Are You Secretly Stuck in an Unhappy Marriage? Here's What to Do About It.
Just like all other relationships, marriages have their ups and downs. There are periods of closeness and distance that are totally normal and nothing to fret about. Periods of distance can be described as a rough patch, and are often due to difficulties like miscommunication, lack of quality time and differing love languages. These things can create a lot of problems in a marriage, but they can be addressed if both partners are committed to making the relationship work. It’s important to make the distinction between workable problems like these, and problems that characterize toxic relationships, which can not be worked through and should signal you to end the relationship.
Toxic relationships are characterized by emotional, physical and sexual abuse, cheating, lying and unwillingness to put in effort. These problems are not fixable and indicate that you should get out of the marriage. If you find yourself facing relationship troubles that are fixable (not the problems associated with a toxic relationship that is...), then you should consider trying out the following tips to try and fix your relationship.
Poor communication can often be the downfall of relationships. And while it’s easier said than done, addressing communication problems through communication building is a great thing to try if you feel like communication issues are at the root of the unhappiness in your marriage. Communication building will look a bit different for every couple, depending on your exact communication issues, but a tried and true solution is taking time out of your day, week or every few weeks to check in as a couple. Designating time to check-in with your spouse about their emotions, their expectations and how they feel in the relationship will ingrain effective communication into your routine, and ensure that both you and your spouse are able to express your feelings and be heard by your partner. Trying this out may feel a bit unnatural at first, but the more you check-in with one another, the more natural it will feel, and the better your communication will become.
With Relish you can text with a qualified Relationship Coach for one-to-one advice, take therapist-approved quizzes about communication, conflict, intimacy and more. Click here to claim your free trial!
Life can get hectic, whether its work, a poppin’ social life or some huge life event, sometimes we take our relationship for granted, and forget to prioritize our spouse and our marriage. Skipping out on quality time with your partner every once in a while when something important comes up is fine, but it’s easy for this to become a pattern of behavior. This type of pattern can lead to feelings of neglect, poor communication and general unhappiness in a marriage. An easy way to overcome this type of behavior pattern, is to prioritize your relationship by having routine date nights. Date night can be anything from ordering food to the house, cooking a meal together, seeing a movie, or going out to eat. It doesn’t really matter what you do, it just matters that you and your partner are spending time together. Quality time is the basis of a good relationship, and cultivating this bond will help you feel close with your partner. This closeness will help motivate you to communicate better and work on the other problems holding your relationship back.
Take A Trip
Date night can be an effective way to cultivate closeness in your relationship, but sometimes you need to take things to the next level. Taking a weekend, or a long weekend, or even a week (if work and scheduling will allow) can afford you some necessary quality time with your spouse that can help you rekindle romance and sort through some things in a new environment. Sometimes all your relationship needs is a little change or scenery to help you get out of your habits and routines and look at your relationship in a new light. Taking time as a couple is not only an important way to rekindle romance, but a great way to show your partner that you prioritize them and the relationship. While taking a trip you can also spend some of your free time working on communication building, so that you come back from the trip stronger and closer as a couple.
Did You Know? “Quality Time” is one of the 5 Love Languages. Learn more ways to rekindle your romance with Relish. Click here to enjoy a free week of date ideas, romance tips and relationship advice.
Try Therapy Worksheets
If you and your partner are apprehensive to try out counseling, but are interested in trying out approaches used in formal counseling, you should consider working through couples therapy worksheets. Couples therapy worksheets are designed to help partners and spouses work through common relationship problems in a methodical manner. A simple Google search can bring up a wide range of worksheets that you and your partner can use to help you navigate different problems like “acceptance of self and partner”, values lists, problem-solving worksheets and reflection worksheets. Approaching these worksheets with honesty and an open mind can help you and your partner make real progress in your relationship, and help fix your marriage. This type of activity definitely takes a degree of drivenness and motivation, but can result in real progress in your relationship.
If you’re in an unhappy marriage and you’ve tried to work through it on your own (using either the suggestions above or other methods) and you just aren’t seeing any progress or improvements, it might be time to turn to a professional. A lot of people might feel like seeking out a marriage counselor indicates some sort of failure in your marriage, but that could not be further from the truth! All marriages have difficulties, and being honest about the health and status of your relationship is an important step you must take to get out of an unhappy marriage. Counselors are trained professionals that can help you and your partner work through difficult relationship problems like communication, differing love languages and other problems. Turning to a counselor can give you and your partner the tools that you need to address and fix some of the problems in your marriage that you might not be able to navigate on your own. And having these tools can help turn an unhappy marriage into a happy and fruitful one!
Counseling is a super great resource for a lot of couples that need marriage help, but there can be a lot of barriers to accessing counseling even if you and your partner are totally bought in. Counseling can be quite expensive, especially if you and your partner are working through deep seeded problems in your relationship that require a lot of counseling sessions. For the same reasons, counseling can be very time consuming. And if quality time is a problem holding your relationship back, you don’t want to spend what little time you have together at a counselor's office... Relationship coaching with apps like Relish is a great alternative to in person counseling. Relish can offer the same benefits as counseling, and more, with personalized coaching, relationship quizzes and a customizable plan that can methodically help you achieve a happy and healthy marriage. More often than not, your relationship just needs a little push in the right direction, small changes in your daily life can make a huge difference if both you and your partner are bought in.
Relish can help guide you through these small changes so that you can be happier as a couple. Click here to learn more and start your free trial.