by Restorations Therapy Center on Monday, August 12th, 2019
People seem to underestimate just how hard it is to keep a marriage going. According to the Encyclopedia of Psychology, 40-50% of married couples in the United States get divorced. After working as a marriage counselor and psychologist for 40 years, Randi Gunther Ph.D. has some advice on what couples should focus on to ensure they have a lasting marriage.
There are couples who feel like they are treated unfairly by their partner. Instead of resolving differences in an argument, there are barriers that prevent couples from making up. Those barriers can be in the form of double-standards, one trying to hold power over the other, guilty manipulations, unkept promises, broken agreements, and being selfish. These type of arguments can stem from misunderstandings. The anger takes over that you no longer care that it was a misunderstanding because you cannot forget the hurtful things you two said to each other. In a fair relationship, both parties give each other a chance to speak of their demands. They make sure that they are able to talk openly about each other in order for their relationship to continue being fair.
When your partner opens up to you, they are letting you in on secrets about yourself that you have not even told your best friend before. They have probably shared with you experiences where they reveal their vulnerability, thoughts, and feelings. If your partner has confessed to you facts about themselves that could be embarrassing or hurtful to talk about, never use those memories against them. It tends to happen in fights where you bring up someone that has caused them pain in the past or you hold a memory against them. When you have been given access to a memory that has caused your partner pain, do not take advantage of that. Do not use a confession your partner has given you as a tool for your next fight, but a sign that they trust you to handle this information and to keep it between the two of you.
Having a chivalrous partner is something that we have wanted since we were children when our parents would be there for us whenever we were not feeling well. Because we are used to being taken care of and do not want to let go of that feeling, we expect our partners to have the same sense of chivalry. When you do something nice for your partner like giving them a ride to work or sitting with them when they are under the weather, do not expect payback in return or holding what you have done for them against them. It may not be required to be chivalrous, but it is important to have as many moments as you can to be there for your partner so they feel they can come to you. Always make sure when your partner practices chivalry that you show appreciation to them back. The satisfaction itself can be a reward in itself.
Many couples are misled to believe that they need to have everything in common with their partner in order to have a successful relationship. The truth is that you can still disagree with your partner and still be married to each other. For example, you may find out that you and your partner have different political views. This may cause disagreements that turn into fights when the points the two of you make become personal. It is important not to be so quick to disagree with your partner’s opinions and views. See things from their perspective even if you still will not change your mind about your views. Be able to speak to each other about your differences without it turning into a fight. This will help the two of you grow as people.
All couples have fights. If the two of you were to agree on everything all the time, you would think that something is wrong. That your partner could just be pretending to agree with you to avoid making you mad. The truth is that you can have disagreements with your partner and still keep the marriage strong. Not every fight has to lead to a breakup. It is called building up resilience. The important thing to think about whenever you have a fight is how significant it is to reconnect with one another to make your relationship stronger.
There is always a limit to how much you can take care of someone that you love. Your partner could be suffering from drug addiction and you feel the need to devote all of your time to make sure they stick with their treatment. While it is one thing to be caring and concerned, it is important to let your partner take care of themselves or they could end up neglecting you. It is one thing if your partner is dying of a serious illness, you should be there for them. At the same time, do not impose on someone who is healthy to change their diet, continually tell them to exercise, and when to take their medications. We all know what we need to do to take care of our health. Remember that marriage is a partnership and the love between you two should help you get through anything.
Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.