You May Still Have Time to Save Your Marriage
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Many marriages end in divorce due to issues that could have been resolved.
When in a stressful relationship, some couples do not focus on achieving
a constructive resolution of differences. Instead of building back the
relationship, they may consume their energy in cribbing and complaining
about a situation that seems hopeless to them. No matter how sour a relationship
has turned, there are always ways to salvage it; if only both sides are
sincerely willing to change. It is very easy to give up on marriage, and
sometimes we must, but long-term success in a marital relationship takes
commitment and effort from two people who refuse to give up on each other
during trying times.
Personal differences, money matters, family interference, possessiveness,
and jealousy should never become a cause for separation. Even some marriages
that have seen infidelity or abandonment may be saved – provided
the couple is willing to work on correcting all that may have gone wrong
and seek therapy with an experienced, proven, and licensed professional.
Be True to Yourself
In every marriage, there will be moments when you feel like you have had
enough. If you face tough times but still believe that your spouse and
you should be together, work towards restoring mutual trust and respect,
and it will happen. But before you begin efforts in any direction, ask
yourself if you really want the marriage to work and whether you truly
wish to continue living with your spouse for the rest of your life.
Make Genuine Efforts
Once you have decided you want to save your marriage, you have to get ready
to make real efforts for it. It is possible that your partner is largely
to blame for things going downhill in your marriage, but it is not just
one person alone that is responsible.
Many people live in denial and portray a happy marriage when that is not
the truth. Acknowledging that your marriage is going through a tough time
and facing the reality boldly is half the battle won. But if you accept
that there is a problem and still feel lazy to do anything about it, you
won’t get anywhere.
Work on Yourself First
A successful marriage requires efforts from both partners. But that does
not mean that you need to wait for your spouse to step up. You can always
begin with personal course-correction. Understand your flaws or shortcomings
and see how you can address them. You are not expected to completely change
who you are, but adjustments are required when you want to spend your
life with another individual. Sometimes mundane things such as being sloppy
and disorganized, not giving importance to punctuality, complaining about
everything or being too busy with your own things are enough to frustrate
your partner. But these things can easily be improved, saving you and
your spouse a lot of emotional trauma down the road. If you know what
irritates your spouse or what is lacking in your marriage, try and undo
those things. For example, you can try to be home on time, keep your place
tidy, work out a balance between work and leisure, and curb any bad habits
like excessive drinking. Even getting healthier and more active can have
a positive impact both on your self-esteem and your relationship.
Seek Professional Help
If your efforts at the personal level do not seem to be bearing fruit,
seek the help of a marriage counselor. These professionals have studied
social relations and how marriages work. Also, you may find it easier
to talk to an outsider rather than your parents, siblings, or friends,
who you are afraid, might judge you. It is good for couples to attend
counseling sessions together, but if your partner is not too keen or is
unaware of your plans, you can surely take sessions alone. Even one-sided
efforts can make a lot of difference to your relationship. Professional
help is more useful if there have been instances of infidelity or abuse
in your marriage. These are delicate issues that need time and understanding
from both spouses for the marriage to continue well. Forgetting and forgiving
certain actions of your partner is no easy task but if you are willing
to give him/her a chance, counseling can certainly help. If you hold grudges,
act distant or seek revenge; you will not be able to continue your marriage
in a healthy way.
It is important to speak up about your issues. Brushing things under the
carpet will not do either of you any good. Only when you accept the problem
will you be able to resolve it. Communication between spouses forms the
basis of every successful marriage. If you have parents, siblings or friends
who have had long, happy marriages, it is because they attached importance
to communication. Every individual has a different thought process, different
opinions about things, a different lifestyle and daily routine. This is
not going to change because you married somebody. Understanding what your
spouse wants, needs, likes or hates is as important as communicating your
needs and dislikes to him/her.
Do Not Compare
The worst thing you can do is compare your marriage to someone else’s.
Every couple is unique. Their situations, compatibility, and responsibilities
are all different. So if you expect your spouse to treat you the way your
friend treats their partner, your expectations from your marriage and
your partner are unfair. After some years into the marriage, you will
realize that each couple and each marriage is unique. No two situations
are identical. It is not a bad idea to imbibe the good elements that you
see in another couple’s relationship, but only as far as they are
suitable for your situation. Otherwise, you would only be imitating something
that is not guaranteed to bring happiness to you or your spouse.
Acknowledge the Good
You want to save your marriage because you realize that it is worth saving.
You believe in yourself and your spouse. Focus more on the positive. Think
of all the reasons that you fell in love with your spouse initially, keep
a gratitude journal, and thank your spouse for their efforts each day.
Don’t belittle your partner’s role, no matter what he/she
does at home or outside the house. A successful marriage is based on love
and mutual respect.
It is worth making efforts for a partner you have loved and with whom you
have entered into a union for life. Your attitude and your sense of commitment
will determine how well you can resolve marital issues.