Grab Your Marriage by the Horns
All relationships go through ups and downs – it’s only natural to experience change over time. It’s one thing, however, to embrace and “roll with” the changes you can’t control, and another thing entirely to sit idly by while things change for the worst.
When we get married, we make a commitment to persevere through thick and thin, and to stay dedicated to the relationship even in the face of adversity – while this is absolutely true, the part they don’t say at the ceremony is that we have to proactively avoid the problems that threaten our commitments the most, or, if they are beyond our control, we have to work diligently to make it through to the other side.
Change is absolutely inevitable, but it doesn’t all have to be negative. Just because our bodies change as we get older, or our health declines, or we experience financial trouble, it doesn’t mean that we can’t, as individuals and couples, affect positive change in our lives as well. The famous Gandhi quote, “be the change you want to see in the world” also applies to relationships. If there is something you want to be different, only YOU have the power to make it so!
If you want to spend more time with your spouse, you have to MAKE time – if that means rearranging your schedule or sacrificing a social activity, so be it – you have to weigh your priorities and act accordingly.
In many cases, though, it’s not quite so simple to make these changes, and that’s all the more reason to pursue them. The problems that cause the greatest challenges are the ones that need addressing the most! This can be a team effort with your husband or wife, but be careful not to point fingers – changes have to be mutually agreed upon, and you owe it to one another to offer support, whether for shedding some pounds, kicking an addiction, controlling a temper, or dealing with any other issue that is negatively impacting your marriage.
My point is to have some gusto! Be energetic about your relationship. Be proactive about remaining connected and in love with your spouse. If something is bothering you, don’t just let it get worse, take action to make it right!
One important caveat though: you HAVE to keep personal changes in mind. It is unfair to your spouse (and your marriage) to focus all of your energy outward. While there may be things about your spouse that you want to change, chances are, they want the same for you. Talk about it openly, and ask one another what each of you can do to improve the quality of the relationship.
A Vibrant Marriage
It’s easy to let minor problems slip by, to let them fall through the cracks because they don’t seem like a big deal, except eventually those things pile up. Subtle changes over time can become one very large change that you aren’t happy with.
To maintain healthy relationships, we can’t be afraid to shake things up a little bit, and more importantly, we can’t let uncontrollable change be the only change in our lives. We have to strive to make ourselves happy, and that means molding the existence you desire out of the existence you have. If both you and your spouse are making a constant effort to keep your marriage vibrant, if you are both pouring yourselves into the relationship and being honest about the things you want to be different, then you are well on your way to a long lasting, fulfilling marriage.
You can start today. It’s never too late. Grab your marriage by the horns, and get to riding in the right direction!
About the Author:
Dr. Dana Fillmore is the co-founder and Expert Clinical Psychologist at www.StrongMarriageNow.com. She is also the co-author of Happily Ever After: How to Be Happily Married to the One You Already Married. The goal of StrongMarriageNow.com is to enrich and inspire one million couples and families to have strong, happy healthy lives together. Visit the site today and check out our most popular program, StrongMarriageNow.com