Marriage seems like a dream when we’re young. We’ve all seen films, TV shows, and read books that when a couple gets married, that’s the deal that seals eternal happiness.
As much as we’d all like to live that dream, the reality is that marriages need a lot of work to keep them happy and healthy. It can be a real challenge for many couples to maintain their efforts to keep their relationship going strong.
All couples are going to face obstacles in their marriage. It’s just part of living with another person. Some issues are daunting by themselves, but more often the issues are minor complaints or nuisances that build up over time.
Whatever the case, for too many couples these issues ultimately lead to a broken marriage. But fear not, most problems that plague relationships can be fixed! This article will discuss common marital issues and provide some simple tips on how to address them – and even overcome them! Keep reading and find out how to fix your marriage!
So let’s start with what causes marital issues in the first place.
What Leads to Marital Problems?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how to have a better marriage or how to identify the issues that your marriage is facing. All marriages have a unique set of circumstances that can result in an issue or issues that can upset the balance in your relationship.
However, a frequent set of issues seems to crop up when couples speak about their turbulent relationships. We’ve listed below a few of the most typical issues that lead to marital problems.
We all need some ‘me time,’ and there are some things that we need to sort out ourselves. However, there are many instances in marriages where one or both partners treat the relationship as if it is focused only on them.
Some people are very accommodating of a selfish spouse, but even they can only put up with so much before the lack of reciprocity starts to weigh on them. Your or your partner’s needs cannot always come first. Marriage should be an equal partnership, after all.
Being selfish means that there is neglect for the partners’ needs. Eventually, resentment builds up to a point where the relationship can become turbulent.
Selfishness is one of the most identified problems in a marriage. It needs to be fixed if there’s any hope of keeping or developing a healthy marriage.
Neglecting Your Spouse
Neglect is the unfortunate result of chronic selfishness. There’s putting your own needs first, and then there’s completely ignoring your partner – the definition of neglecting your spouse.
Let’s dive further into what neglecting your spouse means. If you or your partner are not attentive, responsive, or observant of any emotions or communication in your partner, that is neglect.
The other partner cannot help but eventually feel resentful of a partner that won’t ever consider their needs and makes them feel like they don’t matter.
It won’t take long before neglect causes some turbulent times. If you think your marriage is getting into trouble, look at the level of attentiveness you and your partner have for the other’s needs and desires. If one or both of you are neglecting the other, there needs to be some changes in your marriage.
Being married likely means that you’ve been in a relationship for a while. You should know that keeping the flame burning isn’t the easiest part of life and it doesn’t just happen by accident.
The two of you will face challenges, obstacles, and issues in life that you’ll need to resolve together. Marriage doesn’t mean that you need to stop putting effort into your relationship.
It’s OK to be a little lazy once in a while. After all, life can be exhausting. However, that doesn’t signal that you can give up entirely – it’s not like future issues are just going to go away.
Consistent laziness shows a lack of interest or focus in keeping romance alive and making a marriage succeed. Chronic laziness goes hand-in-hand with selfishness in that the person regularly places their wants and needs above their partners.
If you don’t put effort into your marriage, it will progressively lead to more trouble.
Children are lovely, but anyone who has them knows how challenging they can be in relationships. They are a lot of work, expending plenty of time, money, and energy.
Kids can take up a lot of your life, which may stress your marriage unwittingly. Couples may find that they no longer have the time or energy to connect, leaving them increasingly distant.
Finding time to be loving partners in a marriage is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship. Letting those moments wither away can chip away at your marital bond.
Dysfunctional communication often arises from other issues that cause marital problems. However, it can also be an issue all its own.
Communication problems are often much more complicated and even more serious than just not talking to each other enough. Other communication issues that damage marriages include lying to each other, manipulation, sugarcoating other issues, and not fulfilling commitments and promises.
Dysfunctional communication will eventually erupt in a host of marital problems. It’s essential to keep your communication open, straightforward, and truthful.
So, How to Fix Your Marriage and Make It Better?
So, what can you do to start repairing your marriage and make it better than ever? Here are ten things you can do to repair your relationship and help you lay a foundation you and your partner can build on for years to come.
1. Take stock of your marriage.
You first need to thoroughly and honestly identify issues that you and your partner are having with your marriage.
Be aware that it’s easy to focus on issues that you blame on your spouse while ignoring those that your partner might blame on you. Remember the goal is to improve your marriage, not fix your spouse, so all issues need to be identified.
You’ll need to examine your behaviors and actions and understand how this reflects your partner. Problems are usually not as concentrated on one side of the marriage as it might feel.
The way you behave might be encouraging or contributing to the rocky state. Nobody likes to criticize themselves too much in a relationship. Still, it’s essential to realize your role in the marriage and the problems you may be causing.
Taking stock of your marriage is the foundation for taking action to fix it.
2. Be accountable for your actions.
Identify the problems you may be causing, and then take accountability for them. Facing these issues head-on and bringing them out in the open will allow you to start a constructive discussion to address them.
You each need to share how you feel about these problems and get an understanding of how your partner feels about them. Knowing what bothers them and getting everything out in the open can allow you to work together to develop a plan that is better than what you can develop on your own.
3. Open channels of communication
Stemming from taking accountability for your actions, you can simultaneously open communication channels. Much marital unhappiness results from a couple being secretive about what’s bothering them or hiding something significant from their partner.
Talking is key in attempting to resolve your differences. Yes, it may lead to a few arguments and some heated discussions but getting everything out into the open at least lets both partners understand the issues that need to be addressed.
Remember to be honest in your discussions and hear your partner’s perspective without interruption or judgment. Avoid taking offense or becoming defensive about what they say. The key is to keep communication running.
4. Both of you reduce your screen time.
One of the developing issues behind many marriage issues is the introduction of the smartphone and tablet. Couples seem to spend more time immersing themselves in content rather than interacting with each other.
You or your partner can get caught up in unproductive and even destructive issues when you’ve got your eyes glued to the screen too much. It can cause a series of issues that can build a significant amount of stress on your relationship.
Agree to put the phones and tablets down now and then. Learn to enjoy each other’s company by doing more together, particular activities like walks and other forms of exercise.
5. Learn to listen better.
Spending more time together outside the digital world can also help you learn to listen better. Listening is an integral part of fixing any problem in your marriage.
When you listen instead of switching off, you can learn some fascinating things about your partner. This can help you to better understand their perspective and find previously unknown interests you may share.
Listening is the biggest key to helping you learn to love your spouse all over again.
6. Make a list of the changes you’d like to see in your partner.
Talking things out is the way to start repairing the problems in your marriage. You might find many frustrations you have with your marriage and your partner take care of themselves one you try to articulate them. However, some issues will likely remain.
For those issues that specifically relate to your partner, it’s beneficial to write down your proposed solutions. Make a list of every change you’d like to see your partner make that you believe will start repairing your relationship. Your spouse should do the same.
Before sharing with your partner, carefully review the list. Look for items that are unreasonable or that reflect selfishness on your part. Try to see each item from your spouse’s point of view and revise the list with fairness in mind.
Now, get together and discuss your lists. Remember, the goal is not for you to ‘win’ but for you both to be able to propose changes the other could make to make the relationship better. Keep in mind that a long list for one person and a short list is not a recipe for success.
7. Set aside some dedicated ‘quality time’ to spend together.
Dumping technology is one way to create some quality time for each other. But it could be beneficial to assign some specific time of the week to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company.
Maybe a couple of hours a week, you can schedule ‘quality time’ to go out and do something that rekindles your affection. Share an experience that makes you laugh or try something you’ve never done before and enjoy the fact that your partner is there, right by your side.
Again, this is an opportunity to rediscover your partner and why you fell in love.
8. Bring forgiveness and gratitude into the marriage.
Nobody is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Often, rocky marriages will focus on past issues which in turn leads to reoccurring arguments.
However, learning to forgive the minor mistakes can help move the marriage forward and jump to a happier plane. Bigger mistakes may need more work and possibly even discussions with professional counselors to discover the best course of action but learning to quickly forgive the small stuff is incredibly powerful.
Also, being grateful and expressing that gratitude has a significant impact on a happier marriage. Thanking your spouse for even little things goes a long way in helping repair issues. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, even if they don’t always show it!
9. Create goodwill through kindness and generosity.
Building on your expressions of gratitude and forgiveness, you can create goodwill and trust through kindness and generosity. Every small positive gesture counts and can patch up holes caused by past issues.
Bring home dinner, buy your partner a small gift, surprise them with an outing – anything that you know will lift their spirits. Just do it!
Don’t expect anything in return, but just know that, over time, your partner is likely to begin reciprocating. If not, you may eventually need to have a discussion but be patient. Give them time to recognize what you are doing and to start creating some new habits of their own.
10. Keep focusing on the positives.
Why did you fall in love with your partner? What are their best features? At what times do you enjoy them the most? Focusing on their positive traits brings your marriage into perspective and reminds you why you married your partner in the first place.
Find the positives from your marriage and always bring them up throughout the repair process. They’ll be the inspiration and motivation you need to get your relationship fixed and pave a road towards a healthier and happier future.
So, with all these steps to repairing and bettering a marriage, how do you get the ball rolling?
How to Fix My Marriage: Kickstart Action
The first step to bettering and fixing your marriage is acknowledging that there are problems with your partner. It’s also essential that you agree to work together to repair it, as trying to act alone won’t do your relationship any justice.
So, once you agree to start patching up your marriage, how can you start?
- Show Appreciation
You’ve likely fallen into routines and comfort zones in the years you’ve been together. Showing appreciation for each other in small ways is a great way to reconnect.
- Find Balance
Finding a balance in your marriage means exploring equal parts giving and taking. You and your partner should address each other’s needs and desires reciprocally.
- Create a Plan of Action
It’s one thing to say that you will agree to work on your marriage, but it’s another to do it. Creating a clear plan of action lays the foundations to successfully repairing a troubled relationship.
Sometimes marital problems may seem beyond repair. However, professional help can provide skilled insight into fixing and bettering your marriage if you’re committed to making it work.
Fixing and making your marriage better is by no means an easy task. But always remember, there’s a reason why you fell in love with your partner in the first place.
That alone can be the motivation and inspiration you need to want to rekindle that spark you once had. Leverage some of these tips on how to fix your marriage and improve your life together.
Ultimately, the experience of rebuilding and reconnecting can make your relationship better than ever!
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