Help for marriage problems can come in many ways. The first step is you have to be receptive to doing things differently. Given that what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked, it would be helpful to have an open mind, and be willing to take feedback that may not initially agree with or be similar to what you know now, or what you’ve been told.
Many people wonder, “will my marriage last?”. With first marriages failing at a staggering 60% rate, clearly the answer to that question is, “probably not” if you create and conduct your marriage like 60% of the other married people do. I think it’s time to look at throwing out a lot of the messages we’ve been given as a society; through movies, magazines and the media. It’s time to face facts and realize that being happy and successful in a committed relationship takes certain skills, understandings and CHOICES that most couples either won’t do or don’t know.
Many of my clients come in asking, “should I get a divorce?”. It’s a legitimate question, and certainly some marriages do need to end for various reasons. But what surprises me is how many times people have only considered staying in the relationship as it is (with all the arguing, anger and acting out) or getting a divorce… the idea of learning what they need to do to fix it and do much better doesn’t seem to be in their awareness. But that’s usually the right answer.
Real help for your marriage happens when you realize BOTH of you need to grow, forgive, change and mature. You can dump your spouse and go find another one, but I can assure you the statistics and sad fact is, you’ll have all the same arguments and issues… same song, different day. When people take responsibility to change what they, individually, need to do differently, then things can start to change. I’ve never seen a situation where it was 100% one person’s fault there were problems. It’s always two. So the right question isn’t, “how do I change my husband or wife to be a good spouse?” the question is, “how do I change ME into a good husband or wife?”.
Finally, for those thinking how bad the relationship has been, or how long it’s been bad, and wondering, “If what I’ve tried so far hasn’t worked, should I try again in my marriage?”, the answer is a big YES. You only know what you know. You don’t know what others may know. That’s what feedback and training is all about. Learning whatever you need to be successful. Falling back in love with your wife or husband could be a big reward for a small amount of effort.