The majority of marriages start with enthusiasm, hope, and happiness of two people who are in love and committed to keeping it that way. We often believe that we are the ones who are truly going to live „happily ever after”. But, as time goes by and our life together goes ahead, we come across many challenges and even find ourselves in scenarios we never thought could never happen to us.
It can be very painful and stressful to live in a marriage we are concerned or doubtful about. “Should I stay or should I go” is hard to question to ask oneself when both options seem so painful. Luckily there are some tips we can follow that could lead us at least to alignment with whatever decision we make, here they are:
1) Make the first step
One wise poet once said: „Yes, the world could be better. But the problem is – no one wants to start first!” If all you do is „finger pointing“, be sure you’re part of the problem, not the solution. Ask yourself what it is that you can change, how could you be better or do better. Every change our world starts from ourselves, and nothing can change until we do.
2) Think about your priorities
There’s another wisdom which says that we already have what is our true priority. For example, if you say your priority is a good looking healthy body, but you’re too lazy to workout, that only means that you are giving priority to your comfort, not to your goal. At the same sense, maybe you were disregarding your marriage because of the things that are actually less important to you. Try to be more aware of the choices you are making unconsciously, and you won’t fall so easily into your own traps.
3) Remember the happy times
What was different back then? Of course, it may be that your partner changed in a not so pretty way but there is not much you can do about it now, so let’s see what are the things that maybe you did better before.
As time goes by and we get used to the good things we’re blessed with, we have a tendency to take them for granted and even stop noticing them. The spotlight of our attention goes to the things that are bothering us, and our criticism overcomes our appreciation. Not so fun for us and not so stimulating for our partner, don’t you agree?
4) Do what good friends do
Good spouses are good friends in the first place. Don’t waste your time complaining about your partner to your friends. If they know more about your feelings toward your marriage than the person you share it with, it’s a small chance you’ll ever make those feelings better.
So, speak up! Do what good friends do. Open and honest communication is the key element of every good relationship. Express yourself openly, ask about everything you want to know and listen with attention. You two are the only people who could ever solve your problems so, without your collaboration it could never be done.
5) Go to counseling
If you try your best but still don’t feel able to find a common language with your husband/wife, if you feel lost and helpless despite the advice you listened and efforts you made, it would be very helpful to see things from the third perspective, an objective and professional one. Wheather you choose to go to a couple counseling or prefer to do it yourself, the fresh approach of the therapist could be really helpful when it comes to getting your thoughts and feelings back to order.
Paradoxically, things can sometimes be too obvious for us to see them. That’s why it’s so beneficial to hear an opinion of someone trained, impartial, and someone to who we don’t have so many prejudices and emotions attached.
6) Tell the truth. The truth liberates
No matter how painful the truth can be, be sure that it is way harder to live in a lie. Denial won’t change anything for the better, it will only stop you from learning, overcoming your difficulties and moving ahead in life because, as one Navajo proverb says, you can’t wake the person who is pretending to be asleep. And when it comes to telling the truth, it’s not easy but still – the truth set us free, the truth unburdens us, and lead us to more authentic and peaceful life. One way or another, but the truth always resolves things.
7) See marriage is a two-way street
When we decide to take responsibility, give our best and do all that’s up to us, we come to the point where either we witness the transformation of our relationship, or we know we should move on. We cannot have love in our lives if we don’t love ourselves and allow others to treat us the way we don’t deserve. You came here to experience life to its fullest, not to be a victim of your own or someone else’s fears. Especially if you have children. They learn by example, and you don’t want to give them the one you wouldn’t like them to look up to.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.