What Does Michael Jordan Have to Do With Fixing Your Marriage?

Marriage therapyI am asked virtually everyday, "How do I fix my marital problems with my spouse." (hint: the answer has to do with Michael Jordan....keep

For years, my response would be a wry comment, "Wouldn't it be nice to just take a pill?!" or a more serious, "You must do the work."

Today, I talk about mindset...and how vital mindset it to the health and growth of your relationship.

There is a lot of talk in the psychology world about "mindset" and how profoundly it affects your success in life...in your career, sports, and relaitonships.

Researcher, author, and Stanford University professor Dr. Carol Dweck wrote the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success and addresses the two types of mindsets that humans function from -- fixed and growth.

In a fixed mindset, the individual believes that attributes suchs as intellect and talent are non-changing...you have your allotted amount of smarts and skills and these don't change over the course of time. These individuals believe that success is created only through these innate gifts of talent and not through effort. (Hint: they are wrong!)

In a growth mindset, individuals believe that they can develop their skills and talents through learning, through trial and error, and through being open to feedback and support. The individuals have a love of learning and a level of resilience or grit that allows them to persist even when it appears that they are failing.

It is easy to see how these mindsets have a significant effect on how you view your relationship and your willingness to 1) try something new to create meaningful change and 2) ask for support or guidance from a therapist. 

I will often hear a partner say, "I'm just not in love with my husband anymore." 

Often the experience of "not being in love" is equated, for the fixed-mindsetters, to the relationship being over. You are either in love or out of love. And if it is over, it is over. In this fixed scenario there is little movement for growth, change, and healing.

For those clients of mine with a growth mindset, the clients who say "yes" to the challenges in their relationships, the chances of success are great. Not because these couples of special, more gifted, more virtuous...but because these couples are willing to try something new and to fail. We fail in our relationships everyday in some small and some big ways. From a growth mindset, failure is an opportunity to learn more about how to do it differently to achieve the more desired result. 

The only way to have a healthy and vibrant marriage or relationship is to be willing to fail over and over and over again...and then learn how to do it differently.

You might remember this Nike commercial from the 1990's with Michael Jordan. Jordan outlines his missed shots and lost games and attributes is willingness to fail to his ability to win. 

Having a trained professional to help guide your growth process is not only helpful it is quite effecient! If you are ready to create meaningful change in your marriage or relationships, call now for your free 20 minute phone consultation, 720.457.3342, or click the red "book online now" button at the top of your screen. We look forward to hearing from you!

Jenny Glick, MA, MSC, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of the Counseling Center of Cherry Creek in Denver, Colorado. Jenny and her team stay on top of the latest relationship, marriage, and emotional health research to provide their clients with effective tools to create the lives that they desire.