I have often wished I knew better words to give here when I see couples 'bleeding'. Well I just come across these.
These tips from therapists can help you build a stronger relationship:
1. Avoid letting the children take over your lives. Although you need to love and care for your children in the very best ways that you can, it’s also important that they don’t dominate your entire relationship.
- Children are an important part of your relationship. Even so, you can help your relationship thrive when you make it a priority to find some time for just the two of you to share some quality time together and appreciate each other.
2. Pay attention to argument patterns. Are you arguing about the same topics repeatedly? If so, sit down and work through these issues together before they become bigger challenges. Try to find positive solutions that bring benefits to both of you.
- In addition, noticing the patterns can help you break them. As soon as you see yourself slipping into the same argument pattern, stop right there. Take a moment to think of a different, more pleasing approach to the challenge.
3. Encourage each other. Does your partner want to get a college degree? Do you want to pursue a hobby? Encouraging each other can help you build a stronger relationship.
- It’s important to embrace the changes that occur over time. Encourage each other to pursue new dreams, goals, and activities.
4. Make your partner (and your relationship) a top priority. Instead of putting your mother, father, or other family member ahead of your partner, make your spouse a top priority. (or outside org)
5. Learn to tolerate differences. You’re unique, and you may have multiple differences from your partner. However, let the little quirks and issues bring you closer together instead of farther apart.
- Let your strengths compliment your partner. Let your partner’s talents shore up your weaknesses. This way, you can lean on and uplift each other.
- It’s important to learn to live with differences. One partner’s way of doing things can be just as good as the other’s. Do you have a specific way of loading the dishwasher that differs from your partner? Do you handle your child’s homework assignments in a unique way? These types of differences need tolerance and acceptance.
6. Surprise each other. Even little surprises can make your relationship stronger. Leave a special note in your spouse’s lunchbox. Send chocolates or flowers to your partner’s office. These small surprises will remind you of your love.
7. Listen to each other. Couples therapists often hear complaints about one partner not listening to the other one during conversations or arguments. Communication is the key to a thriving relationship!
- Instead of ignoring a boring conversation, attempt to stay motivated to listen. If you let your mind wander off, your partner will notice your lack of attention and feel neglected.
- If you don’t listen to each other, then you can’t understand the thoughts, feelings, and issues that matter. You’re at risk of losing an essential part of your relationship.
You can have a strong, healthy, and joyous relationship with your partner. Always remember that your partner is the most important thing in your life, even during difficult conversations, and make it a point to show your love each day.
(emphasis mine)...best wishes.
Very good advice, I am bookmarking this.
This is good, but a few hours to late. I have already taken my relationship advice from the Woman's Purpose thread.
@zeb--great advice. Words of wisdom!!
Thanks for this well thought out post and helpful advice. Right off, I see a few that I definitely could do some work with in my marriage.
Thank you for the advice. "Communication is the key to a thriving relationship" I second that!
But why is it that one mate always has a problem with the listening or the communication part?
Also I could another thing to the list. Don't take and it personally and don't seek revenge on your partner. Sometimes our partner does something and unbeknownst to him it hurts us. Don't take it personally, maybe he didn't do it on purpose and also don't try to hurt the partner as well. Instead talk to your partner to find out what his/her motivation was.
A recently married JW couple told me a story that just recently had happaned and it sparked a heated argument between them. Husband says to his wife:"Is it okay if I go to this work event today, there is one colleague in particular which is only here once per week and I have to discuss some work related stuff with him as well. I know we have family worship planned, but maybe we could move it to tomorrow". Wife agrees but not whole heartedly. Husbands goes out and ignores the mixed signals. Wife sends angry messages to husband saying he is not a good husband because he ignores family worship. After the event ended, husbands comes home but wife is not home. Husband tries to call wife, but wife does not pick up the phone. Out of revenge the wife planned also a thing with friends and didn't tell the husband that she will be home even later that evening and didn't even want to tell the husband. So husband is worried now, what happaned to the wife.
So what happaned? Wife didn't want her husband to leave because she felt lonely, instead blamed family worship for it. Husband thought that if family worship is the problem, we can always move it to a different date. The wife didn't communicate her problem properly, maybe if she did, the husband would have stayed home or if the work event was so important, he could have done something so his wife would have felt less lonely at home.
I think most marrital problems only surface because of lack of communication.
That is the same reason my marriage collapsed.
Why is it so hard?!?!?!
Sorry but it doesn't work - at least not in my case. There has to be goodwill and effort on both sides - it takes "two to tango" as the saying goes. My ex went to lots of counselling sessions but she really wanted away from me & the kids to find someone else & eventually just moved out and left us. Her life has been a non stop train wreck ever since with multiple guys and a total financial mess. Our son now refuses to have anything to do with her and has never met her latest boyfriend ( of 1 year ).
In broader terms - if a marriage is unhappy and needs "salvaging" - is it really worth it ( unless there are young children involved ) ? In my years as a JW I saw many supposedly "model" JW couples who had completely fallen out of love & were just basically co-existing. Some were constantly arguing & were 100% toxic relationships. Myself & an elder went on a shepherding call once on a 30 something pioneer couple in our congregation who admitted they hadn't slept together for 5 years. I mean - what is the point in maintaining a relationship like that?
what is the point in maintaining a relationship like that?
There isn't, that's why we have divorce. Its takes effort on both parts, if one person isnt interested in the marriage, no amount of counseling will work. But not all marriages are like that, many marriages can be helped.
I agree wholeheartedly with all of these comments.
Zeb's tips are well thought out but only if both partners work at it together.
I stayed in an unhappy marriage for years, feeling unloved and dreadfully lonely. I see many JW marriages the same. It is a very sad place to be.