All marriages change over time, but if these changes leave you feeling stuck, lonely, and hopeless, know that there are actions you can take to turn your relationship around. Even if your relationship has been in a rut for a while, it is not beyond repair. What feels like a dying marriage is a signal that you and your spouse are likely missing some important relationship skills needed to make it work. The good news is that these skills can be learned and nurtured with the right support. In fact, the majority of couples with whom I’ve worked with were able to revive their dying marriages by learning essential communication skills and consistently putting them into practice. If you’re worried your marriage is dying, here are a few important actions you can take to get your relationship to a better place.
Common Factors Which Put Marriages At Risk
The 3 most common factors which can jeopardize a marriage are affairs, frequent conflict, and lack of sex. These are serious obstacles, but rest assured that they are possible to overcome. Infidelity will require rebuilding trust, conflicts can be managed with effective communication, and a sexless marriage can be revived with a deeper emotional connection.
Whatever is putting your marriage at risk, the trick is to find the root cause behind the problem or problematic behavior, figure out how each of you contributed to it, and learn what each of you can do to fix it. Keep in mind, both spouses are responsible for making a marriage work. And if you’re having problems, it will take both of you to make an effort to fix it.
3 Actions To Take To Fix A Dying Marriage
1. Have A Constructive Discussion
It’s essential to bring up your concerns about the state of your marriage to your spouse. Pick a time and place where you can have this serious conversation without interruptions and without feeling rushed. When you share your worries about your dying marriage with your partner, avoid blaming, shaming, and accusations. Instead, stay calm and focused, and make your discussion constructive. Frame it as something positive you want for your relationship, a happier vision you both can share and work towards. Don’t dwell on what’s not working. Think of good times you’ve had with your partner and talk about how you can bring that back into your lives.
2. Prepare Yourself For Ups And Downs
It takes time and a whole lot of effort to turn a marriage around, so prepare yourself accordingly. Expect a mix of progress and setbacks as you and your spouse make adjustments, practice better relationship skills, and process all the feelings that come along. Be patient and compassionate with yourself and your partner. Progress is never just linear. There will be highs and lows. It’s important to understand what led to the highs so you can replicate them. Unfortunately our brains have developed to focus on negative experiences, so it will take more effort to find the good.
3. Get Couples Counseling
If you think that your marriage is dying, the best action to take is to get professional support. A good couples therapist will work with you to uncover the underlying issues which negatively impacted your marriage and then start building a roadmap to get your relationship back on track. If your marriage has been neglected for a while and feels like it’s in crisis, you may not be able to fix it without the support of a professional counselor. Fortunately, there are many counseling options available. Educate yourself and your partner on counseling resources available to you, and explore whether you would benefit more from traditional therapy or a marriage retreat.
Remember, even if you feel your marriage is in trouble, it doesn’t mean that it’s over. Almost no one is taught how to have a happy marriage, so before calling it quits, learn the right skills. It is possible to rebuild and strengthen your relationship as long as you’re both committed to making it work. If you’re worried your marriage is dying, LifeWise couples counseling is here to help every step of the way.