Tips to Help Save Your Marriage
Thank you for visiting the Baton Rouge Counseling website. We see a lot of couples in Baton Rouge and work diligently to help them save their marriages. We believe that if both partners are willing to work on things, you can recover from even very difficult and complicated issues. There are generally no “quick fixes” to marital difficulties, but there are some basic principles and practices that can make a difference over time. Here are some important tips that may help you save your marriage:
Spend Time Alone Together
Remember when you first met and the early days? You probably spent incredible amounts of time together. You made time for each other. Couples often “drift apart” because life gets busy with work, kids, and other activities. You may not get any alone time at all! When is the last time you went for a walk with your spouse, or had a date night or quiet evening together? In order to improve your relationship, you must spend the time. It’s the single most important factor in getting a relationship back on track and making sure the connection gets repaired and grows stronger. If you don’t spend regular time together, you can easily grow apart, and even small problems seem unmanageable. Structure your days and weeks to include regular opportunities for alone time. Not all of it has to be going out. Maybe wake up 20 minutes earlier each day to have coffee or take a morning walk together.
Couples need romance, fun, and excitement–it keeps things interesting and gives you something to look forward to. Make it a practice to have a date night at least once per month. Get a babysitter if you have kids, and spend some time doing fun and exciting things together. Go to dinner, go see a band, go to a play, go to a movie, do new things. Grab a Friday newspaper and look together at the goings on over the weekend and talk about what you would like to do. If you don’t do this stuff, you are missing out!
Communication – Talk About Things
Talk with each other, regularly, and effectively. Have serious “us” talks as well as regular talks about day to day things. If you and your spouse struggle with communication, then search for reading material on communication in relationships, and read the together. Communication is essential in keeping a relationship going. It is so important to have the connection and the safety to be able to talk about intimate feelings and concerns. Sometimes walls get put up and they can be hard to take down. If communication has totally broken down, then start with brief conversations. Listen, honor, and respect what the other person has to say.
Fair Fighting Rules
Sometimes couples come in for counseling, and we ask, “Do you fight?” and they say, “No, not at all”. Wow, we’re so sorry to hear that! It’s pretty rare that a couple would never fight, and can actually be a sign there is a problem. Mutual conflict avoidance can be mistaken as a positive aspect of the relationship. If there repetitive unresolved fights or unfair fighting then that’s a problem, too, obviously. Conflict is a normal, healthy and usually inevitable part of nearly all relationships. So, the goal of a healthy relationship is to be able to handle disagreements and arguments fairly and effectively. See our page: Fair Fighting Rules For Couples.
Spice Up Your Sex Life
The sexual life of a couple usually parallels the emotional life. If you are close, connected, and communicate regularly, your sex life is very likely to be thriving. While having good regular sex life doesn’t solve every problem, it is an important part of feeling fulfilled and connected in a relationships. So, if your sex life has dwindled or gotten dull, take steps to spice things up. Talk about what satisfies each of you and make time to have romantic encounters. If there is sexual dysfunction going on, then see your doctor to consider testing for hormone imbalance or other physical/medical issues that could be causing the problem. There are a number of medications and treatments for sexual dysfunction.
Set Boundaries With Work And Kids
Couples with children need to have time alone together without the kids around. This is a common issue and if not addressed leads to the “growing apart” syndrome. It is healthy for kids to see that Mom and Dad have an adult life outside of the family. It’s also important that work not take over or interfere with the relationship. Sometimes when we give 100% of our time and energy to work, there is nothing left emotionally for our partner. We get used to working long hours due to economic necessity and we can easily begin to neglect our relationships. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, we can make time for our spouse or partner and give the relationship the priority it deserves.
Seek Marriage Counseling
Don’t wait until things are falling apart. When you become aware that nothing is working, there is constant arguing or fighting, or you begin to stonewall each other–get marriage counseling. It is so important to recognize the need for help and be able to ask for it. If you are in the Baton Rouge Area, call Baton Rouge Counseling at (225) 293-2913 and visit our Marriage Counseling Baton Rouge page.