Experiencing difficulties in marriage is common. Even the happiest couples face challenges at some point. Staying in an unhappy marriage can be stressful, and if no measures are put in place to restore the relationship, it can lead to divorce. Studies show that divorce affects individuals’ well-being and psychological health. A recent study on this revealed that divorce causes anxiety, stress, and depression; thus, it can even make people suicidal. Thankfully, it is possible for marriages to recover from seasons of strife, dissatisfaction, or unhappiness. There are tried-and-true tips and practices that can help bring back the spark in your marriage.
Understanding Relationship Stages
When trying to fix an unhappy marriage, it is crucial first to understand marriage relationship stages. Types of marriage, be it civil, religious, or common law marriage, go through various stages with different dynamics that can spur or hinder happiness in a marriage. Understanding these stages helps nurture healthy, long-lasting connections.
- Infatuation: Also referred to as the "honeymoon phase," it is the early stage of relationships. At this phase, couples are deeply in love and focus on their partner's positivity. Unfortunately, this stage doesn't last long. It is just a foundation on which the marriage is built.
- Power Struggle: At this stage, differences and conflicts start to arise. Each partner wants to maintain their individual needs, values, and desires. Disagreements and arguments can escalate during this phase. Couples who are determined to navigate this stage successfully need to develop effective communication and conflict-resolution skills. It is at this stage that couples seek counselling, and if it doesn't work, some opt for divorce
- Reflection and Re-evaluation: Here, couples assess what they want from the marriage and whether they will compromise and work on their differences. This stage offers an opportunity for personal development and gaining a deeper understanding of each other. However, it is also in this phase of realization that couples go separate ways due to personal focus and commitment.
- Cooperation: After going through all the above stages, couples move towards the cooperation stage. This is when they learn to collaborate and support each other's goals and dreams.
- Reunion: The reunion stage comes with contentment and reconnection. Couples who have successfully navigated the previous stages develop a renewed and deep bond. This stage is a testament to the patience and resilience put towards fixing an unhappy marriage.
Here are five tips on how to fix an unhappy marriage.
1. Let Go of the Urge to Be Right Always
The number one marriage killer power struggles. Each partner always wants to be right, and no one is willing to lose an argument. However, for a healthier marriage, partners should focus on finding common ground where they must agree to disagree rather than compete. Successful couples always prioritize their partner's feelings, even when the other partner is wrong.
Therefore, before you argue with your partner, ask yourself, will it make you happy? If not, consider being happy over being right to build a healthy and lasting relationship.
2. Discuss Your Problems with Each Other
Communication can make or break a relationship. Honest and open communication enables you to express your feelings to your partner. If something bothers any of you, share it with your partner, as it helps close the distance cap.
Instead of wondering what to do in an unhappy marriage, you both need active listening to allow each other to express their feelings, concerns, and needs. Effective communication is two-way, and it's necessary to help you understand each other better.
Discussing issues rather than being aggressive is key to building a healthier relationship. When communicating, approach your partner respectfully and calmly and avoid fights and blame games.
3. Treat Your Partner with Kindness and Generosity
Even the smallest act of kindness goes a long way in mending issues in an unhappy marriage.
What efforts are you putting into bringing back the lost connection? While many people resort to big and extraordinary gestures, even the smallest ones can have a significant impact on mending your relationship. Always strive to be kind to your partner, as it makes them feel loved and valued.
Learn to compliment each other and show gratitude instead of criticizing and demeaning. This helps create a peaceful and loving environment, which is essential for a thriving marriage.
4. Be Willing to Forgive
Forgiveness is a rule of thumb when trying to fix an unhealthy marriage. Holding on to past mistakes hinders healing and reconciliation. When your partner makes a mistake, you should be willing to forgive to create a peaceful environment. Forgiveness also encourages honesty and sincerity between couples, strengthening their bond.
5. Keep Your Marriage at the Top of Your Priority List
In a fast-paced world, you can be tempted to overlook marriage and prioritize other things like work, money, and children. However, like other aspects of life, a healthy marriage needs attention, commitment, and time. The efforts you put into your marriage determine if it will make both of you happy.
If you want to fix your unhappy marriage, spend quality time together, nurture your emotional connection, and maintain the intimacy in your relationship. Prioritizing your marriage creates happiness for both partners.
Studies show that couples who prioritize their relationship over other obligations are likely to have a happy marriage.
Marriage takes effort, commitment, and patience from both partners. However, with the right approach, an unhappy marriage can be transformed into a happy and fulfilling one. Remember to let go of the urge to be right, communicate effectively, treat your partner with kindness, be willing to forgive, and prioritize your marriage. Visit our website to get more insights on marriage and how to live happily as a couple.