Marriage isn’t always easy. That’s a fact. Relationships take work. We all know that. What we may not know is how to do the work or when there’s nothing left to be done. There are things you can do to improve your union in an attempt to preserve it, as well as to have a happy and healthy marriage. Start with these suggestions.
That’s right. Focus on yourself. See what you can do to make things better and to promote change in your relationship. We can’t make other people change. Figure out what tangible steps you can take toward improving interactions with your partner. Along these same lines, learn to use “I statements.” These are statements in which you focus on sharing with your partner how “you” are feeling about a situation, rather than assigning blame to them. For example, you could say, “I feel hurt when you don’t call to tell me you’ll be late,” instead of lashing out with, “You never call, and you’re so inconsiderate!”
Find the Compromise
Make a list of the issues that are causing the most strife in your marriage. Ask your spouse to do the same. It’s a good idea to rank the list in terms of importance. Then address the issues that are most relevant to both of you and discuss possible compromises you can make. You may be surprised at the solutions you come up with.
Many marriages end simply because the couple has drifted so far apart that they no longer spend quality time together. Make a concerted effort to do things together like a date night or a hobby you both enjoy. Even sitting down to talk or watch TV after the kids go to bed can encourage closeness, leading to an overall improved relationship.
Be Aware of Big Problems
There are certain things that are unacceptable in a relationship. Some of these are substance abuse or addiction, cheating, physical or emotional abuse and extreme anger. If you or your partner are engaging in any of these behaviors, it is imperative that you seek help. Professional counseling or rehabilitation services can make a world of difference and change lives. However, if the person with the problem is unwilling to get the help he or she needs, it may be time to begin researching divorce attorneys.
It’s usually the desire of couples to remain together, and that can definitely be accomplished. Commitment, compromise and communication are needed in order to preserve a happy and healthy marriage. Taking time to really focus on change can lead to new pathways in a relationship.
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Author: Erika Remmington
Erika is a recent UC Berkeley graduate in Linguistics with a minor in business. She is married and has an 18 month old daughter. She has been free-lance writing for 3 years.