All relationships, even the best ones, are cyclical. You may have several months or even years that are wonderful and problem free and then seem to have several months or even years when things seem dire or when you think about ending your marriage. It helps to know that even strong couples go through a tough time in marriage and that there are things you can do to get through them.
This week Flannery Dean has a great article on MSNLifestyle’s Canadian site, called “Relationship advice on getting through a rough patch.” He talks with some marriage and family experts who offer five ways to get through a rough time in your marriage, whether it’s a series of small bumps or one really big one.
1. See the signs.
You’re sharper, angrier, more impatient, snappier and more withdrawn with your partner – these are all signs that you’ve hit a low point in your relationship, says Dr. Marion Goertz , a registered marriage and family therapist based in Toronto.”
Dr. Goertz advises couple to beware of “taking care of number one” in these times, and to nip in the bud any behaviors that come out of that way of thinking. This will only drive you two apart.
2. Connect, accept, love.
Connection, acceptance, love – that’s what we desire from our partners, says Goertz. During a rough patch, one or all of these things may feel in doubt and the effect can be corrosive to intimacy because we then withdraw from our partner, or our partner withdraws from us.”
Goertz says that we must make connection, acceptance and love the foundations of our relationship and our behaviors reflect that foundation. Otherwise, we risk doing things that will permanently damage our marriages.
3. Perform regular relationship maintenance.
We often invest more time, effort and energy in maintaining our cars and our homes than we do our relationships,” says Goertz. Apply the same conscientiousness you extend to your car and home to the health of your union by checking the ’emotional dip stick from time to time’.”
This means asking your spouse how they are and really listening to the answers, doing small kindnesses for your mate and going out of your way to be available.
Goertz offers several more tips in the article. Check them out and get some more help for getting through a tough time in your marriage and coming out the other side with an even better, even stronger relationship.