Each year, more than two million marriages come to an end via divorce. The average marriage is in trouble for at least 7 years before the couple seeks help. Couples end up in crisis situations, and stay there too long, because they seem hopeless. Most couples need to learn how to repair.
How to repair your relationship
These are just 4 tips that have a chance of beginning repairs. These are not the only ways, but the most important part of repair is: Attempting to repair. Just making an attempt, and talking with your partner about the desire and need to repair can often get the ball rolling. But here are some specific tips:
1. Be willing to discuss the problems that affect your relationship happiness.
Sweeping problems aside or under the rug, instead of dealing with them head on, will lead to one or both partners resenting each other as time passes.
Learning to express feelings, thoughts and concerns , in a way your partner can hear, is the beginning skill needed to repair to a healthy relationship. Make it a priority not to bury hurt or negative feelings; be as vulnerable as possible. If you’re in the habit of hiding your feelings, this will be difficult, but with determination and commitment to kindness and empathy for each other, opening up and discussing problems doesn’t have to be another problem.
2. Quality time each and every day with your spouse should be a priority
Finding quality time with your partner can take a back seat to kids, schedules, work, and hobbies. The marriage needs to move back up the priority list, and this commitment to daily quality time can have a drastically positive effect on the relationship.
Quality time should cover an array of time and activities that both of you find fun or enjoyable If possible. Quality time can also be productive even if you’re trying something you may not enjoy, but your spouse does. Welcome to marriage-sometimes we do things for the sake of the marriage that the other person wants to do. The time should be 100% focused on each other, so turn off your phones and other distractions as much as possible; remain in the moment with your spouse. Include conversations about future dreams and aspiration, emotions and empathy for each other. This can allow for the deep and meaningful bond that once brought you together.
3. Do not allow wounds to remain open
Watch out for defensiveness, and focus on your spouse’s positive traits instead of negative traits. Try not to allow wounds to remain open. Listen to your partner’s feelings and point of view. Do your best to stand in their shoes. Choose to see them in positive lighting instead of negative lighting, letting go of animosity.
By really hearing your spouse, you may find any hurt or distrusting feelings are dispelled and any that aren’t, can be acknowledged and worked out towards forgiveness, healing and trust.
4. Be a partner that forgives
This is perhaps one of the most challenging things to do as a married couple. Forgiveness is not only about overlooking the hurtful reactions of your partner, but it is also about moving on despite all odds.
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult, challenging, but rewarding aspects of married life. Forgiveness isn’t just for the partner in need of forgiveness, but frees the one who can successfully give it. It isn’t about overlooking hurt or pain, but being able to put that side and move on in health, not being weighed down by the pain.
Give these 4 tips a shot and you may be surprised with the outcome. With time, it is possible that a marriage can be restored to a healthier and happier state than ever imagined.
Couples Counseling Mountainside
Chuck Beardsley, LCSW is a level-3 Gottman couples counselor, and is a level 3 Relational Life Counselor. Chuck utilizes Mindfulness, ACT, and other contemplative practices in his work with individuals and couples.
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