Every marriage, every relationship goes through a rough patch. Perhaps, not in the first few months, maybe not even after a year, but it’s inevitable. The thing is, after you successfully work through that first one, there will be more. That is if you have a healthy union.
That might bring a double-take or two since many people carry the misperception that a relationship without problems is ideal, but the messier your union, the better your connection.
A partnership, free of ups and downs, is an indication of hiding frustrations and dissatisfactions instead of finding ways to get through a rough patch in a marriage. These are not ideal situations. The individuals have issues like everyone. They merely ignore theirs.
Are rough patches a normal part of a healthy marriage
Life can become overwhelming with the immense responsibilities that take over in what is a chaotic time. Most people engage in a full-time venture, whether it be employment, interests, or hobbies, to satisfy personal fulfillment in addition to handling family responsibilities, a household, plus attempting to fit in self-care and wellness.
Sometimes, marriage gets off track because it’s not taking precedence, with one or both individuals taking the “deprioritizing” personally, creating a rough patch. That is incredibly natural and prevalent in relationships. Each person knows this is merely a temporary mess that needs working through in a healthy, communicative way.
There is mutual love and understanding that the partnership is a forever deal, and that won’t change simply because life got in the way and probably will again. While it might sound simple, it’s not. There’s anger, a disconnection, frustration; it can be tough to find your way back.
Sometimes it takes time and exceptional nurturing, but if the two of you find the marriage worth looking for the answers to the conundrum, going through a rough patch will be temporary, and each that follows will prove smoother because you’ve learned coping skills.
15 ways to get through a rough patch in a marriage
So, what are the ways to get through a rough patch in your marriage?
If you don’t feel your mate is approachable with your concerns or you’re uncomfortable bringing them to your partner, perhaps a professional setting would be more suitable for working through the rough patch in marriage.
One of the ways to get through a rough patch in your marriage is to find your perspective- what made you commit to this person in the beginning?
There was something that took you from dating to “I want to spend the rest of my life with them.” Most will answer simply with the notion they love the person, but there’s so much more to finding someone who’s your other one.
There’s friendship, perhaps wanting to create a family with them, simply seeing life at every stage as an “us” committed instead of just you. When you can remind yourself of the “why” in the equation, the rough patch seems like a small issue that you can work through by talking to each other as you’ve probably always done.
2. Always pay attention to the vitals of your marriage
Relationships need continuous work. They become comfortable and stale quickly if you stop putting effort into it. Often, neither of you notice it right away. Still, when one of you does, it has already become a problem. You’ll start to recognize bickering between you, agitation, and impatience.
As situations arise, the best way to handle them is immediate.
Don’t let them get out of hand. Once they fester and pile up, it’s challenging and takes a lot of time to work through, with each person feeling hurt, unheard, and less of a priority. If you give special attention to every issue as it comes, your mate will feel vindicated.
Look at the positives of the partnership versus the negative aspects.
If you have challenges finding good points, instead, seeing nothing but bleakness for a substantial period, even with much effort put into trying to work through the tough times in marriage, it’s time to consider third-party intervention.
Professional counselors might be able to spark some of the good memories and ignite healthy conversation as ways to get through a rough patch in marriage.
4. Sometimes change is warranted
When marriage gets tough, some things need to change so the relationship can get back on track. No one should expect a mate to change to meet their needs.
But if you each want to work with your behavior patterns to see if you can produce kinder, more loving people exuding kindness and tolerance there’s nothing wrong with putting forth that effort for the sake of your marriage.
It takes a dual effort. One person can’t do all the work when there’s a problem. It takes each of you tweaking a thing or two to see if you can make a difference with the problems occurring.
Somehow the two of you went in different directions. Where in the beginning, you were heading down the same path toward one goal. While you should be ok with being individuals (even opposites attract), marrieds typically have a similar long-term goal.
In order to find ways to get through a rough patch in your marriage involving losing sight of your mutual direction, it requires a one-on-one, serious conversation with the focus on what the other wants for the future.
It should entail steps of you developing plans for one, five, and ten years, working diligently together for the best outcome for each of you.
In any marriage or long-term relationship, compromise is necessary if you want the partnership to survive along with sacrificing.
Sometimes you might have to give up your wants and desires in favor of making your mate happy, ultimately creating a joyful union, and also seeing their happiness can genuinely make you feel good.
7. Find that gold at the end of the rainbow
If you don’t see there’s a happily ever after to the rough patch, you’ll face challenges working through the problems. Negative begets bad vibes for everyone involved. The outcome will be affected by your attitude.
If you see no good coming of it, there’s little chance for improvement.
It’s vital to find a way to make your partner happy by looking for ways to get through a rough patch in your marriage so that you can both learn from it, so it doesn’t happen again – but with the attitude that you can do it.
You might be going through a rough patch, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend an evening with each other looking over photos with some wine, maybe hot cocoa (or your beverage of choice.)
Check out pictures from your first date while you were seeing each other when you became engaged, your wedding, perhaps during the first year of marriage, and reminisce.
You’d be surprised at the amount of fun and the hours that will pass reliving those moments, plus how problems will begin to seem smaller (not insignificant) but workable.
9. Gratitude is a lovely thing
Sometimes we forget to feel grateful for the things we have in our life. Some of that is because of life. It gets in the way. It’s critical to take time away from everything and everyone on your own, by yourself, to consider all that you have and appreciate it.
Once you have that clarity, it can help prepare you for ways to get through a rough patch in your marriage.
10. Both of you need a break
In the same vein as appreciating each other and finding gratitude, taking some time apart for each of you to consider the relationship on your own is wise if the rough patch is especially tough. These should be handled with calm, considerate mindsets.
There should be no yelling or screaming. If you haven’t reached the point of peaceful “deliberation,” it’s better to give yourselves time to collect your thoughts.
11. Don’t diminish the other’s feelings or emotions
If your mate initiates the conversation concerning the problems in the marriage and expresses how the issues are making them feel, it’s essential to make your partner feel heard.
If your partner feels like they haven’t been a priority, they need to know you’re making them one now. It needs expressing that you’re ready to work together to make the necessary changes. Your mate is putting forth a great deal to make the first move – that’s something to be recognized.
One way to get through a rough patch in your marriage is to realize life’s responsibilities are getting the better of both of you. Maybe you can sit down together and figure a way to manage them as a team, so they’re not so overwhelming.
With a new system, there might be more time to make each other more of a priority – you can even put specific time meant for the other person on the schedule each day, so it has to be a priority.
13. Don’t complain
No matter how challenging it can be, don’t complain to each other. When you’re having conversations, whether it be on date night or when you’re discussing a rough patch, don’t do it in a complaining manner but instead as a constructive conversation meant to educate and solve the problem.
Complaining can lead to defensiveness and, ultimately, an argument.
Check out this video to know why criticism and complaining are detrimental to your marriage and how it creates an opposite effect rather than what we desire:
14. Trust and believe in your partner
Generally, when a rough patch happens, you start to believe that the other person doesn’t value you anymore, that you’re no longer important in their life. You have needs and desires that are no longer being met, and you feel let down. Instead of coming out and asking, “what’s up,” you immediately believe the worst.
But if you genuinely love this person and hold trust for them, you know what you’re feeling isn’t reality. It’s simply a misunderstanding the two of you need to work out, and you will, but you need to talk. Communication is key for a healthy relationship– ask the questions.
15. Bring in the third party for assistance
A marital therapist is an ideal third party to reach out to when searching for ways to get through a rough patch in your marriage if you’ve exhausted your efforts. Sometimes we need a little help, especially if it’s the first rough patch and you’re learning ways to cope with problems.
A professional can guide you through these skills, teaching you to speak with each other constructively, make each other a priority, and cope when problems crop up because they will again.
All marriages will experience tough times, some more so than others. How often doesn’t speak for the kind of marriage you have. How you work through them and come out on the other side makes the determination.
Something to remember is you need to fit life into your personal world instead of squeezing your personal world into a hectic life. Life is too short.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.