Work on the Marriage

There are many issues that may cause difficulties in a marriage. Finances, disagreements, lack of intimacy, disrespect, resentment, and lack of trust, are some issues that can lead to dissatisfaction in a marriage. However, there are steps that you can take to help minimize or overcome these common difficulties.

Communicate

Communication is essential. It is important to clearly articulate to your spouse how you feel and what issues you think are causing difficulties in your marriage. Equally as important is listening respectfully to your spouse's responses. Actively listening to your spouse will allow you to discern what they are feeling and what issues they think are important. Communicating together or with the help of a counselor, therapist, or religious advisor will help in preventing disagreements and allow you to work through some of the issues you are facing.

Be realistic and honest with your spouse about your expectations. Communicate your hopes and needs to each other and give a good faith effort at trying to make things better. How do you currently see the relationship progressing? What could each of you do to create a better future together? What do you really want to happen? Sharing your expectations and hopes with each other will help you work toward a more positive outcome for your relationship.

Spend time together

Life gets busy and spending quality time as a couple is difficult when juggling daily chores, work, caring for children, and other time commitments. Make some time to really spend with your spouse. It is important to spend time together to be able to communicate openly and respectfully about the issues you are facing. Equally important is to make time to reconnect with the person you fell in love with. Have a date night or weekend getaway to rekindle romance and an emotional connection. Spending quality time together will help increase communication and strengthen the emotional bonds you share.

Work as a team

Try to find common ground to the issues that are causing difficulties. If the issue is finances, try to focus solutions on agreement with saving, rather than disagreements on spending. If the issues revolve around child rearing, think about the big picture- is this really worth a huge argument? Back each other up on discipline decisions and discuss any disagreements in private, at a later time when the issue is not "red hot". Be appreciative of the things your spouse does to contribute to the relationship. 

Get help

Don't be afraid to seek help. Marriage counselors, psychologists, therapists, or religious leaders can be a great way to start repairing your relationship with your spouse. They may be able to facilitate early communication and help you overcome initial difficulties. Their guidance and experience could also help you develop methods to help achieve some of the recommendations above so that you and your spouse can move forward toward a stronger and more fulfilling marriage.