If you are contemplating filing for divorce or drawing up separation agreements, you probably feel that you have no other choices. We all know that experiencing conflict in marriage is part and parcel of being married. It is only normal that you and your spouse have differing ideas and points of view; after all, you are married, not cloned. But, for whatever reason, the marriage conflict has escalated and it is very likely that both of you are at a loss as to how to reconcile your differences.
Before you start hammering the final nail into your marriage’s coffin, take a step back and examine your relationship for just a moment. It may be that you’re caught in a whirlwind of emotions that is preventing clear thought and constructive communication. It may be that you and your spouse have forgotten how to provide for each other’s emotional and physical needs. Most likely, it’s a combination of many things over time and by now you think it’s too much and too late. The truth is that it is NEVER too late to address these problems and save your marriage. The question is how.
Consider carefully what you are trying to reconcile, your end goals and what has or hasn’t succeeded thus far. Here are some steps you should then consider taking:
- Take a few days apart from each other to gather your thoughts. While apart, you and your spouse write down the needs you each feel are being neglected and the issues that need to be worked through.
- Sit down with your spouse and calmly discuss each other’s list. Speak respectfully. Listen to really understand. Don’t judge. Keep the communication open and honest. This is crucial to moving the process forward without falling back into poor communication habits that have prevented progress up to this point. You are likely to find that there are common needs and issues you both are struggling with. Resolve to find constructive solutions.
- Seek the counsel of trusted friends and family who have worked through similar marriage issues. Bounce ideas off them and actively listen for suggestions from their experiences that could make a marked difference in your own marriage.
- Seek professional marriage help. Don’t hesitate! Discuss your lists of issues with a licensed marriage therapist or counselor. Look into attending a marriage seminar or marriage workshop that can help you in a short period of time gather ideas, skills and techniques that can help you work through your marriage crisis.
If you and your spouse can’t do the first three steps above on your own, seek professional marriage help. The implications of divorce or marriage separation are serious and many.
Your marriage crisis screams out that you should be seeking help now to guide you and your spouse through the barricades and miscommunication and give you both a fighting chance of resolving your issues. If you’ve reached a point where both of you have addressed the areas of your marriage that just aren’t working, then it is time to find a qualified third party who can help you find a lasting solution. Be wise and courageous and don’t hesitate to seek the help you need. Keep your eyes fixed on your hope for a loving marriage and pursue it with all your strength of commitment.