When your marriage is in crisis, you often become paralyzed and unable to take action. Here’s how to break free of that.
Hi I’m Athol Kay and this is a short video about the concept of the stay plan and the go plan being the same thing.
I had a video before where I talked about the difference between marriage problems and life problems. There’s often a sense that my marriage is struggling, I’m unhappy in it. But often the source of these problems are somewhere else in your life. It’s a career problem. It’s a money problem. It’s a health problem. It’s a where we live problem. It’s the house is falling down problem, and that all impacts on the relationship. So the solution is obviously to work on the life problems and hopefully the relationship sustains itself.
That being said, you can often be in the situation where there’s so much going on that the relationship is close to just breaking down and dying no matter what. So in those cases what I tend to do is come up with what I say is “the stay plan” and “the go plan” are the same thing.
This is where rather than trying to necessarily work on the marriage itself, we look at the whole life and say okay what are all the things that you need to do as individuals that are going to make your lives better, regardless of whether you stay married or you split up.
So if you have say a true career problem and then you need to go back to school or switch jobs or whatever, you probably need to do that whether you’re married to this person you’re struggling with or you’re not married to them. If someone has a true health issue, they need to fix that whether they stay married or they leave the marriage.
So it’s all about trying to identify all the things that you both need to improve upon whether you stay married or you split. And very often these things would benefit you even if you split and even if it’s something to do with the other person. So you’re obviously going to be better off if you’re going to have an ex-wife that fixes her employment or health problems just as much as it would be if she was still your wife. If you’re a wife, and your husband has a terrible gambling problem say, that’s in your interest that he fixes that whether he’s married to you or not married to you.
It’s all about trying to find the things that are going to get you some sort of win no matter the circumstances, no matter the outcome of the marriage. Which means you can just get started on fixing something, anything, without consciously going though a rollercoaster of thoughts thinking “Will the marriage survive?” Because that’s obviously traumatic and stressful thinking about that.
This allows you to just start somewhere, make some sort of progress, and hopefully, eventually, get yourselves to a place where the marriage gets a little easier to work on because you’ve started sorting out some of these life problems together.