You knew from the beginning that marriage wasn’t a piece of cake. You understood that there would be good days and bad ones. You may have even been informed that it would take hard work and faith to keep it together. However, this period you’re in right now with your spouse is not something you ever imagined you’d be going through. Your marriage is suffering and beyond leaving, you have no idea what to do.
Lots of people have found themselves feeling this very same way. They find themselves in a difficult circumstance with their partner and they’re not sure what to do. As much as they love their spouse, the emotional and physical strain that this has put on you both is intensifying. Though walking out and “cutting your losses” might seem right, fighting for love is a better solution (in otherwise healthy relationships).
How to Fight
When your marriage is going through a difficult time fighting may require more effort than fleeing but the reward can be much greater. If you want to do your best to see your marriage through this to better days, consider some of the solutions provided below:
Express Your Concern
Holding in your emotions will not make the problem go away. If you are going through something, feel like your spouse is going through something, or simply haven’t been feeling the same about the marriage, speak up. Choose a time when you’re both in the right mindset and not otherwise preoccupied and just let your partner know what you’re experiencing and how it makes you feel.
After expressing your concerns about yourself, your partner, or the marriage as a whole, it’s your turn to listen. Don’t listen to respond but to understand what your spouse is experiencing and feeling as well. Do not judge, make negative body language, or try to rebuttal. Just listen.
There are certain instances, like when there’s been infidelity, where space is required on one or both sides of the marriage for the problem to resolve itself. While it may hurt to have to separate yourself from someone you’re used to doing everything with, some space can be healthy. Whether you decide to stay under the same roof or find a temporary place to stay, don’t fight the distance.
You don’t have the answers to everything and you can’t solve every problem. This is especially true if you’re not fully educated on what’s going on. For example, if your spouse is struggling with mental illness or addiction, do you know anything about the disease, drug detox, or the resources available to help your spouse? Finding out this information can put you in a better position to help your partner and your marriage.
Fall in Love Again
Some marriages hit a rough patch simply because the partners have become complacent or comfortable with one another. The relationship is no longer as stimulating or exciting as it once was. In these circumstances, sometimes all you need to do is figure out how to fall in love again. Spend more quality time together, plan date nights, go on mini-vacations, send flirty messages, write love notes, facetime each other throughout the day, just do little things to help each other remember why you love each other so much to begin with.
Support and Accountability
If your spouse is struggling to meet goals or has recently been diagnosed with a health issue perhaps all they need is your support and accountability. Making healthier meals, setting alarms for regular workouts, and finding ways to make lifestyle changes easier would be appreciated by a spouse struggling with a health issue. Just like being a cheerleader, posting gentle reminders to the calendar, or even pitching in to help a spouse struggling to meet their goals can do wonders for your marriage.
There are times when no matter what you say or do, the problem is just too deep for the two of you to deal with on your own. This is where therapy comes in. Going to visit a relationship counselor can help the two of you to better understand yourselves and each other. While working with the therapist you can learn new coping mechanisms and strategies to help you strengthen your marriage. Or, in some cases, you may learn that what’s best for you both is to walk away.
Everyone dreams about the fun side of marriage. The wedding, having a life partner, doing things together, starting a family, and living a happy life. Yet, what isn’t talked about much are the difficult hurdles you’ll go through. Whether there was infidelity, a job loss, a health issue, addiction, a death, or unresolved childhood issues, before throwing in the towel, do your best to fight for love. You never know how solutions such as those described above can strengthen your bond even further.