It takes two. It’s a cliché and sometimes a punch line. But it’s often a fact. However, before you can have the two that “it” takes, you need one. One person gets an idea, creates a plan, and makes a commitment. Successful marriages are prime examples of this concept in action.
If you want to keep your relationship thriving and evolving, it begins with you. You could criticize or even sink into the mire of passive-aggression. This would guarantee a lack of success. Conversely, you can recognize the need for change and get that process started by taking action.
How NOT to Deal with Marital Strife
Both of you are well aware that something or many things are going wrong. Neither of you wants to bring it up. Perhaps the most common cause of this dysfunction is a fear of conflict. If you broach a sensitive topic, it may lead to an argument. Ignoring the 880-pound gorilla in the room sometimes allows a specific issue to fade. But the emotions that went unaddressed are left to simmer.
This is yet another reason why avoidance becomes an attractive option. If one or both of you is always ready to wage war, well… you know the rest. Nobody wins. For that matter, seeking to “win” guarantees failure. A particularly heinous variation on this theme is verbal abuse. When one partner dominates the other in the name of creating “resolution,” this is a dangerous situation that requires outside intervention.
An Ineffective Hybrid of Both of the Above
You don’t completely avoid but you never exactly engage. Hints are drops. Eyes are rolled. Your aggression is expressed passively. The decision to be indirect inevitably leads to misinterpretations and heightening emotions (whether they are expressed or not).
Why a Successful Marriage Begins With You
There is a “solution” to marital strife and the flawed methods used to address it: You. Relationships frequently fall into a rut. Unless one of you make the active choice to manage this development, the rut will just get deeper. Therefore, since a successful marriage begins with you, here are few steps you might want to consider taking:
Take Responsibility For Your Part
This isn’t a math problem. Both of you bear some blame and there’s no reason to quibbling over percentages. Take some time to identify where you could have done better. Own those behaviors. Apologize to them. Show remorse and a commitment to change. This giant step can serve to diffuse so much of the antagonism.
Recognize and Accept Your Differences
Pop culture will make you believe that true “soul mates” can practically read each other’s minds. They have the same wants, needs, and desires. When real life contradicts this fantasy, it can feel like one of you is doing something wrong. Take stock of the differences between you and your spouse. Express a willingness to discuss them. Discover ways to agree on compromises wherever and whenever necessary.
Forgive Yourself and Your Partner
Take the first step in cultivating a fresh start. This is not to say that you forget the past. It is, however, a powerful step for a couple to embrace the present moment.
Sometimes, a Successful Marriage Begins with Counseling
When things get really tough between you and your partner, it can feel impossible to reconnect. You may not even know where to start. You want to be the one to foster a successful marriage but you don’t even know which way you’re facing. Often, couples counseling can help provide a road map. Let’s talk about where you’re at and where you want to be.
Getting Started With Couples Counseling in Lakewood & Longmont Colorado
We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. You can schedule your appointment via phone, email, or the contact page on our website. We offer both in-person and online counseling. We’re open to whichever option you feel more comfortable with. We look forward to hearing from you!