Marriage looks wonderfully endearing to the single man or woman who has never married, and possibly to the divorced person who hankers for something to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for nearly all of us is quite a tough function at times. (And I can say this even as a representative of my wife!). We carry so much of ourselves into our marriages – which is the two a great and a bad thing.
We bring in expectations of getting ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not devote also considerably income, not seek to manage us, that they will want to invest time with us. We also bring in expectations of what our partners should deliver to us: their virtues of diligence and moderation and sanctity and kindness – to title just four. We are disappointed when they don’t measure up to our previously unconscious expectations – that have now turn into aware due to our encroaching annoyance.
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Or “How can I turn this conflict into a success?”, you’ll find that your mind always feeds you with an answer. Remember, if you ask a dis-empowering question like this: “How I am supposed to adopt an attitude of hope in the middle of this chaos?” you’re mind will most likely tell you.
Accept that nobody is perfect. Overcoming marriage problem is not easy if you and your spouse are blaming each other. Realize that nobody is perfect and people commit mistakes including your spouse. Even if you want everything to be perfect, you and your spouse will not always do the right thing. Mistakes are always part of life and how you learn or recover from those mistakes is all that matters.
It is time to talk. When your marriage is getting rocky, you both have to sit down and talk about the problems. In overcoming marriage problems, it is important to keep the communication lines open. Communication is important in solving the issues in your relationship. Establish a good conversation and calmly talk about the issues in your relationship.
In trying to save your marriage, you may be asked to give up on a lot of things which includes but are not limited to nagging, marital fighting, inadequate or no communication at all and infidelity but if you are getting the advice from a renowned marital problem resolution counselor, you will never be advised to give up on your marriage.
Honour each other’s feelings and needs as valid. If a person feels invalidated and disrespected they are not likely to be open to finding solutions with you. So, listening and allowing your partner to express their feelings. Then repeat to them what you think you heard them say so that they know you have fully understood them. You do not have to agree with their feelings, just respect and validate them.
For a marriage to work you need to spend time and attention on it. It is no different to running a business or growing plants; they all require nurturing to blossom and grow. Reassure your partner that you love them daily. Some people get married and think that their partner knows that they love them so why should they have to say it. It shows your partner that you still care about them.
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When the time comes to continue the discussion it always helps to lovingly remind them that during your time of reflection, you realized how grateful you are for them, for your relationship, whatever it is that you value about them. This paves the way for heartfelt discussions.
Many people would rather choose to be with “someone” else (back to “personality love”) than to remain with their spouse and face the true character of their spouses and their own! (Did you get that?). Marriage requires “character love.”
One day I decided to do something about it. I just could not stand it anymore. I wanted to be happy, enthusiastic, loving, energetic person I once was. And I wanted my partner to smile again, love me again just like when we just met.
Another obstacle to counseling success is when one of the spouses has some sort of a drug or alcohol problem, and is unwilling to change. In fact, a general unwillingness to accept any responsibility for problems in the relationship will make it very difficult for a counselor to help.
All of those are great questions, but ones that can’t be answered easily. However, if you wait to marry until you know each other better you can avoid a divorce. Marriage conflicts that are experienced when you are only a couple who is engaged can be taken on differently. You won’t need to worry about the stigma of divorce hanging over your head.
Marriage isn’t easy, and after the first few years of initial bliss, conflicts will inevitably arise. This is normal. But how do you know when your marriage has reached the point of being in danger? Some important clues are things like substance abuse.
There should be a study done with couples who waited to marry for say three years and see if the rate of divorce is better. It would be interesting to see if this would help out as much as it seems like it should.
This puts a huge strain on your relationship. If this keeps up, you will be faced with a disaster in your marriage. Again, how did that conflict begin?. It started with the unfulfilled expectation of your husband towards you. When one spouse expects something of the other and that expectation is not met, miscommunication occurs.
My general advice to all couples is to give up your individual rights for the sake of your spouse. That is the first step towards personal change. When your spouse can see the changes in you, he or she will begin to change, too. Then and only then can there be any hope of saving your marriage.
How does that affect us? It basically sets our expectations about what our marriages should be like and if they are not, then, divorce is inevitable. Which is a completely false expectation and will only set us up for failure.
So why is it that when things get tough, or we find a problem too difficult to handle, we change the rules and back out on our commitment?. You made a promise. Your spouse made a promise. Now simply agree to stick to that promise. If you do, you will have no choice but to work through whatever difficulties come your way. Go against the flow of society that tends to throw things away without a second thought.
Along with the right mindset, you also need to be doing the right things, so, if you’re not sure about what you are doing, consider stepping back and reflecting upon your intended actions, and possibly ask yourself (again empowering questions): “Will this serve my marriage? Will it increase my chances of success?” if the answer is no, then maybe consider an alternate action.
One of the most often asked questions I face in dealing with marital conflict is: “Why did things change so much since I married?” or “This is not the same person I met!” or worst yet… “I was deceived… I met person A and now I come to find out I am living with person B!”.
So where can you go to learn these skills? Both marriage counseling and relationship psychoeducation for couples have demonstrated effectiveness. Successful approaches include, learning proven skills for communication and confiding effectively, resolving misunderstanding and conflict productively, healing old relationship wounds permanently and increasing intimacy successfully.
Well of course you’ll have conflicts. You are two people coming from two families with two different backgrounds, personalities, interests, life aspirations, expectations, cultures, biases, prejudices (oh yes you do!), political perspectives, religious experiences, spending patterns, and soooo much more.