It’s normal to question whether you made the right choice.
Do you ever feel like the person you’re married to is not at all like the person you married? Or that you’re no longer the person you were when you got married (and not in a good way)?
So often we get married thinking that we’ve met “the one,” the person who finally “gets” us, who will help us make our dreams come true, and who will be our everything.
What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot. The divorce rate hovers around 50% for first marriages and even higher for second attempts.
There are many reasons that marriages fail, and it’s almost never as simple as, “I married the wrong person.”
Love is a many splendored thing…
…or so the movies and other media would have us believe. The problem is that love in real life never looks like love in the movies.
In the movies, people fall in love 10 minutes after meeting. The closing credits roll by long before they’ve hit their one-year anniversary.
Never mind before they have kids, deal with in-laws, financial issues, potential infidelity, smartphone addiction, workplace stress, and the never-ending chores that are an inevitable part of family life.
And, certainly, before they got stuck in quarantine with each other!
Does this mean that we can’t be happy together?
Short answer: not at all! Finding the joy in your connection will mean learning to be more realistic about what your marital relationship can provide (hint: the answer is not 100% of everything!).
Being happy together requires…
…taking a long hard look at what strengths and weaknesses each of you bring to the table.
…learning to be patient and kind and to give each other the benefit of the doubt.
…learning how to give your spouse what he or she needs and teaching them how to do the same for you.
…not keeping score. What you give up in “being right,” you can gain back in “being happy.”
We create spousal lists of ‘could-dos’ or ‘should-dos’ to make us happy.
In my experience, relationships are never fundamentally improved by us telling the other person to change, no matter how nicely we do it.
True change comes when we change.
This can be viewed as bad news (“why should I have to do all the work?”), but I encourage you to see it as good news (“I have the power to make things change”).
Perspective is everything!
What would it take to improve your marriage?
The answer is less than you think!
I truly enjoy working with couples who feel stuck while I watch them transform negative patterns into positive ones.
You absolutely can find new ways of connecting to each other and working through your issues.
Of course, this is not to say that every marriage can be saved – but even if yours can’t, it’s extremely helpful to navigate the choppy waters of separating with the guidance of a neutral and calm professional.
Make the choice seem right again.
Learn how therapy can help you take responsibility (not blame!) for bettering your marriage or other relationship.
Call (201) 776-4643, and let’s get started today!