Have you ever had these feelings about your marriage?
- My life seems awfully boring.
- We’re trying but we’re stuck in the same old routine.
- So many things he/she does annoy me.
- I can’t remember that last time I had fun.
- I can’t imagine living the rest of my life like this.
If you have, you’re not alone. Just about everyone who’s been married for any length of time has had thoughts like these. They are typical symptoms of a marriage that’s out of balance. Negative feelings are indicators of subtle relationship problems.
The routines of daily life, over time, can cause shifts that neither of you are even aware of. These subtle movements can disturb the stability of your lives together.
A question with an answer you don’t want to know.
Along with these thoughts may come a question that you don’t want to answer. Did you marry the right person? The trouble with this question is that it challenges the very foundation of your marriage. If the answer is yes, then why do I feel this way? If the answer is no, then what?
Answer these questions first.
- What is it like being married to me?
- How well do I know my spouse?
- How well do I understand my spouse
- How much do I accept my spouse?
Considering these questions may make you feel differently. They put the focus on you, where it belongs.
It’s not your spouse’s job to make you happy.
Before you blame your spouse or your marriage, think about what you’re doing to hold up your end. Are you open to the human being you’re married to? How committed are you to making your marriage work? Can you recognize difficulties as normal and recruit your spouse to work on them together?
Can you accept your spouse’s imperfections?
We all have imperfections that are just a part of who we are. Things that won’t change. Some times, being happy boils down to whether you can accept your spouse’s imperfections. These are usually the things that can eventually annoy you the most. Habits and personality traits that you thought were cute or no big deal when you were dating. Now they make you exasperated.
Rebalance your marriage.
Get back to basics. It starts (and ends) with intimate conversation. Create a space of no judgment and no distractions. Tell your spouse how you feel and invite the same in return. Express yourself calmly and affectionately. Use deep, reflective listening. Chances are, your spouse will tell you things you didn’t know. Touch each other – hold hands. Make an agreement that you will both work on your marriage together.
And just for fun, take this quick True/False quiz.
- I am interested in my spouse’s opinions on issues in our relationship. T/F
- I don’t try to convince my spouse to see things my way. T/F
- I don’t reject my spouse’s opinions when we argue. T/F
- I believe my spouse has important things to say and I value them. T/F
- I believe we are partners with equal say in our relationship. T/F
- I get out of my comfort zone to meet my spouse’s needs. T/F
If you’ve read this far, I bet you didn’t answer “True” to all these questions. And that’s OK. Ask your spouse to take it too. Talk about it and keep your sense of humor. If you can find a laugh or two it will help.
Continue the conversation.
Make a joint commitment to come up with a plan and put it into practice. Try it for one month. Then ask yourself the question again. Did I marry the right person?
A good marriage counselor can facilitate this process and act as an impartial guide to putting balance back in your marriage and implementing healthy habits. Please call me if you would like to discuss this further. I’d be happy to help.