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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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