Too many relationships are just getting by, and not even close to their full potential. With divorce rates high and our need to be pleased even higher, it is obvious that we need to do a restoration on more than just our vehicles and homes; we need to do a restoration on our marriage too.
With life being so demanding, the marriage can take a backseat to work, parenting, chores, finances and the like. But, wouldn’t it be nice to get some of the spark back and start enjoying each other’s compny again?
Well sure, but who has time for that. So, with this in mind, many of us will do the very minimum to make sure all is okay around the home, and although that is better than nothing, is it enough? I don’t think it is. In fact, I think it is possible that if your marriage has gotten to the point of potential for disaster, it might be time to put all else on hold while you restore the most important part of your life.
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It might be a bit late for that
I realize that it is possible to feel like all is lost and might be time to give up, but divorce shouldn’t be the quick option to jump to. If you are at that point in your relationship, be sure to give it some more thought.
Some questions to consider might include; how will this affect children? How will this affect close family? And some other things to consider might be; will this really help us to have a better life? How will this affect our finances? How will this affect our reputations? Who gets the house or the animals?
For people who have dealt with divorce, they know that there is more involved than just getting some space. There are many factors that are involved, and the consequences of some will stay with you for many years to come.
Also, the effects on kids are usually deeper than what we see on the surface. Even young kids can be mature about a situation and act like they understand, but it will be a weight on them for sure. In time, it will start to show in their behavior. I know first hand as my parents divorced when I was young, and it had a big impact on me.
There are many marriages that will benefit from separation or divorce, but these include abusive situations where either a spouse or the children, or both, are at danger. But, let’s suppose that for this article, we are talking about the marriages that are facing divorce due to other less severe circumstances.
What are these less severe reasons for divorce?
We can get overwhelmed and sometimes we pass this pressure around the house. Mom is upset the family relationship isn’t where it should be; no family time at the table, no game nights, no family outings, not enough positive adult engagement, and in her eyes, the family is falling apart.
Dad is upset that the bills are coming in faster than the paycheck, the car is on its last leg, and every time he comes in contact with his wife, she seems to have a lack of respect for him. The reality is, she doesn’t have less respect for him, but rather, her stress has escalated to the point where she struggles to jump for joy just because he walked through the door.
And for him, he is so worn down that instead of sensing his wife’s stress, he takes it as an attack and further retaliates in some form or leaves it this way while he does something else on his own for the evening, like submerge himself in tv or some side hobby.
Eventually, this becomes too much, and then divorce is on the table. What I am trying to display here, is, this is common stress and common reactions. In some instances, the couple doesn’t know what to do to turn the situation around, and in other instances, the hope and confidence to do so is lost.
If your marriage is broken and headed for divorce, you have the power to stop this path. Take some time to check out this resource:
7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage, with Mort Fertel. Mort has one of the highest success rates in helping couples to fix and restore their broken marriages, even if it is just one partner willing to do the work.
There is still hope to restore a broken marriage, but it will take effort!
Related: Marriage Resources proven to help when you need it most.
If you are in this situation, there are some things you can do to turn it around. Depending on your scenario, this might take significant time, or could be relatively quick. There are more ways, but just to help get you in the right direction, here are a few ideas:
1. You have to want it
The first step will require a choice to make amends. This might be the hardest part because this is where you must identify your faults and apologize. Both parties are generally guilty of something but putting the pride aside and seeking and giving forgiveness will move you into a new territory of open communication.
If you are a Christian couple or at least one in your marriage is, know that prayer works and trusting God is an important part of healing and restoring your marriage; my marriage of over 20 years now, as mentioned above, is a testament of this.
Related Post: How to have a relationship that pleases God
2. Marriages should have goals too
Next, discuss marriage goals. Where do you want to see this relationship in, say, a month, a year, or even five years? It might be more interesting to write these on your own papers, then compare them when completed. Our dreams change; our circumstances change; and, our idea of reality can change over time. These answers might be much different then when you were first united.
3. Find solutions that fit the circumstances in your marriage
There are many different living circumstances. Some couples are really busy, some couples are really bored, and some couples are really financially-broke. By assessing your living style, and what is weighing your relationship down, you can start to look for ways to spice things up again. Here are some more simple ideas:
Busy couples will need to multi-task. If you barely have enough time to figure out whether you are coming or going, you might have to include your mate in some of your daily duties where possible. Although this might not be “dedicated, giving you my full attention” time, it can still be quality time.
Just be sure to talk about daily issues and stressors while seeking out positive, potential solutions. Including your spouse in your personal matters and asking for their help will help get things moving in the right direction for you.
Bored couples generally have too much time on their hands, and a good way for them to start to give their relationship some life again is to get out and start doing something exciting together. I’m not going to recommend jumping off cliffs or out of planes, nor will I suggest pottery, but maybe something in-between.
Often, our creativity somehow gets up and walks out the door after so many years of marriage and we struggle to think of even the simplest of things to do. If this is you, I am going to recommend that you go on the internet with your partner and look up things for couples to do in your area (might want to turn on search filters, or not; your choice).
Also, we have found an awesome site for learning couples massage that is “PG” and highly recommended for connecting with your partner Melt:Massage for couples and don’t forget to pick up massage oil: Melt Sensual Massage Oil + Free Couples Massage Tutorials.
Once you find several ideas, just for fun, write them down on pieces of paper, toss them in a hat, and each draw a piece of paper from the hat. Then try to do that during that week. Even if it is crazy or silly, go do it. Have some fun. If you make an effort to do this regularly, your relationship will improve.
Broke couples are not in lack of company these days. Times are tough, economy is down, and so are our spirits. Good thing the finest things in life are free. In my house, we aren’t in a situation where we can get on a boat and go for a cruise, but, we are generally in a position where we can go down to the lake and watch the boats in the water and take in the scenery while we talk and enjoy each other’s company.
Likewise, we are also in a position where we can go bike riding, hiking, watch movies at home while cooking a fun snack together, playing games, going for a drive, visiting friends and family and even just sitting around watching funny videos online.
Once you get it back, keep it up
Whatever it is that you do to get back to talking and taking the time to repair your relationship, it is vitally important to keep at it. It won’t sustain itself, and soon enough, it will be right back where you started.
This will be a lifestyle change. So, to treat it as such, regular activity will be necessary. We don’t want to let things slip into chaos again, so, find a way to schedule in certain activities each week. Try to make an ongoing effort to have positive open communication at least once per day. This isn’t where you yell at the other because there was no gas left in the car, or because the macaroni is burnt again. But instead, this is where you genuinely talk to each other about your day.
Whatever condition your marriage has gotten to, if you are still together, then there is still hope. Giving up should be the absolute last option after you have tried all you can to repair the relationship. If you are struggling to understand why to even bother, try to remember back to when you first got together. Remember the fun you had then and try to imagine enjoying that kind of life again, with the same person you chose.
You already will have made many memories together, so instead of starting over, just start working at it with purpose and intention. I realize that many people say you can’t get that spark back, but, I think that it is possible to still reclaim your relationship and have an amazing future together that can be better than it ever was.