Many people believe that loving marriages just happen. But should you ask a “happily married couple,” they’ll tell you it’s the result of a lot of learning and understanding.
Among the many things that loving marriages have in common is the ability of the spouses to effectively communicate with each other. We find that in marriages where both spouses are free to express their thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, there is also a high level of respect, appreciation, and trust between the couple.
This ability to communicate is also one of the key components for restoring love back in marriage when the stresses of life start to take their toll and create problems. Even the best of marriages are faced with struggles and difficulties that can take a happy, loving couple to the brink of crisis. There are times in life when, despite your best efforts, issues can become so hard that all the good advice and knowledge may do very little to help if you don’t know how to apply them in your relationship.
Communicating effectively in the middle of a marriage crisis is hard for couples who already know how to talk to one another, but for couples who can’t, it’s almost impossible without direction or help. It’s difficult to determine what advice you should apply to your relationship and what things are better left alone.
With all good intentions, friends and family often think they know what is best, but often they too are emotionally involved, and what works for them may not work for you. Sometimes it may seem that the best marriage help comes from listening and learning from your mistakes. While experience is always a good teacher, most couples don’t have a lot of experience in successfully working through these types of issues, or they would have already done so and avoided a marriage crisis.
Consider the following as you decide how to work through your marriage problems.
- Are you sure you know what the problem is? Don’t assume you know or understand what your spouse is feeling or going through. You don’t have to agree, but finding out exactly what the issue is is the first step toward solving it.
- Are you being open minded? Being willing to find solutions is the only way to find them.
- Do you know how to forgive and move past the issues? Working through marriage problems is no place for martyrs or victims. Being either only creates more issues in a relationship.
- Are you willing to look at your behaviors? Each spouse brings their own attitudes, actions, and points of view into the marriage. The dynamics of a marriage are based on the behaviors of both spouses.
- Are you willing to learn new ways of interacting with your spouse? Marriages become strong when both spouses are able to talk with and listen to each other. Real communication is an acquired skill.
For many couples, professional marriage help is an effective way to discover and examine the true issues in the marriage, as well as learn the skills necessary to develop a healthy relationship. Although many couples are apprehensive about discussing their marital issues with a “stranger,” the opportunity to gain the tools and knowledge to save your marriage often outweighs the discomfort. Knowing your expectations, expressing them to your spouse, and gaining a better understanding of your needs and your partner’s needs and how to fulfill them are vital in rebuilding your marriage.
One of the greatest benefits of developing a strong, loving marriage is that regardless of struggles and issues, you are never without hope. A marriage crisis can happen, but the respect, appreciation and commitment of both spouses creates a strength that gets you through the hard times and builds on memories made during the good times.