Family: Michael & Nicole Kennedy
#DINAOP: Wife contacts me and says that she is unhappy and the marriage is struggling. Husband agrees but he blames her for their troubles. She blames his mother.
Steven: I assume you are familiar with my style. Let’s get right to it. Start from the beginning. I like timelines. I am looking for behavioral patterns. I am trying to figure out if you or your spouse have broken any of my marriage principles. If my questions don’t make you uncomfortable, then I am not doing my job. I am not judgmental, you can keep it 100 with me. I don’t care what you did in the past, I only care what you are going to do in the future to improve your marriage. I am not on your side. I am not on his side. I am on the side of marriage. I am not a facilitator. I am a Relationship Coach. If you want a divorce, it’s too late. Get that off of your mind. We are not getting a divorce. You should have filed before you called me. You have 30 minutes to explain your side of the story. Then I will give him 30 minutes to explain his side of the story. Then we will spend an hour together to see how much of your stories match. Go.
Nicole: How can you say that we are not getting a divorce and you haven’t even heard our problem yet?
Steven: Simple. Because Divorce Is Not An Option. I have never encountered a relationship or marriage that I couldn’t fix, save and make better. All marriages can be saved. I am going to identify the things in your marriage that you can do better and the things in your marriage that your husband can do better. What you guys do with this information is up to you.
Nicole: We met 7 years ago. Dated for two years and got married. We became pregnant, so the engagement was only a few months. The problems started before we were married. He is a momma’s boy. His momma always has something to say. Both of us are married to him. She is his first wife. I am the side-chick. His father, her husband, died some time ago and since then he has been her husband.
Steven: Give me some examples of him being a momma’s boy. Give me some examples of when you feel like his mother went too far.
Nicole: She demanded that her daughter, his sister, be in MY wedding. We had a huge argument at our engagement party which was like two days before the wedding. His sister arrives in town on a Wednesday. Party is on Thursday. Wedding is on Saturday. All of a sudden she has to be in the wedding just because she has a black dress. Her dress does not match the bridesmaid dresses. If she wanted to be in the wedding, if he wanted her to be in the wedding, someone should have said something when we started planning the wedding two months ago.
Steven: What other problems do you have in the marriage besides his mother?
Nicole: That is mainly it. But his mother impacts every aspect of our lives. She doesn’t like me. I don’t feel welcome in her house but she keeps our daughter during the day. I just drop off my daughter or pick up my daughter. I don’t talk to her much except for instructions for the baby. She doesn’t talk to me either. She talks about me. I hate holidays. He wants to stay over there up under her all day long. I bought him an iPad for his birthday and he gave it to his mother! Any day that I have to see her or be in her presence is ruined. He said to me to ignore his mother and that I take things too personally. He basically wants me to be ok with the disrespect. He acknowledges the disrespect he just doesn’t do anything about it. I am a grown @ss woman. I don’t have to be around anyone that doesn’t respect me.
Steven: I am going to ask you now to go to the waiting room and send your husband in. Once I get his side of the story we can all talk together.
Wife: He doesn’t have a side. He’s a momma’s boy and I need man! I don’t know what you could possibly do to make a momma’s boy stop being a momma’s boy. Impossible! I have threatened him; I have tried everything!
Steven: You need not worry. I have encountered this issue with many-a-men. I provide men with a simple explanation which resolves their concern with disappointing momma. No man has ever disagreed with this explanation. Always works.
Steven: Michael, what up bro? What’s good? Thanks for coming. I got your wife’s side of the story and now I want to hear yours. Start from the beginning.
Michael: Well, she will say that our problems started earlier but I believe that we were fine until she tried to cuss out my mother at our engagement party two days before the wedding.
Steven: Wait, what? Really? But I just talked to her and she didn’t say . . . never mind. Why did she cuss out your mother?
Michael: She believed that it was my mother who wanted my sister in the wedding but it was really me. Initially I had said that my sister didn’t need to be in the wedding when we first started planning the wedding. I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t think about how my mother would feel about. Once my mother found out she was upset. I guess it really didn’t hit home until my sister arrived in town for the wedding. So I went to Nicole and asked her if my sister could be in the wedding before the engagement party.
Steven: Hold on, that’s enough for the day. “Nicole, please join us” I said from my office.
Steven: Nicole, why didn’t you tell me that you cussed out his mother?
Nicole: Well, it is not the first thing that is on my mind. I was going to tell you.
Steven: Ok, enough. Everyone take out their pen and paper. Michael, repeat after me and write this down. “The husband is to marriage what the coach is to the football team. He is what the CEO is to the company. He is what the President is to the country. When the football team loses, the coach is fired. When the company’s sales decline, then the CEO gets replaced. If the economy goes into a recession, the President doesn’t get a second term. If the marriage is failing, the husband is a failure. Michael, you are failing as a husband because your first responsibility as a husband is to protect your marriage. Michael, do you understand that you are failing as a husband when you allow external factors to influence your marriage?”
Michael: Yes, I do.
Steven: When you allow your mother to influence your marriage, you lose the respect of two women, not just one. You are going about this the wrong way. Mothers don’t stay mad long. Wives do. Your life and your marriage will be unsettled until you reprioritize your life. Very simple. This sister right here will never accept being in second place. Being a wife means that she is first. Your mother will accept her being first, but she has to respect you first. Your mother doesn’t respect you. Do you know how to get the respect of your mother? Show her that the man she raised knows how to love a woman. Write this down: “God is 1st in my life. My wife is second in my life. My wife is third in my life. The fourth spot in my life is vacant because I don’t want anything in competition with my wife. The fifth spot in my life is reserved for Momma.” You have to tell her that. You have to say “Momma you are the 5th most important person in my life.” She is going to get angry. She is not going to understand until you start to live your life in accordance to this ranking. Then, the next day take her lunch. Mommas love their boys. She will forgive you on the spot. Mommas always forgive. Wives don’t.
Steven: I really don’t care what his mother said or did. Does this plan even make sense to you? . . . “I am going to curse out the momma of the momma’s boy.” How does that benefit you? Any problem you have with his mother, you bring to him. Never disrespect his mother again. Turn to him, look him in the eye and give him a heartfelt apology. Go over there and give that man a kiss and tell him that never again will you disrespect his mother. Y’all get out of here. See y’all next week.
#DINAOP – The Divorce Is Not An Option Project
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