If you’re going through a rocky period in your marriage, you may want to repair things on your own before taking the leap right to counseling. It can be intimidating to try and fix things yourself, but so long as you and your spouse work together, there’s no reason you can’t improve your marriage without professional help.
Open yourself up to the way you feel. It’s easy to ignore certain emotions or pretend things are better than they are, but your emotions contain important information, and you shouldn’t pretend they don’t exist. Everybody can be better, and nobody should be ashamed if they’ve got something to work on. Even if it’s just trying to be the kindest version of yourself, there’s always room for improvement. The better you are, the better your marriage will be.
Make a choice to prioritize your marriage. A marriage, like any relationship, requires effort and work. Make space for that effort and work by deciding to put your marriage first. Every day, check in with your partner, really sit down to talk to them, and engage in the daily rituals of life together. It’s easy to get caught up in whatever interests you and go through the motions everywhere else especially if your marriage isn’t particularly great right now but you have to commit to working on what you and your spouse have. This is more of an attitude than anything else; approach conflict with a “us vs. the problem” mindset, not “me vs. you.” It can help to remind yourself of all of the good times you and your spouse have had together. It’s easy to let things continue to fall apart when you’re caught up in the momentum of a bad cycle, but try to shake yourself out of that by stepping back and remembering the love you have.
Diagnose the underlying problems together.
Sit down with your spouse and kindly talk through the key issues. Choose a time when the two of you are in a productive headspace. Calmly discuss what your main problems are, and try to come to an agreement on what the two of you need to work on. Whether it’s communication, kindness, or finding time to reconnect together, you can’t fix your marriage if the two of you aren’t on the same page. There may be practical issues driving a wedge between you, like financial problems or conflicting schedules that lead to a lack of quality time together. In these cases, making a gameplan together to alleviate the issue can help relieve a lot of the pressure. It could be that the two of you are overly defensive or critical of one another. In these cases, changing the way you communicate can make a big difference. If there are issues with trust, talking about what the underlying fear is can help set the stage for some healing to take place.
Set concrete goals together.
Once you understand the problems, develop plans to solve them. You aren’t going to fix your marriage overnight, but creating a road map together can make things a lot easier. If the two of you can agree on the nature of your problems and identify the potential solutions, you’ll be able to start working on them together. You might agree to sit down every day and communicate without any phones, TVs, or distractions if the two of you just aren’t sharing enough. You could set ground rules for future arguments, like no personal attacks, or set a safe word for when things get out of hand. You can agree to give one another at least one compliment every day to try and pump some kindness back into your relationship. Alternatively, you might just agree to keep the conversation going and make a pledge to continue discussing what you two need to work on. Sometimes, just knowing the problems are being worked on can make things easier.
Schedule restorative conversations.
Set time aside on your calendar to give yourselves structure. It’s easy to say, “Yeah, we’ll talk about it later,” but one (or both) of you may just avoid tough conversations or forget. Scheduling time to discuss your issues ensures that nothing is going to go unresolved. It also sets the stage for more productive conversations, since the knowledge that the conversation is going to take place can give you time to figure out what you want to say. How often you schedule these convos is up to you, but start off with one every week or two. If you do this every day, it might wear you down. If you space things out too far though, you might forget things from your previous conversation. This is especially important if your fights and disagreements tend to get out of hand. Giving yourself some time to emotionally prepare can really keep you from getting defensive or angry in the moment.
Rely on “I” statements when discussing problems. Frame things by focusing on your feelings, not your partner’s behavior. If your partner keeps hearing “you never…” and “you are…” it can begin to feel like you’re attacking them. Framing things around the pronoun “I” can take a lot of the pressure off of your partner, and it can dramatically improve the quality of your conversations when things aren’t going great. For example, something like, “You never pay attention to me,” presents the “you” as the key problem. Saying, “I feel like I don’t get a ton of attention,” frames the issue around your experience. This can go a long way towards defusing tough conversations.
Maintain a standing date night.
Reconnecting with one another and making time for romance is huge. If things are rough, it can feel like the two of you are just roommates. Pushing yourselves to do something romantic together at least once a week (or two weeks) can do wonders for your relationship. This can rekindle things if your marriage is lacking a little spice, and remind the two of you how rewarding your marriage can be. Try to do something new every week. Try different restaurants, go dancing, or take a day trip somewhere you’ve never been. The more variety there is, the more exciting your date night will feel.
Write each other a letter.
Writing your feelings down is an effective way to express yourself. You can do this after a disagreement to process how you feel and share it with your partner to communicate without the back-and-forth of a conversation. Alternatively, you can write them a love letter and explain how much they mean to you just to remind them how important they are. These little random acts of kindness can dramatically improve your relationship. Putting your feelings on paper can also be therapeutic for you! Sometimes, putting messy or complicated emotions into words can really help you explore the way you feel.
Lean into your spouse’s love language. Everyone experiences love differently, so meet your partner on their grounds. The five love languages refer to the unique ways people prefer to receive and give love. If your spouse feels unloved, neglected, or ignored, pushing yourself to meet your spouse on their grounds can really help the quality of your marriage. The five love languages are: Words of affirmation. People with this love language like being told how loved they are, and rely on verbal communication to experience love.
Content created and supplied by: Undergroundnewsgh (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More