At marriage.com, we hear from many happy couples who are looking to support their already solid marriages, but we also hear from some couples on the brink, couples who may be at their wit’s end or considering separation or divorce. For those couples, we offer lots of supportive content and connection to necessary resources, but in addition, here are some pretty basic things that might provide comfort and direction to couples struggling in their marriages:
Everyone has problems:
Even when a couple seems to have the perfect marriage, they too have problems. You may have never seen them argue and their Facebook pages may be strewn with smiling couple photos, but do not assume that they do not experience conflict like everyone else. Never compare your relationship to others’, as it is impossible to truly know how other couples operate behind closed doors. The most compatible couples still go through struggles.
Problems do not solve themselves:
Time does not heal every wound. Physical wounds require care, effort and attention in order to heal as do relationship wounds. Reaching a content and healthy place in your relationship cannot be achieved if problems are not addressed and rectified as they occur. Both partners must be committed to resolving their issues both together and individually.
Look at your relationship issues in a positive way:
Relationship problems are not always easy to navigate, but they can bring much needed change. Issues can be compared to the red warning lights that appear on a car’s dashboard. If you do not fix your car, it may break down. If you do not examine your relationship problems, it may lead to its demise. If successfully addressed, marital conflicts do not have to end in resentment, bitterness and divorce. They can actually strengthen a couple’s partnership and benefit their overall relationship currently and in the future.
Attack your problems, not your partner:
The majority of relationship issues are perpetual and recurring. The nuances of the arguments may change slightly, but the core of the conflict remains the same. Try to figure out the main reasons you are fighting and make every effort not to initiate personal attacks that lead to defensiveness. Your main focus should be the actual issues.
It’s okay to need help:
There are resources out there for improving and supporting your marriage - websites, forums, videos, support programs, marriage counseling, weekend retreats, seminars - find out which mode of support you’re most comfortable with and get the help you need to get your marriage back on the right track.
These basic marital facts are not necessarily going to solve all your problems, but they will give you some perspective on common relationship problems and knowing that you are not alone in your struggle.
Malini Bhatia is the founder and CEO of marriage.com, a website dedicated to providing value in every marriage, including resources, information and a community that supports healthy, happy marriages. Bhatia has global experience in international management and communications. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 11 years and two daughters.
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