Whether it’s kids, debt, or changes in interests, your marriage may have quickly evolved out of the honeymoon phase and into a period where you feel like the whole thing may have just been one giant mistake. How is it possible you used to be crazy for each other? Did you really choose to spend the rest of your life married to this person? Questions like these may have suddenly infiltrated your daily thoughts or maybe you woke up one day with the realization that your partner was not the person you thought you married.
Whatever the case may be, before you run for the hills and forgo the time, effort, and care you put into building your relationship, give your partner and your marriage the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes all you need is a new perspective and the willingness to give your spouse and your relationship a little extra love.
1. Give them the benefit of the doubt
Over years of marriage, it may be hard to remember you fell head over heels in love with your partner for a reason. Suddenly, their lovable qualities seem non-existent while their annoying habits or characteristics become more prevalent. When your spouse does something that annoys you, you may assume it’s because they’re selfish, careless, or lazy, when really they may have just been preoccupied, busy, or stressed. Tiny things, like your partner’s inability to put their clothing in the hamper, may lead to resentment and build until they become giant arguments over nothing. By giving your spouse the benefit of the doubt and consciously focusing on their positive qualities, you may just save your marriage.
2. Make time to enjoy each other
With the addition of mortgages, kids, stressful jobs, and busy lives, your partner may have evolved into your co-worker or co-pilot as you try to navigate this busy life you’ve created. Rather than enjoying each other and the relationship you’ve built together, you may be busy checking things off the to-do list. When you feel like your relationship has become a chore, it may be time to turn off the to-do list and give yourself some time to enjoy each other. Leave the stresses of life behind and get out of the house together or set aside 30 minutes a day for alone time when you can truly focus on getting back to loving each other.
3. Stick it out
While you may feel like you made a huge mistake marrying your spouse, keep in mind that every relationship has ups and downs. No one, no matter how they portray their lives on social media, is in an always-happy, perfect marriage. Sometimes it takes a little perseverance to wait out the tough periods for the reward of a brighter future. As a couple, you may be adjusting to life with kids, health issues, an overwhelming work life, or added family stresses. These factors can easily impact the way you communicate with your partner and feel about your marriage.
4. Keep realistic expectations
Many people have the tendency to think their partner should fulfill every need. Perhaps after a slew of romantic comedies and fairytale endings you’re under the impression that your partner should not only be your spouse, lover, and best friend, but should also be by your side as you cheer on your favorite team, hit the gym, or pursue your hobbies or interests. In reality, it takes many people to fulfill one person’s needs, which should be the role of your friends, co-workers, and family members. By expecting complete fulfillment from your partner, you will almost always end up hurt, disappointed, and angry.