills as an individual, then we can come together with interpersonal skills and collective skills. Now we know how to communicate with ourselves, now we know how to respond to ourselves, now we know how to control our own responses and reactions.

Now we can come together as a unit, as a couple, and we can start to add more skills, more skills, more skills, and that’s when it really, really starts to get good. So, whether you’re an individual going through this, or whether you’re a couple, it doesn’t matter, as far as I’m concerned. I’m working with you as an individual. As far as I’m concerned, we’re going through this as an individual, and once we have those individual skills nailed, then we move on to the couple skills, to where we really built the foundation of a really strong marriage that neither hell nor high water can come against. It’s the strong war that defends your family against everything out there.

Hopefully, that helps. There is hope for you if you are single, if you are doing this alone right now, this is for you. We’re going to cover this, and there is hope for you. Never give up, and hopefully, that helps you. That is the solution to how to bring a marriage back if you’re working by yourself. Of course, we’re going to cover that’s a high-level view, right? That’s kind of a strategic view. This is the strategy of how you do it. We’re going to go into the details of how to do that in our marriage retreat.

If you haven’t registered for this, there’s a link somewhere around here. Go ahead and register for it completely free. If you’re already registered, I’ll see you there. During the five-day retreat, we’ll go into a lot of detail about how to achieve personal growth. We’ll discuss the changes you need to make and how you can work on yourself.

The ultimate goal of our retreat is to help you reach a higher level of personal development. I don’t know where you are in terms of personal growth, but by the end of the retreat, we want to elevate you to the next level. If you’re a level three person, we want to make you a level four or five person. If you’re a level five, we’ll help you become a level six or seven person. The key is constant incremental improvement, leading to never-ending growth. We’re aiming to get bigger and better constantly, making problems seem smaller in comparison.

The fact is, problems will never go away. They will always be present in our lives. However, by improving our emotional intelligence and becoming stronger individuals, we can overcome these problems. Eventually, they will lose their power over us. We’ll become bigger than our problems, and they won’t torment us anymore.

God bless you, and I hope this helps. I look forward to seeing you all very soon.

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Discover How To Win Your Wife Back, Even If She Wants Out

Schedule A Free 60 Minute Zoom Session To Learn How We Can Help You Win Your Wife Back

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