For an unfortunately large number of couples, the promise of marital bliss eventually turns into an intolerable burden. More marriages are breaking up than ever before in history owing to a vast array of reasons. At some point, those in these relationships will have asked themselves: Is my marriage over?
When you get to this point, it may seem like all the signs are telling you that there is no hope for your marriage and that the only viable option is divorce or separation. You have to know that very few situations are completely hopeless. Do not be so quick to mistake the warning signs of a deterioratingrelationship for the marks of death. Most situations can be resolved and most unions on the rocks can be salvaged with a bit of willingness, honesty, and self-awareness.
To help you figure out where you are in your marriage, here is a short list of some of the most common marital conflicts and problems experienced by couples today, plus a look at how severe you should consider them. These are the signs most frequently reported in counselling sessions, and may prove useful in your particular circumstances.
• You are Not Communicating Your Feelings and Thoughts
This is fixable. A breakdown in communication within a marriage is not a death sentence. In many cases, it might simply be that you have become so used to one another that the spark between you two dies down a little. You may begin to take each other for granted a little bit, and this leads to poor communication.
What’s to be done here? Simply get to sharing more of what’s going on with you. Share the positive as well as the negative thoughts, feelings, hopes, and fears that affect you just as you did at the beginning of your relationship. Don’t simply focus on the negative – that’s not what communication is about. In fact, venting can negatively affect relationships aside from marriage such as friendships and working relations if not overweighed by positive, constructive, and affirming communication.
• There Is More Bad than Good in the Marriage
This is fixable. If your marriage is at a point where you feel there are more bad elements than good ones, you should not despair. For one, you are in a great position because you are actually aware of your situation and can pinpoint what you like and don’t like. That’s a good place to be when recovery is being considered.
You can focus on eliminating the bad factors in your relationship while increasing the positive elements. All it takes is a bit of cooperation and good faith from both partners.
• Physical Abuse Takes Place
This is sometimes fixable. First of all, you should always get yourself and children away from any abuser that s violent. Though there are cultures that seem to condone physical abuse shrouded as ‘discipline’, our position is that no one should tolerate it in any form.
With that said, however, we have to take account of the reality that people do change and reform, allowing for marriages to recover gradually. Establish the causes of violence, which often ties in with alcohol or drug abuse.
Alcoholism and drug dependencies make getting marriages back on the right track doubly difficult, no matter what other problems might be prevalent in the union. Professional help and guidance is essential here, as the average person is not equipped to handle the complicated roots and manifestations of these conditions. Keep in mind that these are, in fact, medical conditions, and remember that you made an oath to stand by your partner in sickness and in health. This is a very complicated situation, however, and will call for you to use your judgment when trying to figure out if and how to salvage your marriage.
• You Fantasize About Leaving Your Partner
This is fixable. It’s common human nature to want to ‘escape’ or run away from situations that they consider painful or less than ideal. In much the same way as you might dream about quitting a job you don’t like, those in troubled marriages might find themselves dreaming of walking out. Don’t be too alarmed at these thoughts. They are a normal reaction in times of trouble, and don’t mean that your marriage is past the point of no return.
This is a situation where you need to look into yourself before involving your spouse. Identify what exactly the problem or problems might be that make you have these thoughts. Can you sort them out on your own? Do you need to have your partner on board to make a difference? Getting these answers is the first step to solving the issues. You might find that your partner has no idea that you’re feeling this way, and that the solutions are a whole lot easier than you imagined.
• Infidelity Has Occurred, With Remorse or Without It
This is sometimes fixable. Loyalty is one of the pillars of any relationship, and overcoming the broken trust and hurt that infidelity causes may be an insurmountable challenge for some. If the relationship is to survive, the first thing one has to realize is that infidelity is often the result of other underlying problems in the marriage.
Male infidelity is often just a matter of physical digression to boost their ego, without much thought going into it. Female infidelity might be a sign of deeper dissatisfaction in their relationship, with the woman signifying that she has, in fact, already ‘left’ the marriage in her heart and mind. Female infidelity is thus often a more difficult problem for marriages to overcome. Nothing is beyond recovery when a couple puts their hearts and minds into it, though.
Once you explore what may have prompted or made the infidelity possible, you can then work on making future infidelity unlikely. A lot of honesty and sacrifice may be called for here, but it is worth it if saving a marriage is a priority for both partners. In cases where there is no remorse from the party that strayed, things become a lot more difficult. It will then boil down to what the marriage means to the partner that was cheated on and what they are willing to tolerate or sacrifice for the sake of the marriage.
If you find that your marriage is over, never think of it as the end of life. The heart will beat again, and you might just meet someone who knows your soul.
Of course, the society wears a judgmental lens but your happiness comes first.
Put an end to a toxic relationship that has no future!