Our wedding vows differ from marriage to marriage, but in the end we always know we are making a commitment "in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad," but at what point do the bad times turn into divorce?
The answer to that question for most, there is a weakness in a marriage, a point of sensitivity which causes fighting with your spouse. Whether he stays out late at night, he doesn't help with the kids or so many things that instantly frustrate us, causing anger to grow. As this anger grows it spreads to other areas which leave us feeling less and less loved, leading us to harden our hearts gradually to the point where all that is left is a feeling of anger towards our spouse.
So do you stick it out through the bad times or do you get a divorce?
The answer is really in your hands. If bad times last forever then eventually you will get worn down and want to quit. How can you end the bad times? Believe it or not, the ball is in your court and it is up to you to get out of the bad times. If you do nothing, nothing will change and you will eventually give up and end your marriage. There are 2 things you can do right now to help shift your marriage out of this permanent cycle and get back to the good times.
Challenge: Follow the 2 steps below consistently and watch your marriage grow to a more healthy, happy place.
1. Learn how to fight:
I don't care how your spouse fights, you need to set the example. You need to determine a healthy way for you to react to your spouse, whether he listens or not, you need to have a set reaction plan so your anger doesn't take over your whole body, risking your health from stress and exhaustion.
Some things to consider when fighting
-Don't raise your voice: Admittedly this is probably one of the hardest points, especially when your spouse starts to raise their voice, but you have to stay strong and just breath. If you need to step out of the conversation to gain your composure, then do so.
-Stay away from putting your spouse down: Often out of anger we spew negative hateful things which can cause lasting effects we don't even see. These types of comments leave your spouse feeling unloved and makes them not care that your feelings are hurt. Stay on point and don't keep repeating yourself. If the issue is not resolved let him know your feelings are hurt and walk away.
-Reflection after an argument: Often times it is one thing to have a nasty fight, but it is another to dwell on it. This is the hardest part if the issue hasn't been resolved but instead focus on the fact you communicated clearly to your spouse that he has made you unhappy and also that you let him know what would make you happy, so now it will lay on his conscience. He will hold onto the words of disappointing you because he can't get distracted with the negative meaningless things you have said out of anger. If you need to, set a 5 minute timer to get your frustrations out, but once that timer goes off be done with it. You have a life to live and being sucked in by anger will take away from all of the other things in your life.
2. Show your husband you love him:
This might be really hard if you are at a point in your marriage where you don't want to love your spouse anymore but it is crucial you do it to get out of the bad time you are in. One thing you have to consider is if you feel unloved, your spouse probably feels the same way. Which might be hard to believe, but it is most likely true and probably something your husband wont admit to. If you want your husband to start caring more about the things which matter to you, you have to make him feel like HE matters.
-Work on things which frustrate him: If there is something he gets mad about which you do, then work on it. Let him know you want to make him happy and if it is something which is difficult for you to do, just try your best. Any effort at all will show him you care enough to try. Sometimes this isn't good enough for a spouse but don't be discouraged by their continued frustration, just continue to try.
-Do something fun together: Your spouse most likely will not want to go to a pottery class or a dance class but there are probably things he enjoys which you can be a part of. Having a common bond brings people together. If he likes a specific sport then learn about that sport and enjoy it with him. If you don't enjoy it, too bad, you will learn to celebrate in the moments of connecting with your spouse.
-Go over the top: Every day think about a way you can show your husband you love him. Whether it is writing him a note or waking up early to make him breakfast before he goes to work, just make the effort to show you care.
Eventually, as you show your husband you love him, you will fall in love with him all over again. In the process he will be reminded of why he fell in love with you and he will find joy in making you happy, not disappointing you. Remember, love is more than an emotion, it is also a decision. You might not feel the love right now but in making the effort in your marriage, you will eventually find your husband will want to make the effort as well.