Marriage has its ups and downs. For most, our hope is that we have many more happy and glorious moments with our spouse than negative ones. In fact, we make this vow on our wedding day- to love and cherish, through the good times…and bad.
Being married is pretty awesome. You get to share life with your very best friend. A travel buddy to share vacations and holidays with. A confidant who will support and uplift your innermost hopes and dreams. And the everyday moments make it that much more winning. You get to deliberate and analyze your favorite TV shows together; every meal is filled with good company and you’re able to always have someone to vent to.
But there is a dark side to marriage that happens to many couples. For some, it comes on gradually. For others, it hits you like a ton of bricks.
Time has an interesting way of healing us from hurtful experiences, past trauma and bad relationships. With that said, time can also do significant damage to our current circumstances and relationships. If we’re not careful, in time all of those wonderful moments about being married can turn into bitter resentment, hostility and general unhappiness.
When we settle in and become accustomed to marriage, we have a tendency take it for granted. We begin to see more flaws in our partner and increased negativity. We start to pick at the little things, highlight the failures and build resentment. We tend to get annoyed by our partner’s quirks, likes/dislikes and opinions on just about everything. Somehow, the relationship feels trying and difficult. Friendship has vanished and been replaced by increased fights and arguments. Very soon you feel like complete opposites living under the same roof.
If your relationship feels like it’s been heading down a dark road lately and you can’t seem to find common ground, here’s some tips for steering clear of the dark side and keeping the beauty in your marriage alive.
- Seek each other out when you notice the warning signs. If you’re bickering a lot more than usual, finding it difficult to see eye to eye or are have fights that include criticism, defensiveness and blame, you need to sit down and talk about it with one another. Fast. Identify the problem and find ways to rectify it.
- When the view of your marriage has become more negative than positive. If you wake up in the morning feeling generally annoyed and unhappy with your partner, use positive thoughts to counter the negative. The science of positive thinking has significant effects on the outlook of relationships. So train yourself to speak positively and find ways to show appreciation for your spouse.
- If sex and intimacy have declined, it’s time to address it. Intimacy is important in a relationship. It’s friendship’s ultimate way of sealing the deal. It makes you feel close, trusting and connected to your partner. If it has recently taken a hit, work on finding ways to connect outside of the bedroom. Re-join an activity you used to do together, go out on a date and talk frequently about each other’s day. This not only boosts the relationship morale, but it’s also a great method of foreplay.
- Give your relationship the benefit of the doubt. No matter what, don’t go to the worst-case scenario. If you’re having some current challenges, know that this happens- even to the best of relationships. Believe in each other, find your friendship again and ward off the negative. You’ll both get through it but it takes patience, communication and understanding to get you over the hump.
The dark side of marriage can be a scary place. But in order to prevent your relationship from going down that road, you only need to recognize the warning signs and make time to connect, communicate and work on your strengthening your friendship.