Marriages can be really fulfilling, but, not if you don’t work at them. Everything in life either gets better or worse in some way, and marriages are no different. If you fail to take care of your marriage, it will start to become a drag that makes you feel unhappy and unfulfilled, which will affect every area of your life negatively. So take care of your marriage! Following are some ways to get that happiness back when you’ve been neglecting the marriage for a while.
Start Over Again
No, don’t divorce! Instead, make a date to go out and start fresh with each other. Allow yourself to see your spouse through fresh eyes. Treat it as you would a first date where you are interested in learning more about this person and looking forward to discovering what they have to offer you.
Why do this? Because you have both changed since you first got married. New experiences have shaped you into slightly different people, and you need to reintroduce yourselves to each other in order to start from a place of understanding, compassion, and love. When you understand that your partner may not be a replica of who you married – and that you have changed too, you will have an easier time making necessary changes in your marriage.
Discover What You Need From Each Other
Once upon a time, it seemed that couples really needed each other in life, but now married people are more independent. They don’t necessarily need each other for survival or financial sustainability.
Furthermore, when you first got married, you probably needed each other for various reasons. Maybe one of you had the home and the other one had the confidence, but over time, you have both developed confidence and created a home together, and your needs have changed.
As Dr. Phil points out, there are five categories of needs: emotional, spiritual, social, physical, and security. And fulfilling your spouse’s current needs is important to their happiness and the happiness of the marriage.
Sit down with your spouse and discuss what you need in each of those categories. Things like laughter, encouragement, compassion, touch, commitment, and praise are all examples of needs. Don’t be scared to share exactly what you need from your partner because this is a big ticket to finding happiness in your marriage.
And, don’t be offended by the needs your spouse does not feel are being met. You were not aware of their importance, and now that you know them, you can fulfill them.
Review Your Week
Since marriage improvement is a goal you have, it is important to treat it like a goal and review the progress you are making. You can’t just do some things differently and hope they are working. You need to hear whether or not they are making a difference, where you are falling short, and what you could do to improve if you want to accomplish your goal.
So, pick a day in the week when you will have at least an hour or two to sit down and discuss the past week. Take turns talking and bring up anything you felt hurt about or anything that you feel is lacking the marriage. Don’t blame your spouse for anything; instead, talk about how you feel and what you need. Agree that you can both be very honest during these few hours because that is the only way to ensure complete happiness in the marriage. You can’t fix what you don’t know.
Once you understand the issues from the previous week, come up with solutions to make next week better and put those ideas into practice immediately. This ability to communicate on such an honest level, without hurt feelings or blame, will help you take your marriage to a whole new level of happiness.