Healthy Ways to Solve Marital Problems

Healthy Ways to Solve Marital Problems

Problems in marriage are just that, a problem! What makes a situation a problem? Is it because of something we learnt in our family of origin? Societal norms? The culture in which we live?  It is all of these things and more.  When we get married we have certain ideas on how the relationship should work. What happens when something happens in the relationship that is seen as inappropriate by at least one person in the relationship?

Communication is the key

Being able to express to your partner what you find inappropriate really helps. Using “I” statements will assist you in identifying hurtful feelings without accusing your partner of any wrongdoing. For example, “I feel like you do not care when you walk away while I am talking” sounds less aggressive than “You walk away when I am talking like you don’t care”  

Understanding your partner’s point of view

There will be times when you and your partner may not be in agreement about what is inappropriate behavior. Let’s use the example of one person going out with friends and returning home late in the evening. The spouse who is at home thinks that the other partner should be home by a certain time. The person who is out is in disagreement and feels as though they are an adult and should be able to stay out as long as they like. Who is right? Well, you both are. Both people are entitled to their opinions. In order to have a healthy relationship, two individuals will have to compromise and think about the needs of the other partner. Discuss the issue and come to an understanding about what should be an appropriate return time in the future.

Continue to grow in your relationship

Acknowledging the differences between your partner and yourself. Appreciate them for what they are without having to agree on everything or learn to amicably disagree and move on.

We all are fallible

Understanding that neither of you will get it right all of the time is important. Do not take one incident as a character flaw in your partner. Remember, it may be you who needs to be more understanding next time.

Kimberly VanBuren
Therapist & Life Management Coach, MA, LMFT, LPC-S
Kimberly is an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist who understands the importance of a healthy work-life balance. She and the Balancing Act team provide training and support to organizations, small groups, and individuals by evidence-based techniques to alleviate stress and anxiety and improve sleep health, to name a few. Kimberly served in the United States Air Force for eight years and continues to provide ancillary mental health and work-life balance services to active duty men and women and their families.

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