After a separation it may seem like your marriage will never be the same again. While this may be true, you can try to make the change positive instead of negative. It’s amazing how much you can shift within a relationship by simply shifting your own thoughts and behaviors.
“During what I call the awful years, couple’s therapy just made me feel angrier and more helpless. There was no sex, no affection, and little communication. I was a wreck. And then, suddenly, a light went on in my head. I ?got? that what was happening was ME – doing the same things, saying the same things I’d always done and said that never worked.” – Rori Raye, relationship advice expert and author of Have The Relationship You Want.
It takes a lot of soul searching, talking, sharing and hard work, but with time you may be able to make your marriage stronger than it has ever been.
Listen to what your partner has to say. Go to a quiet place and just let your partner talk about what he feels. Don’t judge, just simply listen. By opening up the lines of communication, you acknowledge your spouse’s feelings and provide them with a safe outlet to share.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Before you play the blame game, push away your need to validate any of your actions and think about what your partner is feeling. Try to imagine how you would feel if you were in her place. This can be difficult, especially if you think that you have done nothing wrong. But if you are able to interact without getting defensive, you might be surprised at how much more easily you can resolve conflicts.
Shift Your Perspective
Don’t assume that everything is black and white. Remember, reality is a flexible concept. Two people can experience the exact same event and come out with two totally different perceptions. This doesn’t make one person wrong and one person right, it just makes them different.
Remember The Good
Think back to what made you fall in love with your mate in the first place. He or she probably still has many of those qualities, and even if they don’t, try to find new qualities that you can love. For example, you may have fell in love with how he used to bring you flowers for no reason or how she would slip little love notes in your briefcase. Try to remember those things fondly while also finding new things to love – maybe he brings you the paper every morning or she kills spiders for you.
Re-ignite the excitement. No matter what problems a couple is facing, most relationships could use a dash of excitement after a separation. Try something new together such as para-sailing, scuba diving, rock climbing or canoeing. The shared experience will help to mend the bond that was broken and according to research done by Bentley College in Massachusetts, the endorphins will stimulate your sex drives.
Make it clear what you expect from the relationship and what you need to be happy. For example, if you were forced apart by an addiction, make it clear that you expect you mate to get help and follow through with treatment.
- Try not to judge, blame or re-hash old arguments.
- Give yourself the chance to have a new beginning.
Want more ways to strengthen your marriage? You can sign up for a free relationship advice e-letter written by love expert Rori Raye here.