Is your marriage in trouble? It may be easier than you think to turn it around…
Sometimes relationships seem to fall apart in a hurry, and then we get overwhelmed and think it is going to take a major overhaul to ever get things back on track. It’s so overwhelming we can be tempted to give up before we begin. Your marriage may not need an overhaul. It may just need a slight adjustment. (This can also apply to other problems in life.)
It’s true I don’t know your particular situation, but think about this: When you move, your house looks like a tornado hit it. If you just walked in and looked around you might be tempted to walk right out and call a realtor and ask to see some houses that were move-in ready. You might feel alarmed and think “This does not look the way a house is supposed to. There is no way I can live in a place like this!” Thinking about it a different way, you would roll up your sleeves, turn on some music and unpack a few boxes. Then you would have some dinner, go to bed and do it again tomorrow. After awhile, things would still be a mess, but you could take a shower in the bathroom (you found the towels!), get a drink of water in the kitchen (you found the glasses!) and even go to bed at the end of the day (you found the sheets!) From then on you would notice things getting a little better every day. This is a good way of thinking about things if your marriage has taken a major hit and you are not sure you are going to make it. You may need to rebuild, unpack some boxes, decide if things need to be kept or tossed, and rearrange things several times until you like how things are.
Or perhaps your marriage is more like a room that has just gotten really messy. You may not need to throw everything out and start over. You may just need to throw out some trash, pick up things and put them where they belong, and add a new pillow or a new plant. The room starts to feel a lot better, and you realize you like your stuff when you get rid of clutter and polish a few things.
Approach your particular situation with the idea of doing a little at a time. Where do you start? Don’t think about that too long or you may become paralyzed and not feel able to do anything. You just need to take a step. And then another. And then you are on your way. Here are some small steps you can start with: Rather than say something critical, say something sweet. Try looking at things in a new way. Try listening to your spouse the way you wish (s)he would listen to you. Yes, your spouse is not meeting your needs. Decide what your needs are and then think about another way of taking care of yourself. You may not need to get a divorce or have an affair. You may feel a lot better if you cook yourself a nice dinner and go to bed at a decent hour. Introducing small self-care actions may provide the adjustment you need to enjoy your life and your marriage a lot more.