Many people enter marriage happily believing no bad times can ever happen, but that’s almost never the case. The most loving of honeymooning couples, will eventually come to realize that they did, indeed, marry another human being that is not completely perfect. Subsequently, rough patches come to every relationship. Here are a few ways that will help you move past those rough patches.
Time Together – Just the Two of You
Image via Flickr by gareth1953 Disappointed Bee – Again
When a relationship hits a rough patch, it can seem automatic to want to distance yourselves and not spend any time together. Let’s be clear on what is meant by “just the two of you.” Even at the outset of a marriage, there’s less time alone than you might think. You may go out with friends a lot then split into boy-girl groups. You may spend a lot of time with extended family, or once kids come along, your children. How much time is actually just the two of you and no one else?
In order to nurture a relationship, it’s imperative that you have a relationship. The idea of date-night is extremely important. That’s time to relax, talk about things, have fun together, share the things you had in common when you started dating. This can renew the relationship and restore strength to the bonds you share.
Time Apart – Allow for Some Self-Development
Not to conflict with the advice above, but the thing is, if you’re together all the time, witnessing the same things, going through the same moments, when it comes time to share there’s nothing new to report. It’s nice to be able to bring something new to the table; your own passions that you want to share; your own moments of self-growth that the other can support you in.
You could you some of your spare time to repair a classic car or go repelling, while your partner can learn how to scrapbook or blog. These can be character-building events you can talk about with the other. They make you more interesting, and they give you something to discuss. But they can’t be pursued at the expense of your spouse or as a means of escape. They should be designed toward self-improvement, not self-exclusion.
Counseling – Bring in a Third-Party
As one of the people in the middle of your marriage, it’s hard to fully understand what it looks like. That may sound strange, but there are times when a non-partisan, third-party can see things you can’t. They’re removed from the center of the activity and have nothing to lose or gain personally from their perception.
You may go see a clergy member, one who has counseled many couples in the past. You might go seek a professional couples therapist. For example, Ed Young Fellowship has helped many couples get back on the right track. The results of third-party involvement can be extremely therapeutic and turn a marriage going in the wrong direction completely around.
Marriages may be based in love, but they stay together because of commitment. If you’re committed, you’ll take the steps necessary to keep the marriage successful.