We are taught many subjects in school and college– from reading and writing to science and mathematics. But where do we go to learn about building good marriages and what to do with struggling marriages? Mostly we learn about relationships through our experiences – the good and the bad. But sometimes it is a good idea to look at marriage the same way you would at any other subject – with attention and thoughtful reflection.
There are many ways to strengthen relationships. But first of all, you need to know that you are not alone in this. Every other relationship has its struggles.
If you are struggling with your marriage or feeling frustrated in a relationship, here are five things you should know. But remember, these are not solutions to the problems in relationships, but rather a starting point to help you look at common relationship problems in a more objective way. Read on to find out how to make your relationship better by accepting a few things and working on the others to handle a struggling marriage.
Everyone has problems
Many couples appear to have a perfect marriage, but every married couple struggles in one way or another. It may seem that they never argue, especially when you see happy, smiling pictures on Facebook, but don’t be fooled! It is impossible to know how other couples live based on their smiles alone.
Remember that even the most perfect couples have their relationship struggles. Signs of struggling marriages are not advertised openly. It’s only when a couple falls apart that people realize how they were going through a difficult time. Any marriage expert working with myriad relationship problems and solutions can tell you that.
Problems don’t go away on their own
Whenever there are talks about how to fix relationship problems, you may have heard an oft-repeated piece of advice – Time heals all wounds.
Well, time does not heal all wounds. Similar to physical wounds, relationship wounds also tend to worsen if not treated with care and attention. You will not gain the peace you want if you don’t address the problems arising in your struggling relationship. One of the main factors in strengthening relationship foundations is acknowledging this and moving ahead to deal with the short term as well as long term relationship problems.
Of course, it requires effort from both parties. Studies have shown that the happiest couples are the ones who work on their problems both together and individually. Struggling marriages require a lot of work and the onus to make it work is on both partners. Otherwise, a troubled relationship can wilt away and die like an un-watered plant.
View your struggles in a positive light
Struggles can promote much needed change in marriage. They are similar to the red warning light on your car’s dashboard indicating that something is wrong and should be addressed. If properly tackled, marital conflicts don’t have to end in anger, bitterness, or separation. The problems that arise in your relationship give you an opportunity to bond. When two people work through a problem and a struggling marriage together, they come out on the other side closer than before.
Attack your problems, not your partner
Most couples in struggling marriages tend to fight about the same issue repeatedly, even though it might appear to change in the details. Find out why you are fighting. What is the real issue? Try to avoid making personal attacks, which will lead to defensiveness. Instead, focus on the problem itself.
Strengthening relationship with your spouse using this approach can pave for happiness in the long term. Try this approach and you will see many of your relationship troubles fade away, paving the way for better conversations and less bitterness.
You have access to many resources that can help with relationship difficulties. Books, websites, support programs, videos, marriage counseling, weekend retreats, seminars, and many other resources can help your marriage improve and thrive.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help for your struggling marriage or look out for ways to improve relationships. A counselor can give you an objective view and advice on relationships problems like no one can. Working through relationship problems need not be a task that you have to handle alone.
You have chosen to be with the person you love so a struggling marriage is just a phase where the troubles may seem or be a little overwhelming. But they are all temporary and you have to work every day to tackle all the relationship challenges.
Sometimes, improving your relationship may only be a matter of looking at things differently or you may require expert relationship help. Whatever be the case, just hold on and know that there’s nothing impossible if you and your partner put your hearts into it.
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.
More by David McFadden