Do you ever get a feeling that your marriage is falling apart? Does it feel like the efforts you are making to get your relationship back on track are futile? Think you’ve tried everything?
Maybe you are unsure of what to do to help your couple get back on track.
Here are some tips to try to help patch up the fragile situation when your marriage is falling apart.
But first, make sure your marriage is worth saving.
There are some scenarios where you are better off not trying to save your marriage. Included in these are the following two huge red flags:
- Your spouse is physically or emotionally abusive to you or the children.
- Your spouse lies, cheats or practices unethical behavior.
With that out of the way, let’s examine some common situations that occur in marriages that are on the decline and some ways to fix them
Your small conflicts seem to always escalate into huge arguments
You are both at the point where it seems like every discussion ends up in a fight. You are exhausted trying to have a civil, polite conversation.
What’s happening here is that there are deep-seated resentment and unexpressed anger. When you two do engage (even if it is not about a subject that is necessarily unpleasant), things quickly become heated.
This serves to mask the “real” resentment that is not being expressed. The constant fighting deflects from the real issues beneath.
Some deep work on developing good communications skills.
Do this with the guidance of a marriage counselor, and you can really help turn your situation around.
You need to be able to freely and respectfully express the anger that you have been harboring, and your partner needs to be able to hear this without flying off the handle. (The same for you, too.)
Bringing up issues in the relationship need not mean that you are blaming or accusing the other of them.
With the help of a counselor, you can learn how to approach these sensitive issues in a way that moves you towards resolution and not towards all-out conflict.
When you think of your partner, it is not with a feeling of love or happiness
When a marriage is falling apart, it is hard to think of your partner in loving terms. When you replay a conversation with them, you are more likely to feel anger, not love.
You imagine what it would be like to leave him, how much better off you’d be. You have a hard time coming up with a nice, loving thought towards him. The days of giddy daydreaming about your partner are long gone.
At this point, it is clear that changes need to be made for you two to stay together.
You don’t need to be daydreaming sexy thoughts about your partner all the time but being angry at the sight of him when he comes home, or not looking forward to spending the weekend together is a sign that you need to bring in professional help to get this back to a loving relationship that nurtures you both.
Book an appointment with a marriage counselor and get ready to do some important work, the first being to decide if your issues are reconcilable.
You have no desire to make an effort to make your partner happy
Does the thought of dressing up and putting on lipstick to go out with your spouse leave you cold?
Where once you spent an hour deciding on what outfit to wear with him, now you spend your evenings and weekends in sweatpants and your old college hoodie?
Do you no longer do the little niceties that showed how much you loved him, like bringing him a cup of coffee in the morning, or preparing his favorite sandwich for his lunch?
The lack of being generous towards your partner is a sign that you are angry with him and don’t want to please him. You are holding back because he is annoying or disappointing you.
Rather than hide behind the screen of just ignoring your partner, why not get the conversation going about what is really under all of this behavior?
Again, at the marriage counselor’s office, you can have a guided discussion about why you no longer feel like doing anything nice for him.
“Why should I knock myself out by preparing a great dinner for us when he never even says thank you” is a good starting point. (It may prompt him to remember that expressing gratitude towards you and your efforts is an important part of a good marriage.)
You feel no connection
Does it seem like you and your partner are more roommates than lovers?
Have you each developed separate hobbies, groups of friends, activities that you do outside the home that don’t involve the other?
And worse, do you never come back together to share what you are doing when not together? Does your partner think that merely being in the same room with you but on his computer (or Playstation) means you are connected, whereas you long for the days when you’d talk together each evening?
Communication is needed here. “I feel like we aren’t connecting in any meaningful way” is a good phrase to open up this discussion. (Again, best done in the safe space of a marriage counselor’s office.)
What follows will give you an idea if this marriage is worth saving.
If your spouse thinks everything is fine and does not want to change things in order to be with you more, then it might be time to let this marriage go.
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.