“Any marriage is one toxic friendship away from falling apart. Closely guard who you allow into your lives.” – Anna Smith Bankston
It certainly can’t get any more brutally honest than this. Being in a relationship with someone is certainly a task in itself, but sustaining a fruitful and successful marriage is a whole new game. Every marriage requires a lot of effort. It is time-consuming and will put you out of your comfort zone. It is not supposed to be easy, but it is definitely worth fighting for.
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If you are having a troubled marriage, then take a step back and try to introspect a little before blaming your partner. Instead of asking what “we” can do to make things better, start with how “you” can change and make it a healthy relationship. We have come up with some foolproof tips from experts to help you attain a long-lasting marital bliss. Give these suggestions a thought and you might end up bringing a positive change in your life.
1. Focus on the negativity
“Although there will be plenty of ups, there will be plenty of downs as well. Hold hands and be determined to walk through them together, never losing sight that you are each other. It’s easier to stand the buffeting winds with each other. The other side of the down times is much sweeter because of that.” – La Turgeon, Relationship Expert
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Yes, it might sound surprising. Before you focus on the good part of your relationship or come up with different ways to make it work, try to look at the troubled part as well. Before the two of you make any progress, acknowledge the persisting problem that your relationship is facing to know what kind of efforts you can make.
2. Respect your partner
“Do everything you can to support your partner’s well-being, and respect your partner as you would your best friend.” – John Gerson, Ph.D. and Relationship Coach
After getting to know each other’s dark side, start accepting your partner with their flaws. You are not supposed to simply overlook their shortcomings and pretend that it’s not there. If they are suffering from a life-threatening habit, make an effort so that they can come out of it. Though, every one of us has some flaws. Accept your partner for who they are and not how you want them to be.
3. Communicate more often
“Communication and time together are the keys to strengthening your marriage. Impossible to imagine one without the other!” – Lori Edelson, Marriage & Family Therapist
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As the renowned marriage therapist has suggested, communication is indeed the key to any relationship. Your troubled marriage can’t come out of this phase without any effort. Every day, take some time and simply talk to each other for 20-30 minutes at least. Put your cell phone or any other distraction away. Don’t let silence or lack of communication ruin your relationship. Just pour your heart and soul out to your partner. It will surely work. It always does!
4. Renew your vows
“I think the closest thing you get to ‘unconditional love’ romantically is still loving someone after a decade of living and being together, seeing and accepting every quirk, habit, and idiosyncrasy.” – Tracey Cox, Bestselling Author
Change is the only constant thing in this world and if you can accept it, then you can certainly make your marriage work as well. You were a whole new person when you got married and so was your partner. Chances are that the two of you could have outgrown each other in all these years. It is high-time when you exchange your vows again. Don’t throw a party or celebrate it with wine and cake if you don’t want to. Simply exchange the new vows and let your partner know how much they mean to you. This will let the two of you see your relationship from a whole new perspective and will give an opportunity to be honest with each other.
5. Take care of your partner
“If you keep working on you, your marriage will stay fresh and vital. Start today by adding a new wedding vow to your list: Promise to take care of your other half so you will continue to age with grace and confidence by your partner’s side.” – Mary Jo Rapini, Marriage Counselor
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When you are exchanging your vows, don’t forget to add the most significant term.
“I’m here for you and I will always take care of you.”
This will make your partner believe that you are in this for the long haul. Let them know that you are not planning to take off. You want to fight for your marriage and would never leave them no matter what. Take care of them and be more kind and passionate in your relationship.
6. Take a walk down memory lane
“Make a list of three of the happiest moments in your marriage. Spend a few minutes each day briefly reliving those moments in your mind. The results will amaze you.” – Lucia, Life Coach
This is one such expert advice that will let you see a visible change in your relationship. When you are talking to your partner, make a list of some of the most memorable moments of your relationship and share it with each other. You would be able to revive that lost spark in your marriage for sure.
7. Drop the blame game
“Next time you argue with your partner, drop the shaming, blaming, needing to be right, and really listen without interrupting. Then communicate how you feel, using “I” statements. It’s not your partner’s job to read your mind, guess what you’re thinking, or put words into your mouth. These are huge obstacles to open, honest communication and will guarantee resentment, anger, and frustration in the relationship.” – Sharon Rivkin, Marriage Adviser
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Be more honest instead. Don’t try to look for any leverage in your fight or come up with ways to have an upper hand in your relationship. Don’t try to have the last word. Take turns while arguing and listen to your partner more often. Try to think from their perspective as well.
8. Take turns while arguing
“To make sure you both get a chance to state what’s on your mind during a disagreement, and get your points across — alternate playing reflective therapy, where one listens while the other talks.” – Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. and Celebrity Author
You should understand that an argument or fight can never be more important than your marriage. Reflect each other, but never let it turn into a regretful fight. Talk to each other instead of being opinionated or emotional during an argument.
9. Support your partner
“You might not agree with your guy when he’s had a riff with a friend or he thinks his boss is being unfair, but you should always be on his side… and vice versa. Otherwise, you’ll both feel like you can’t count on each other. That doesn’t mean you have to take the “you’re so right” route all the time. Just hear him out, and let him know that you’ll support him no matter what.” – JoAnn Magdoff, Ph.D. and Psychologist
This million dollar tip can certainly help you save your troubled marriage. Let your partner know that you are a team. Listen to their side of the story, but never judge them. Be more compassionate than judgmental.
10. Make every decision together
“When making decisions together, try to find a common ground. You each should write down exactly what you want.” – Paul Dobransky, MD and Bestselling Author
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Don’t let your partner believe that they are being left out. No matter how big or small a decision is – you should always make it together. Chances are that you might not agree to everything that your partner has to say. Instead of arguing about the dissimilarities, focus on the common grounds. If you think you are facing some issues while communicating it with your partner, write it down. Just convey your honest opinion about it. Yes, you might have to bend a little, but at least you would be true to yourself and your partner.
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11. Never go to bed angry
“Learn to pick your battles and never go to bed angry, stay up till 4 if necessary talking things through or just forgive and forget. Marriage is a commitment to that person that has been and will be the witness of your life. Cherish it because you never know how long you’ll have each other!” – LD Rocio Wagner, Relationship Expert
Meet them halfway. Bend a little if it’s worth it. Give it a try, but never go to bed angry. It will cause suppressed anger and can further become the root of your troubled marriage. Don’t give up on them so easily.
Instead of focusing on your future, try to work on your present. Don’t hold anything at all. If there is anything you want to say to them, do it right now. It is now or never.
When was the last time you told your partner how much you love them?
“I love you.”
“I can’t live without you.”
Have you said it lately? Do it right away, because life’s too short and what you have right now – might be gone tomorrow.
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