How To Save My Marriage?
If you are having trouble with your marriage, you are not alone. Every couple has its ups and downs, some more so than others. everyone asks themselves how to save my marriage?. these problems could range from simple misunderstandings to larger concerns.
Many issues of marriage are due to personal problems that one or both spouses may be going through (such as losing a parent), more traditional problems between the couple themselves (such as the couple losing touch with each other because they are too busy with children, jobs, and other responsibilities), and sometimes even outside influences (such as money problems due to a lost job).
Many times in this modern and complex society, the problems with a person’s marriage is a combination of all three types of problems. Moreover, marriages change over the years as both you and your spouse evolve. As the years go by, you both will go through your ups and downs as well and these individual changes can affect your relationship with each other.
These changes are normal and expected in any long term relationship. Save Marriage Right Now 4 Nevertheless, if you feel that the issues of your marriage are more serious than the regular ups and downs associated with a long term relationship, do not despair. There is hope; even for the most dysfunctional of marriages. Numerous solutions may work for your marriage, including therapy, setting time aside for each other and yourselves as individuals, and even simply taking up a hobby.
Many marriages have been saved with combinations of the solutions that will be discussed here. Saving your marriage is not just about ensuring that you and your spouse get along well with each other. It is also about taking care of yourselves as individuals as well. You must take care of and nurture yourselves as well. For this reason, many couples find that participating in both couple’s therapy as well as individual therapy is the best route to working through their marital problems.
There are numerous keys to a good relationship. These keys include fostering honest and clear communication between you and your spouse, being open and understanding with your spouse, thinking before speaking, and always make time for each other and yourselves. The solutions discussed here will enable you to start implementing these keys in your marriage and will help to set your marriage back on the right track.
The most important step you can take to save your marriage is to have hope. Have a positive attitude and know that your marriage will be okay. Once you have this positive outlook, every other problem you and your spouse will have to surmount will seem a lot smaller than it did before.
Why Relationships Turn Sour As stated above, there are numerous reasons for a marriage between two people to become rocky – even the marriage between two people who are still very much in love.
This is because relationships are not just based on interactions between the two people involved, but instead are almost like living and breathing entities of their own that interact with the people and environment around them.
For example, though you and your husband may love each other with all your hearts, the fact that your mother despises your husband will strain your relationship, especially if you are close with your mother.
No matter what kinds of metaphorical barriers you and your spouse put around yourself and your relationship with one another, your relationship will be affected by the outside world. This may be in the form of money problems due to a lost job, less time spent together because of other responsibilities, and many others as well. Individual problems may affect your marriage as well.
If you are depressed because of the loss of a loved one or any other reason, for example, your relationship with your spouse will be affected by this. If you do not have time for yourself, you will not be able to make time for your spouse either. Besides the outside influences, there are also the more traditional problems that occur between couples as well.
These include stress put on the marriage because of children, loss of communication because you have fallen into a routine and have stopped working at your marriage, and many others. Though these traditional couple problems are usually the “final straw that breaks the camel’s back” so to speak and makes you two realize that there is a problem between you, these are usually caused by underlying problems like those discussed above.
For example, if you and your spouse are no longer communicating or spending time together, there will be an underlying cause for that. Perhaps one of you is suffering from depression and no longer wants to speak to anyone about your feelings, let alone your spouse. Or perhaps one of you is worried about losing your job and is now working extra long hours to ensure your job security and no longer has time to spend with the other.
Though you may feel that your relationship’s problems are fully unique to you and your spouse, you will be surprised to find the commonalities between your relationship issues and those discussed here.
Regardless of the uniqueness of your issues, they will be able to be boiled down to one of, or a combination of, the various three types of problems that result in a rocky marriage: outside influences, individual problems, and the most traditional couple’s problems.
Numerous individual problems can cause issues in your relationship with your spouse. These problems can come in many forms. The most common of individual problems that result in issues in one’s marriage usually have to do with emotions and feelings.
Many times a spouse will become depressed and will stop communicating with the other spouse, resulting in a marriage issue, even though the reason for that person becoming depressed has nothing to do with the other person.
Many times these emotional individual problems have something to do with one’s self-esteem. When one’s self-esteem gets low enough, they will start relating differently to those around them and cause rifts between themselves and their loved ones.
Usually, these emotional individual problems that affect one’s self-esteem have something to do with how one feels about one’s appearance. Many times, for example, women will begin to have low self-esteem regarding their looks and weight, especially if they just recently had children.
Most often these emotional individual problems affect women more than men, simply because women are more sensitive to their emotions. There are individual problems that will affect men more than women.
For instance, believe it or not, men are more prone to depression resulting from lack of work or other employment. This is because men see themselves as the providers in the family and when they are unable to provide for their families, they feel that they are not living up to their potential and will become depressed.
Often this depression is a worsening cycle because the worse the man feels about not providing, the even less likely it is that he will be able to find a good job and stick with it.
What makes a man’s depression even worse is that he will usually not open up to his wife or anyone else about how he is feeling, which results in him feeling even lonelier and depressed. There are many other causes of individual depression and other individual problems.
Some of these causes include the loss of a family member or other loved one, the loss of a child, and even the loss of an animal. All of these losses will affect the relationship between a husband and wife – especially the loss of one of their children.
Thus, the best solution to these types of individual problems that result in marriage problems is to communicate with each other. Tell your spouse how you are feeling before it becomes a problem for you and eventually to your spouse.
This is often very difficult for people to do because they have always been taught to keep their feelings to themselves. For this reason, many couples will go to therapy to learn simply how to let the other one in so that they can prevent their individual problems from affecting their marriage.
How to save my marriage?
Reasons of marriage problems
We have painted the unpleasant side of divorce to help you realize that it may not necessarily be the solution to your unhappiness, and in the second section, we’ve advanced arguments to promote the numerous advantages of marriage and staying married.
But life does have hitches and will always be full of obstacles, threatening the stability of married life. We now offer some tips on how to save your marriage when you sense that it’s on the rocks or needs an overhaul.
Recognizing Gender Differences
Men and women perceive emotion, communication, sex, fidelity, work, and money because of the way they were socialized and because they have been shaped by their own parents’ perceptions.
They bring these ideas into the marriage and hence have their own baggage of beliefs regarding what is tolerable and intolerable in a marriage, what they have to give their spouse, and what to expect in return.
Writing the book, “For Better or For Worse”, Heatherington and Kelly illustrate this point more clearly when they mention the different ways men and women choose a partner:
Women approach love as informed consumers…they kick the tires, look under the hood, run the motor, check the mileage. Women love but being practical-minded, not enough to ignore potential defects.
Good looks and romantic love matter to a woman, but in considering potential suitors, a woman also looks at the practical, such as a suitor’s economic prospects, emotional stability, trustworthiness, and what kind of father he will be…Despite a reputation for practicality, males come off as hopeless romantics.
They are much more prone to fall head-over-heels in love…and also more prone to idealize the object of their affection. If the bodywork is good and the grille pretty, often a man will buy on the spot, no questions asked.”
It takes practice to learn that gender differences do not constitute threats to a marriage, but a cause for celebration and an opportunity to expand an individual’s sphere of experience.
Try to remember that your partner is not your mirror image. In a loving, effective partnership, individuality and separateness are wholesome concepts that each spouse must work at.
A Word from the Cos!
Bill Cosby, the famous American comedian and still married to the same woman said that these gender differences – that women are not just men who can have babies and men are not just women who spike footballs – give marriage its vitality, its dynamics and its delight.
He says, “Americans may like the style called unisex, but the wiser French has a devout appreciation of the wonder they call la difference.”
A true understanding of these gender differences should, therefore, lead us to the proper notion of marriage. While many people view marriage as a fusion, making two separate individuals one, we must still keep our own personality and deal with our own problems ourselves.
Notice the Small Stuff
“Don’t sweat the small stuff” is good advice that does not always work for marriage, because it is important to notice the small stuff. Steve Carter cites an important fact about relationships: most of the real work in relationships is taking place in quieter moments in smaller spaces.
Examples would be:
- avoiding bringing up the defective garage door while your husband is rushing to meet a deadline and needs to focus on his project for a few hours
- attending to the kids and keeping them away from the kitchen while your wife prepares dinner
- offering to pick up your husband’s shirts at the dry cleaner’s because he forgot to do it yesterday
- filling up the car tank if you know that your husband has to drive out of town on a client visit
- taking your wife dancing because she’s always loved to dance even if you have two left feet and have always hated it.
One irritant in a marriage is money.
Chances are spouses who have their own ways of spending and saving money. If both husband and wife earn similar salaries, agree on how to split the house expenses prior to getting married so no one feels cheated or disadvantaged financially.
While it was fine to expect him to pay for dinner and the movie while you were dating, marriage calls for a genuine economic partnership.
Or, if you know that your husband is particularly averse to useless shopping sprees, make an effort to reduce your shopping trips and concentrate on the essentials instead of on your whims. Don’t forget to discuss your investment preferences and try to stick to a budget and a savings plan.
The same is true for sex and politics: if your husband likes to watch a pornographic film as a prelude to lovemaking, let him know that you’re not particularly in favor of this practice but do indulge him occasionally.
If your wife likes to visit the synagogue and do charity work in her parish, don’t express any resentment or complain that she’s spending too much time on her fund-raising activities.
Work on keeping your partner stimulated intellectually. If a wife constantly talks about what’s on sale and a husband only knows what teams made it to the NFL playoffs this year, there’s very little common ground.
Look back to courtship days when both of you could talk until the wee hours of the morning because you were interested in what each other did in the office that day, or what movies you saw, where you want to go for your next vacation.
Enrich each other with your experiences. Let the other know that you have an interest in life and what it has to offer, and make every effort not to be a boring mate. Read more, experiment more, and live more.
Many people say that children put a damper on the marriage. Who has time for love and passion when the kids are screaming or running a 105-degree fever? Or when money has to be scrounged to pay for braces?
Raising children can turn us into impatient, stressed-out beings so if hiring a baby sitter overnight will not disrupt the monthly budget, do so and go away – just the two of you.
But don’t use that time away from children to complain about each other’s habits or to raise past incidents.
Instead of looking at marriage blessed with high points or fraught with low points, think of it instead as a series of turning points.
How to save my marriage?
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Dr. Sonya Rhodes says these turning points must be regarded as opportunities to make a marriage stronger and more fulfilling.
These turning points become crystal clear at mid-life where couples have developed a keener sense of time limitations and an urgency in their desire to make the most out of their marriage and their lives.
The mid-life years are a natural time for reflections: couples now have the advantage of being able to see where they have been, where they are, and where they want to go.
When a 46-year old woman came to see Dr. Rhodes in an effort to save her marriage, she said, “This might be my last chance to make things better. I don’t want the last chances to become lost chances.”
Complimenting and Praising
Give credit where it’s due, be generous with compliments, and be sincere in your praise. Do you sometimes find yourself wishing that your partner would complement you the way your boss does after a job well done?
Many couples discover that as they settle into their marriage, they compliment each other far less than when they were dating. Making it a practice to give credit where it’s due and being sincere about your praises goes a long way towards reinforcing wellness in a marriage.
If you see that your wife works conscientiously on the treadmill to keep off the weight, did you ever think that she’s probably doing this to please you? Saying something like, “You’re so disciplined in your efforts to achieve your goals, I’m proud of you” will add to her self-confidence and reinforce her attitude that she’s doing something that’s healthy and that you appreciate it.
If your husband is good at crunching numbers, praise him for his skills at rapid calculation. “You’re amazing with numbers” will give him a sense of pride, and he will feel important to you.
No doubt many experts and marriage counselors will differ in opinion on how to save a marriage, but they all agree on the following fundamental elements of a solid marriage – only the words and the way they are conveyed are different:
- Trust and communication
- Respect for each other’s ideas and expectations
- Physical and intellectual stimulation
- Maintaining their own personalities, but supporting each other’s dreams
The Concept of Friendship in Marriage
Friends are forever. Even if we move out of town or take up residence overseas, we maintain our friendships.
We certainly don’t divorce our friends just because of a misunderstanding, so if we treat our spouse as a dear friend, we probably won’t ever need a divorce lawyer and go through the painful exercise of property division – a course of action that can spell financial ruin for many.
Since love is less permanent (we fall in and out of love a few times in our lifetime) and friendship more durable, every attempt must be made to make our spouse not only a lover and a partner but also a friend.
Friendship is an evident manifestation of maturity. Marriage is a responsibility larger than life and can be a source of annoyance or profound joy. Only when we turn those annoyances and joys into building blocks for an enduring friendship can we say that we’ve taken the unwavering path to a marriage made in heaven.
Friendship is Everything
If there is a true friendship between husband and wife, the marriage avoids landing on the rocks. In fact, it is the genuine friendship between two people that put more meaning in the words, “for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, till death do us part” – what Mary Pipher calls “the shelter of each other.”
Friendship in a marriage means that the marriage will be full of memories of laughter and humor.
Friendship also means open and honest communication. A no holds barred type of union where our comfort level with our spouse goes beyond 100%. We are assured that what we say and how we say it will not be judged or taken in a negative light.
If you talk to married people, a wish they frequently express is that they remain the best of friends and the closest of companions. Surveys in fact reveal that if there is one component that will enable a couple to weather the tough times, it is friendship.
As a famous poet once said, “No man is an island.” Kinder and Cowan agree that friendship is the antidote to loneliness. Getting married does not mean that people will never experience loneliness, “but it does diminish our sense of separateness.”
A friendship between couples generates wholesome feelings of goodwill and fidelity. Our spouse – our friend – has our interests at heart, will not betray us, and will be our staunchest supporter. Friendship also makes spouses stronger; this strength is reinforced by the joy of shared history, of nostalgia, and plans for the future.
Romance is a good thing, and we could use heaps of it when our relationships get rocky. But mature friends are aware that romance can be a barrier to friendship. Why? Because romance obliterates the darker side of our existence – our fears, anxieties, and insecurities. Yet, it is those fears, anxieties, and insecurities that naturally draw us to our friend.
Friendship in a marriage brings about the recognition that flux, de-stabilization, and disruption are what Dr. Rhodes calls the “first steps in the dynamic process of repair, rebuilding, and renewal.”
Familiarity does NOT breed contempt. It breeds content. A sense of contentment equates with satisfaction, warmth, and unwavering assurance. Sharing life together in love and friendship makes for a book that is deeper and thicker in shared histories, in content.
If you were to ask a happy bachelor and a happily married man to each write their stories, you’d get a positive narration from both. The single person’s perspective would however be I, me, and myself – and possibly a string of blind dates and Saturday nights alone. The married man will talk about “us”, of mutual interests – a story definitely made richer because there are two stories, not one.
We like to be judged in terms of what we have accomplished in the human relations department.
“I managed to get my client half of her husband’s properties overseas and alimony and child support payments of close to $250,000 a year plus the three cars, the country home, his art collection and half of his stocks.”
Compare the foregoing with this one:
“I didn’t really do anything special that I can be proud of, except perhaps provide adequately for my family and raise good children. Happily, they turned out to be well-abiding citizens and I guess that’s the best reward there is.”
In the first statement, we see greed and materialism, in the second, humility and self-effacement. Who has made a genuine contribution for the betterment of society?
Much as it sounds terribly old-fashioned, marriage is a commitment, and individuals must make every attempt not to cheapen that commitment in any way. Staying married is a lifelong, missionary-like endeavor.
It takes guts. It takes nerves of steel to make a marriage work. A sense of humor and a lower degree of self-importance can sustain us in that work.
The obstacles will be numerous, and there will be situations where we will question our sanity, unsure if we can really hang in there.
It will be a monumental effort to remain attracted to the same qualities that attracted you to your spouse on the first day you met. Your spouse is still the same person you fell in love with, he or she has not changed their soul, their being, only their wardrobe.
So if there’s only one way to divorce, but a thousand ways to save your marriage, which path will you choose? Are you going to throw in the towel or take up one more challenge?.