MORE MARRIAGES DIE FROM neglect than anything else.
It is simply a matter of life getting in the way. The neglect soon grows into antipathy and animosity. Soon, the relationship opens up the potential for affairs and other marriage crises.
When people rate their life priorities, many people rank their marital relationship in the top three. Yet, couples spend only a few minutes every day discussing issues that do not concern schedules and children.
Do you see the irony here?
The marriage slowly starves to death
Through the course of the marriage, a lot happens. You get busy with the details of your lives that you forget why you got together in the first place.
Things that did not exist when you first got together become priorities: children, careers, hobbies, building empires. The ‘we’ gets lost. There is so much to do that it becomes challenging to pay attention to your spouse.
Then before long, you catch yourself saying things like:
- You never compliment me on what I am wearing”
- “When was the last time you paid attention to me? You always focus all your attention on your work/the kids/something else”
- “You never make love to me anymore”
- “How can we have sex when you are always tired?”
Marriages die slowly under the rising wave of indifference. Eventually, partners fall out of love with each other, and the marriage is broken.
Marriages do not die with a bang. They quietly tiptoe away and are gone before you know they have left. – Psychology Today
When the passion is gone
Ask yourself what feels broken about your marriage. Admitting that your marriage is in trouble is the first step towards healing your marriage. Some of the telltale signs of a struggling marriage include:
- You are constantly criticizing each other
- There is a lack of affection in the relationship
- The two of you are arguing all the time
- The two of you have withdrawn and built impenetrable walls between you
- Mutual respect between and your spouse is waning
- You no longer do things together
- There is a reduced comfort zone: You can no longer open up to each other or be yourselves for fear of being hurt
- You do not feel as close as you used to be
- You feel frustrated with each other
Answered yes to many of the above points? Read on…
When a marriage is in trouble, there are only two choices: You can either commit to save the marriage or call it quits.
Deciding not to do anything is the same as calling it quits. It will only be a matter of time before your marriage erodes when not given the time and effort it requires.
While there are definitely times when separation and divorce are okay, they are no picnic and are definitely not ‘the easy way out’.
For starters, you will never escape the knowledge that you failed in your marriage. Think of all the disrupted lives and the expenses. What about the children if you have them? Many couples will say it is better for the children not to witness all the fighting. But do you know what is even better? Not fighting anymore.
How to get the passion back in your marriage
Fixing your broken marriage is not easy, but it is worth every try. And yes it is possible.
If you focus on restoring the connection and putting the past in the past, your marriage can be healthy again. The key here is not trying to fix every little thing that you think is wrong with the marriage, but committing on building a new relationship.
Reflect on what has damaged your marriage.
This may seem like an obvious step, but it is crucial to mending your relationship. It is going to be painful but this time for honesty is a must if the marriage is to heal.
Here are some questions to help initiate thought or conversation around the potential issues in your marriage:
- Has there been an absence of affection and passion in your marriage?
- Have you been having constant arguments because of money?
- Does either party feel that they are not getting due respect in the relationship?
- Do either of you feel that your individual needs are not being taken care of?
- Has either of you developed habits which have become destructive to your marriage?
Make a list of all the issues that are problematic in your relationship. Include those that you do not talk about for fear that they might lead to further conflict.
Being honest about the problems in your marriage goes a long way towards fixing it.
Acknowledge your part in the problem
Having identified the problem areas, you now have the opportunity to identify the things you are doing that have contributed to the situation.
Many times, one partner may look at the problem as the other partner’s to fix. After all, everyone wants to believe that they are the model spouse.
I clean up after him, and he is never grateful. It is his fault your marriage is falling apart.
I work hard and provide all the finances, and she is never grateful. It is her fault the marriage is coming undone.
The truth of the matter is that all of your motives are not always as pure as you would want your spouse to think. Also, it doesn't really matter who is right and wrong.
You can either be right or you can be happily married. Not both. – Anonymous
Each partner has plenty of room for improvement. Ask yourself:
- Are my expectations always realistic?
- Are there things I am doing or failing to do that are hurting my marriage?
- Do I give my husband the benefit of the doubt?
- Do I always respond to my wife with love and grace?
- Am I truly on my husband's side?
You cannot fix a broken marriage unless you are willing to take responsibility for ALL OF IT. No matter what kind of a spouse you have, you are always responsible for your responses.
Quit the blame game. At this point, it does not matter who was right or wrong. And no single person wins. You all win or lose. – Jane Kamiri
Improve your communication
An essential component of fixing your marriage is communication. Your spouse could never read your mind. You, therefore, have to articulate your needs clearly.
At the same time, ensure your communication is honest and respectful. Do not speak in anger and do not be sarcastic. This will only invoke an angry reaction from your spouse, and you will soon be arguing.
- Be patient with each other and talk to each other, not at each other.
- Express your concerns constructively.
- Keep the tone friendly and omit any judgment, criticism, and irritation.
- Focus on solutions rather than dwelling on what went wrong.
- Improve your listening skills.
You might find it easier to start writing a letter or a text message to help take some of the emotion out initially.
When the problems have been clearly articulated, it is time to apologize, forgive and move on. Look for ways to find forgiveness both for yourself and your partner so that you can move forward.
Commit to connecting again
Make rebuilding your marriage a priority: value your time together. No matter how busy your schedules are, always find time to spend together.
- You can spend a few minutes every night chatting
- Go out on dates if you can
- Always find ways of aligning together through the good and bad times
- Restore your intimacy
- Sexual intimacy is crucial for the growth of your marriage. Even when you are not up to it, make an effort to be open to intimate moments as often as possible.
- Stop asking yourself the wrong questions. Asking yourself ‘Did I marry the wrong person?’ is the wrong question. Instead, ask yourself, ‘How can I love correctly the person I married?’
- Don’t talk to friends and family about your situation. Exposing your marriage makes it more vulnerable.
- Even if your spouse is not on board, commit to doing it alone. Your effort can change the momentum of your marriage. Your effort will also motivate the obstinate spouse to make efforts to save the marriage.
Be the change you want to see. Speak in the vocabulary of your actions. Your problems will be resolved more by new choices than many discussions.
If your concerned about your marriage and want more help I encourage you to watch this short video. It is put together by a marriage expert that has many years of experience helping couples reunite.
If you want help to work together for your marriage, then I recommend that you put everything aside for the next few minutes and watch the video.
Best of luck in your situation.