If you are considering divorce, feel unloved or defeated, I’ve made a list of things for you to try before giving up on your marriage.
Trying these things before leaving or filing for divorce can make a difference of a lifetime. This is meant to be an encouragement for your marriage and to help you build a healthy relationship.
It’s easy to call it quits, but nothing worth having is ever easy. A lot of couples want quick solutions to save their marriage. Truth be told, this is a common problem, but the solutions are never easy.
I’d like to mention, I’m not suggesting that anyone should stay in an abusive relationship (physically or mentally). If you are experiencing abuse please get help now. You can find more help here.
A marriage counselor can help you realize that you’re both at fault, and help teach you ways of effective communication, forgiveness, trust issues, and many other things.
A Shift in Mindset
The good news is that if you are willing to put effort into rescuing your marriage, it can be done. Breaking the cycle of an unhappy relationship requires determination to change your mindset.
Taking responsibility for your part in the conflict is a great starting point. One person’s ability to do this can change the entire dynamic of the relationship.
Stop the Blame Game
Many couples play the blame game, instead of focusing on a solution to the issue at hand. After a while, they are no longer addressing the issue at hand and enter into a vicious cycle.
The road to destruction in a marriage is waiting for the other person to change. Rather than giving up on your marriage, lean toward each other. If you don’t take action on your behalf, no one else will do it for you.
A great way to start is to try positive reinforcement and focusing on the things you like about your spouse. Let them know the things you admire about them. Even something as simple as “thanks so much for sweeping the living room, you always do such a good job.”
Implement a morning routine, eat well, exercise, or stretch daily. Try listening to music, reading a book, or spending some time with good friends.
Taking care of your own health will increase your endorphins and naturally put you in a better mood, in turn increasing your positive attitude and patience.
Complain without criticizing
Talking about an issue will work better than criticizing your partner. For instance, a complaint is: “I was worried when I didn’t hear from you. We agreed that we’d check in when one of us was running late.” Versus a criticism, “You never follow through with anything.”
Don’t put aside resentments that can destroy your relationship. It’s important to work through conflict by confronting the issue, not by avoiding it.
Remember the purpose of confronting the conflict is a resolution, not to be “right”. Listen to your spouse. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements, for example, “I feel hurt when you don’t follow through,” rather than, “You’re so irresponsible.”
Remember Your Why
Remembering why you married your spouse in the first place will help bring you back to your relationship hopes and dreams. For better or worse, right?
Think about all the dreams and goals you have together whether it’s about your kids, grandkids, retirement, hobbies, or where you want to move. Get refocused on your plans and set steps to get there.
Stay focused on the issues at hand
Ask yourself, What am I trying to accomplish? Avoid name-calling and don’t attack your partner personally.
Remember anger is usually due to past hurt or insecurities. So ask questions that go deeper to understand the need your partner is seeking.
Avoid defensiveness and disrespect like rolling your eyes, name-calling, sarcasm, etc.
Boost Your physical affection
According to author Dr. Kory Floyd, holding hands, hugging, and touching can release oxytocin a hormone that causes a calming sensation.
Studies show that it’s released during sexual orgasm and affectionate touch as well. Physical affection also reduces stress hormones lowering daily levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Spend time Together Daily
Spending quality time together daily is utterly important, even if it’s 30 minutes of intentional QUALITY time. Here’s how you can make time for your spouse, even on a busy schedule.
Make quality conversations productive by showing empathy, expressing understanding, and validating emotions. Feeling like your partner is on your side can help you have a deep, meaningful bond.
Don’t allow hurt to Linger
Challenge your self-defeating thoughts about your spouse’s behavior when you find it to be negative. Listen to their side of the story.
Sometime’s you may feel hurt or untrusting but speaking to your spouse about it may relieve some of those negative thoughts.
Forgiveness isn’t the same as condoning or forgetting hurtful actions but it will help you to move on. After all, “Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself” – Suzanne Somers.
Remember you are on the same team. Accept that everyone is different, their thoughts or actions may not be how you would handle a situation, and you can learn to let that be okay.
In most cases, your marriage is worth saving. If you think even slightly that your marriage is worth saving, please give these ideas a try before giving up.
Try for a full month with specific relationship goals in mind, take a peek back after 30 days to see if you spot any definitive differences.
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