There are several good strategies for solving marriage problems if you and your partner are willing to invest the time and put in the work required to save a marriage. If neglected, marriages fall into a state of disrepair and marital issues come up. A marriage is like a garden, if it is not tended to, it will die, no matter how much we love it. Marital conflict has powerful effects on the partners, often leading to worry, elevated levels of tension, great sadness, anxiety, and depression. If prolonged, marriage problems can wear both partners down, impacting their mental and physical health. When conflict is persistent, the effect on families is also profound. Here are some basic steps that can help love to conquer all. However, they will require rigorous honesty.
How Do You Deal With Marriage Problems?
Keeping the lines of communication open is a major key to a healthy and lasting marriage. Open, honest, gentle, kind, and constructive discussions are important in keeping those lines open. Listen to your spouse and hear what they have to say. Instead of reacting automatically, pause for thought, then respond. If it is necessary, you might need a few hours to think about what they have said and agree to continue the discussion a few hours later. There can never be a resolution without open communication. Sweeping issues under the rug will make them worse as this is how resentments build up inside us.
Having constructive discussions entails leaving emotions out of the conversation with the intent of reaching a resolution. Emotions lead to frustration which can lead to anger and hurtful things being said. Focus on fixing the problem rather than dwelling on it. With this type of discussion, there are no interruptions or comments while the other person is talking. If you are at the stage in your conversation where you are not agreeing completely and have reached an impasse, then take a break. You will each have time to put things into perspective and continue your conversation a day or two later.
Acknowledge your Spouse’s Feelings
When we open ourselves up and express our feelings only to have them disregarded, it can leave us feeling shut down, undervalued, and worthless. If you are trying to resolve marital conflict you do not want to leave your spouse feeling this way. Allow your spouse the time and space to speak, and let their feelings be known and heard. Be attentive, do not be dismissive, whether you agree with them or not. You will have the opportunity to give feedback in a constructive manner. Think about how you would feel if you had those same feelings, or you were in their shoes. Try to understand why they feel the way they do.
Leave Ego at the Door
This is not a competition to prove who is right and who is wrong. Leave the ego at the door. You will not solve any type of marital problem by trying to prove your spouse is wrong and you are right. Conflict resolution has nothing to do with feeding the ego and the need to win an argument. Instead, it is about being humble enough to sit quietly and listen to the person you once loved so much that you made the choice to spend the rest of you life with them. There is no place for ego in marital problem resolution.
Counseling can be a great solution to help resolve marriage problems. Couples or marriage counseling involves a few sessions and both parties will have to agree to it. Counseling provides the expert guidance you need to address the problems within your relationship. It will also give you guidance on how to work out the causes of those problems. Once these have been worked through, you and your spouse will work on a plan to improve your relationship. Weekly follow-up sessions will follow for accountability and progress checks.
Invest Step by Step
Remember love also means seeking first to understand, before being understood. If both of you want to and are willing to take steps to address the problems, it’s a good sign. Stay positive and committed about your future together, and kiss all the time.
Additional Reading: Healthy Relationships (American Psychological Association)
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