Someone once told me that you really aren’t married until you think about where to hide the body. Marriage is not easy. When I hear people say that are married because it is “convenient,” I look at them and wonder if they get their toenails pulled out because it is the easiest way to have a pedicure. Marriage is not easy, even in the best of times. In tough times (financial, emotional, or physical), it is even tougher. I love my husband with all my heart and soul, but do not always like him (I am sure the feeling is mutual), but I know that we have a good relationship. We are all human and no person can be expected to be perfectly happy with any other person forever. We have all fought with parents, friends, and co-workers, so why would a marriage be any different? The trick is to get through the tough patches and enjoy the happy ones. I can already feel the stream of comments coming, but here it goes: Dr. Christina’s realistic guide to making relationships work without a therapist.
- Remember why you fell in love in the first place. Why did you get married? What made your heartbeat a little faster? Sometimes when everything seems to be in a downward spiral it is hard to think of anything good, but it is there. Even if you don’t see it right now, writing these good things down help you to remember them.
- Get out some stationary and write down everything you are feeling or disliking right now about your spouse. When we are upset, frustrated, or just ready to burst with words you know you will regret, writing down your feelings takes the extreme emotion out of the conversation. Words in black and white can be tossed away once things are better; words that came yelling from your mouth cannot.
- Take a break. You don’t need to do anything as extreme as moving out or going away for a “girls weekend,” but sitting down with a good book, typing up a blog entry, or going for a run does wonders to help you calm your emotions and come back ready to talk, not fight.
- Do not accuse your spouse of anything. It is much better to discuss how upset you are because your spouse seems to be nit-picking everything you are doing by saying, “I feel like every time I talk you roll your eyes at me, am I doing something that is upsetting you?” rather than saying, “you look and act like a 13-year-old girl when you roll your eyes like that.”
- Give it time. No matter what set you off, unless there are serious issues (emotional or physical spousal abuse needs therapy or legal help, not time), time really does heal all wounds. Take a breath, take a step back, get a good nights sleep, and in the morning things will be better.
What do you do to resolve fights with your spouse? Thanks for sharing.
* I am not a professional relationship therapist. My columns are always based on some type of dry humor and only meant for healthy relationships going through tough times. If you have emotional or physical issues, please seek professional help. Therapists are there for a reason. If you are in any sort of physically or emotionally abusive relationship, please get out and get professional help.