In the beginning, you may have thought that being married would not be too difficult. After all, you pledged a lifelong commitment to a person who you truly love and deeply care about. However, throughout the course of your marriage, you have experienced challenges that left you questioning whether you will be able to uphold the “Till death do us part” portion of your wedding vows. Marriage has now started to feel more like “work” and less like the enjoyable and long-lasting relationship you envisioned. Now that you have a more realistic view of the amount of effort that it takes to keep your marriage afloat, there are some courses of action that you can take to help your marriage prosper.
Open and Honest Communication
You may have initially thought that communicating with your spouse only referred to talking or holding conversations on a regular basis. However, the type of communication that is necessary for your marriage to progress must be of the open and honest kind.
“Open” communication involves dialogue that goes beyond the superficial chat you have with your spouse. It often involves examining issues that are difficult to discuss. “Honest” communication will require that you completely articulate the issues needing to be addressed so that you and your spouse have a clear understanding regarding the areas of concern. Think about it, how can you fix a “problem” that is unacknowledged? Failure to identify the source of marital problems cannot result in a resolution. Instead, unidentified and unacknowledged trouble in the relationship will likely only frustrate it.
Be aware that communication is both verbal and non-verbal. Such awareness is important because non-verbal communication in the form of facial expressions and body language often send a message to your spouse just as if you were speaking words. The wrong non-verbal communication can adversely affect a conversation between you and your spouse. Therefore, you should know when to listen (not just hear) and when to pause and reflect before reacting. The goal is to land at a place of understanding with your spouse.
Willingness to Put in the Work
You and your spouse need to have the “willingness” to work through the issues afflicting the marriage. Therefore, a commitment to putting in the time and effort that it will take to work on the relationship is required. To say that patience must be exhibited is an understatement, because there is no shortcut when working through the issues that can plague a marriage. However, if you truly believe that your marriage is worth the work, and it probably is, implementing the right measures will help your marriage stay the course.