The reason why many marriages become unhappy has a lot to do with tension, miscommunication, betrayal, disappointment and many other painful things associated with love relationships. Depending on the circumstances of your own love story there are some steps that could be taken to fix your unhappy marriage.
There is a chance for you to reach the light at the end of, what is likely going to be a very long tunnel. This will require some marriage re-education, bravery and willingness to take the right steps.
However, re-building a marriage isn’t necessarily going to be a process of ongoing improvement, full of successful outcomes. Sometimes it might get a little bit worse before it gets any better. As everything meaningful in life, a marriage needs effort, time and dedication but you need to make sure that you are using those valuable resources in the right way.
To give you a clearer direction in terms of what you need to do to fix your unhappy marriage we recommend these 5 steps that can guide you towards more fulfilment and happiness with your current partner:
Stop causing further damage to your marriage
The most immediate thing you can do is to stop causing further damage by avoiding the most common marital mistakes made by couples. These mistakes include:
- Initiating needless conflicts/arguments/debates,
- Victimising, begging and pleading (especially when it is done in public),
- Blaming and accusing your partner,
- Turning to emotional blackmailing in order to control your partner
- Bad-mouthing your partner
Even though at times the appeal to engage in such behaviours can seem irresistible it is crucial that we take a step back and refrain from causing further damage to our marriage by finding alternative ways to deal with hurt, tension or frustration.
Eliminate the urge to “act out” on negative feelings
As already mentioned at the beginning of this article, negative feelings are related to tension, miscommunication, betrayal, disappointment can be a great source of unhappiness and sense of failure in many marriages.
To fix and heal the struggling relationship we first need to stop causing more negativity (step 1) and then learn how to deal with the negativity that is already there (step 2).
It might not be a pleasure to hear this but realistically, no one wants to be married to a person who is always depressed, angry, struggling, insecure or clingy. That’s just how things are and no one is to be blamed for that fact of life. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, what you can do is develop a capacity to deal with negativity in an effective and self-empowering way.
Instead of “acting out” you can learn to “act within”. Besides being the best thing that happened to your marriage this ability will support you in becoming extremely resilient in life, in general.
Let go of the need to always be right
The need to always be right is usually used for only 1 thing- murdering your marriage. The fights and arguments that are initiated to make this “power game” possible are only generating losers, guilt and resentment.
Even if you “win” an argument, the satisfying feeling of moral victory is usually very short lived. In a matter of seconds your glory can turn into guilt and regret and that’s why being happy is more important than being “right”.
Acknowledge the current challenges and possibilities
One way to do this is to become honest with yourself and others and do an inventory of your marriage that includes answers to questions like these ones:
- How unhappy do you feel in your marriage?
- In what way is the unhappiness of your marriage influencing your children (if there are any)?
- What is the price you are paying for being unhappily married? How is your career doing? What about your friendships?
- How is marital unhappiness influencing your sense of self-worth?
- How is the quality of your sex life? What is the level of emotional and sexual intimacy in your marriage?
- In what way is your unhappy marriage impacting on your overall health and well-being?
You can do this exercise on your own and use it as a reflective practice or you can share it with someone you trust and have confidence in (could be your partner too if you feel that this is the correct thing to do).
Turn your marital struggles into personal-growth opportunities
At this point, your unhappy marriage might seem like a total nightmare and it might be difficult to recognize the positive sides or your circumstances. The fact that you don’t see the positive sides doesn’t mean that there aren’t any, so having a look from another perspective can help you recognize the great learning potential that is available in an unhappy marriage.
As marriages present our opportunity to mend our core childhood wounds if you manage to fix your current marital situation you will,at the same time, heal your very own soul. Usually, the partners we choose have the ability to trigger the painful patterns that keep us stuck and unhappy in life.
If we learn to rise above our childhood conditioning and reinvent ourselves through awareness and healthy habits we will have the ability to experience fuller and richer life, including a happier marriage.