It takes two people to make a relationship work – or not – and I am one of them.
Bringing Back the Joy in Your Marriage
Too often we see marriage through rose-colored glasses. We don’t want to see beyond moonlight and roses to the mundane reality of dirty diapers and the demands of trying to do too much. This blind idealism leads to disillusionment with the institution of marriage as well as your partner. So how do you bring back that loving feeling?
One way is to remember the things you loved about your spouse initially and realize that they’re still the same person.
Make a list of your spouse’s wonderful, unique traits that you found so appealing in the beginning.
The Importance of Friendship
Enduring love depends on friendship. Good friends help each other grow.
- Are you and your spouse good friends?
- How can you strengthen your friendship?
- What are the ways in which you support each other’s emotional, creative, and spiritual growth?
- How do you support each other’s dreams and goals?
Some Tips to Keep Your Marriage Invigorated
There are ways to reignite the passion in your relationship. You can do something new sexually, go on a romantic vacation, or talk to each other about your challenges. You can recreate the romance by doing the things you used to enjoy doing together. It could be going to the park or the movies, or just taking time to have a heartfelt talk.
Take care of your appearance. Nobody wants to be greeted by someone who is unkempt, smelly, or wearing ratty pajamas when they get back from a hard day at work.
Have you paid attention to the way you look? Have you done any of the things you used to enjoy doing together? List the things you’ve done to keep your marriage fresh. What are some more ideas you’d like to try?
Looking for Effective Strategies that Help Resolve Conflicts
All of us get into a pattern of behavior that can be detrimental to our relationships. Perhaps you’re used to acting needy or blaming your partner for their mistakes, even exaggerating them. Maybe you lecture them. Or you could be trying to pressure them into changing by enlisting the support of your friends or your children.
Remember that none of these strategies will help you!
How can you break away from negative ways of behaving with your spouse? What positive actions can you substitute for the negative behaviors?
Most people can benefit from marriage counseling if both partners are willing to attend sessions, and both genuinely want their marriage to work. For counseling to be successful, you also need to find the right counselor for you. If both of you share similar spiritual beliefs, the advice of a spiritual mentor may be your best option.
Are you considering marriage counseling?
If yes, what area of your relationship needs help? Is it communication, money issues, sex, time management, child-rearing practices, or the strain from extended family? Is it a combination of these? What other conflicts would you like to resolve? Clarifying your specific conflicts will help you and your spouse get the most benefit from counseling.