Whatever happened to your marriage? It used to be so good. Then one day you realized he bugs you in so many ways. His formerly delightful way of interjecting humor into every conversation is now an irritating habit of never taking anything seriously. What used to be charming is now thoroughly annoying. If you want to save your marriage, it’s better to address the issues as soon as possible.
Identify the problems. You have the general idea that your marriage lacks the luster it once had, but what, specifically, is wrong? You can’t fix something until you have a clear idea of what the problem is. Write a list, and be sure to include those issues you find difficult to talk about. If you fight all the time about everything, then maybe the way you deal with issues is the problem—how you interact is probably what’s wrong more than the challenges you face.
Take responsibility. Try to be objective. You aren’t perfect, so maybe some blame belongs squarely in your lap. Take responsibility for your part of the problem. After all, you are the only one you can change. Your partner may also be open to change, but if he isn’t, you take the lead. What can you do differently to make things better? It’s even more effective if you can work together to determine what you both need to do.
Nix the negativity. Eric Clapton has a song: Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself. That’s great advice. Accusations, criticisms, complaints, placing blame—all that negative stuff doesn’t do your marriage any good. And it makes your partner defensive, which does not put him in a helpful frame of mind. Mean remarks and sarcasm have a similar effect. It may make you feel better to make a snide remark, but it doesn’t do your marriage any good.
Accentuate the positive. Once you get into the habit of being upbeat and positive, it creates a positive energy that’s contagious and irresistible. When your contacts with your partner are more loving and more often, good begets good. You begin to smile more, touch more. You feel better about yourself and each other. You have sex more often. Physical contact is often a catalyst for a more intimate emotional relationship. When you share more you help each other more, you do more together and on and on. The positivity between you increases and you feel more appreciative toward your partner.
Know when to give up. Not all marriages can be fixed. If your spouse suffers from addiction that he will not or cannot give up, then it’s time to rethink your goals about fixing your marriage. Likewise if he has anger or abuse issues that he uses against you. Also if he has serial affairs that he swears he’ll stop but just doesn’t. You may need to leave him for your own health and sanity. It’s possible to rebuild your marriage, but only if he’ll stop his hurtful behavior forever. Because you deserve to be in a happy, healthy marriage.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact