Some time ago I had a client share with me that when it comes to her marriage, “nothing was wrong, but nothing was right either!” I thought about that for some time and realized that a great majority of couples have come to a ‘new normal’ called Relationship Purgatory. They exist together with the sole purpose of not pissing each other off! What kind of relationship is that?
You fall in love, get married, and most times have children and raise a family. Over the years, love deepens; the bond strengthens, but our feeling of marital satisfaction waxes and wanes.
During the “bad times” there is more arguing and fault finding, less sharing and touching, fewer moments of happiness and appreciation. But you somehow weather the storms and manage to stay married.
You’re way pass all the tokens of affection like, champagne, chocolates, edible body oils and tons of flowers. And now you’re sitting face to face with someone you’re not sure the future holds. Long after the dates are over you are fighting to live above…MEDIOCRITY!
What most couples don’t realize is that there are things they can do to ensure that times are better than they are worse, to make riding out the storms smoother and easier.
Marriage requires skill and constant attention. If tended to, it will thrive, but if neglected, it will wither and die. There is no couple that doesn’t have to work hard at improving their relationship. Believing that the good times will continue to roll on their own is a setup for disappointment and disillusionment.
The fact is that all marriages have problems that cause conflict and strain the relationship. Among the most common problems:
- Money– There never seems to be enough, or if there is, one person is upset about how the other spends it and how to invest or protect the rest.
- Sex– It’s the reason 50 percent of couples seek marriage counseling. Usually, one partner desires sex more often and on different terms than the other. Often times it gets so bad that neither spouse can recall the last time they enjoyed it together.
- Work– Partners have different role expectations about who does what within the home as well as outside of the home.
- Children– Couples often disagree over how to raise and discipline children.
These problems won’t lead to marital meltdown if you can talk about them constructively with your partner. Healthy communication is the key!
Marriage is much like having a job, it takes commitment, knowledge, and trust to make it last. Each partner has important needs in a marriage that have to be met.
- Do you understand the needs of your partner?
- Do you respect the needs of your partner?
- Are you truly a partner?
Some couples stay in unhappy relationships, why? …They can’t put their finger on the real problem. It seems that, “nothing is wrong, but nothing is right either”.
Taking your marriage from mediocre to great, can mean an unexpected lunch date, a mid-afternoon call at work, a stop at the local florist, a quick kiss in the morning, or a simple “I love you”. Trigger your memory by moving your thinking away from the problem and back to the core of your relationship. Think of how you felt, in the beginning of the relationship, during the dating stage, sometimes it can be hard to get those feelings back, because life has become busier with family, and work.
All in all, marriage is a partnership, and being an active participant in your marriage is critical in having that 50th Year Anniversary. Men need to feel appreciated by their wives, and told often how much they are appreciated, and loved. Set aside time to talk with your spouse, during this time you should leave out conversations about children, bills, or any extra worries. A good topic could be about how you met each other or why you fell for each other in the first place.
During this time you are bonding with your spouse, and re-establishing your connection, and hopefully sharing a laugh or two in the process. There are times as a couple you will have arguments or disagreements, but if you always keep in mind the reason you fell in love in the first place, this will take your marriage from mediocre to great!