Marriage can be one of the most meaningful and beautiful relationships we experience but requires immense work and compromise. The ups and downs of life leave no page unturned, and difficult things affect your relationship in one way or another, despite your best effort to prevent it. Financial obligations, opposing parenting styles, unfaithfulness, dishonesty, and complacency are just a few of the negative influences that bulldoze the well-being of a relationship. This is why addressing issues promptly and effectively before they build up and demolish your marriage is important, but many are not proactive and discover that issues have exponentially worsened over the years. A struggling marriage can be hard to repair, but below are some tips to help you begin the path to restoring your marriage.
Identifying Problems in Your Marriage
The first step toward fixing a struggling marriage is identifying the core problems being experienced. Set aside specific time to speak with your spouse about what is bothering you, and ensure that you are completely focused on the conversation. A helpful way to explain your feelings without sounding accusatory is to say, “When you__, I feel __.” For example, “When you yell at me in public, I feel hurt and humiliated.” Another important step in this process is called reflective listening. This exercise is completed by having your partner reflect on what you have disclosed. For instance, your partner may say, “ I’m hearing that when I yell at you in public, it hurts your feelings and makes you feel humiliated.” This is an effective way to ensure you and your partner understand exactly what is being communicated. It can be hard to remain silent when discussing hurtful scenarios, but it is important for each of you to give the other person space to explain before challenging their views or becoming defensive.
Couples who drift apart emotionally experience diminished intimacy and connection with one another. The stress of daily life, work, and kids can make you forget about nurturing your relationship. It is essential to remember that your marriage ranks second only to your relationship with the Lord. Many couples lose track of this and put all their focus and energy into raising their kids and working long hours. Filling your partner’s love tank is comparable to filling up your car. If you don’t put energy into your marriage, you can’t expect to get very far and may even end up broken down and alone. To reconnect emotionally, spend quality time together, and create new, shared meaning. Everyone changes and evolves throughout their lifetime, but it is important to grow together. By continually doing mutually exciting things or trying new hobbies, you can ensure that you grow closer as you move through the changing tides of life.
Work Together to Find Solutions
When issues arise, it is important to compromise and try to understand where your partner is coming from. One partner often feels the other is completely to blame so they place all of the responsibility for the relationship’s well-being onto them without taking any personal accountability. In order to make true progress, you must work on your issues together with genuine honesty, mutual respect, and openness. This increases the chances of success and allows you both to make amends. Make sure that you validate your partner’s feelings and experiences, even if you hold a different view. You can validate their feelings so they feel valued and heard without validating their negative behaviors. Valuing each other enough to truly listen to what they are saying is vital to a loving marriage. There are some issues in marriage that may never be completely resolved, but you can still progress forward with understanding and empathy regardless. Some issues, like infidelity and abuse should not be moved past and need to be resolved to have a chance to heal and build a healthy relationship.
Seek Professional Advice
It can be scary to seek professional counseling for your marriage because you are inviting a complete stranger into the most intimate parts of your relationship, but this can also be one of the most beneficial steps you can take to repair your marriage. A skilled therapist will offer an objective view of the issues that you are experiencing and provide guidance on how to move forward. Therapeutic conversations and exercises not only assist in healing but also propel marriages forward into a place of wellness that may not have otherwise been attainable. It is important to keep in mind that therapy can make things worse before they get better, but putting in honest effort and hard work will get you the relational reward that you both desire.
We hope these tips will assist you in repairing and improving your marriage, but should you desire further assistance, New Vision Counseling and Consulting can provide you with information about our therapeutic process and set you up for success. Seeking counseling will not only improve your marriage but will also help you understand yourself on a deeper level. We cannot truly change what we are unaware of. Consequently, self-exploration is an important part of evolving into the best version of yourself so you can show up as your best self in your marriage. True change begins on a spiritual level, so we want to guide you through transformation and restoration so that your behaviors reflect the healthy changes you are making internally. We are here to help guide you through the decision-making process so that you can implement changes that will create a life you and your partner want to be a part of. Reach out today by calling (405) 921-7776. We can’t wait to hear from you!