Your marriage doesn’t have to end even if you and your spouse are considering a divorce. It is important not to make any hasty decisions and to look for ways to address the issues that are preventing you and your spouse from having a happy and healthy relationship.
Should You Address the Major Issues First?
What would you say is ruining your marriage? An affair or an addiction can have disastrous consequences on a marriage, but a lot of marriages are threatened because the spouses have stopped paying attention to each other. Perhaps resentment has been building up over the years due to issues that might seem trivial. One approach would be to make a list of the main problems that need to be addressed before you work on building a better marriage.
A Positive Pro-Active Approach May Be More Successful!
In my work with couples over more than 25 years, I have found it works well to look back to how they met and what first attracted them to one another. When you look back on the enjoyable times, it can become obvious that neither partner is nurturing or investing much time and energy into their relationship any longer.
The responsibilities of life, work, and children have often been allowed to take over the relaxed and fun times that nurture and build a strong caring relationship. Often when I ask a couple how long since they have had a fun date with each other, they have to look at each other to recall it. Many times it has been at least months and often years!
Positivity Is The Key To Saving Your Marriage
You might resent your spouse or feel angry towards them. They probably experience some negative emotions towards you as well. You cannot save your marriage if you are unable to create a positive environment. Spend some time apart if you need to get over some intense negative emotions.
There might be a need for some apologies and for an open discussion about your negative feelings before you can move forward. Do your best to bring positive energy to the relationship, even if you feel that your spouse is not doing the same.
Following are tips to help strengthen your marriage. But first, check out my products related to marriage health.
What Do You Want from Your Marriage?
Your marriage is probably in trouble because the relationship is not meeting the needs of both spouses. This can result in one of the spouses being tempted to engage in an emotional or physical affair or lead to resentment building up.
You can meet the needs of your spouse by being affectionate, listening to them, showing interest in what they like, and by being their best friend.
There might be other things that you and your spouse expect from the relationship, which is why you need to talk about it and define what your ideal marriage would look like.
Learn To Communicate And Cooperate
Saving your marriage is going to be difficult if you and your spouse are not able to communicate. You might be fighting a lot or have simply stopped talking to each other. It is vital that you agree to have regular talks about the relationship so you can express how you feel about the marriage and primarily focus on finding solutions to your problems.
Do your best to be a good listener and set a few rules to avoid fighting, name-calling, or silent treatment. Make an effort to express yourself without blaming but instead expressing what would work better for you. Also, focus on asking your spouse what they would like to receive from you. In our daily busyness, it is common for us to neglect one another.
These are a few strategies that will help you make positive efforts to improve your marriage instead of just focusing on your marriage problems.
Enlist the help of your spouse to work on your issues but don’t hesitate to start fixing the marriage by yourself if your spouse seems reluctant. You may also think about receiving professional help if you find that communicating is difficult or if you don’t know how to address your problems. It is a sign of strength to seek help when needed rather than pretending all is well when it is not.
If you are looking for local help, be sure it is what I call a marriage-friendly counselor, coach, or therapist with a good success rate!
Marriage Counselor & Author
In my personal life, I have had a long successful marriage and have remarried following my husband's death. I have had three sons and helped raise a niece for three years and have seven grandchildren. I have loved spending time with them as they were growing up.
I also enjoy getting together with family and friends, ATVing in the mountains, photography, hiking, and traveling. I also enjoy reading, creating art, decorating, and serving others by volunteering.
Assisting couples in rebuilding their marriages has been so rewarding as I've had the privilege of seeing hundreds of couples reunite and get back to being positively connected to one another.
I also work with personal development and those who want to move forward by making positive improvements such as goal setting, self-care, boundaries, behavioral improvements, overcoming procrastination, conflict management, etc.