So here you are, reading this because you have hit that critical make or break point in your relationship.
You are having a marriage crisis. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Really, you should feel proud for realizing that you have hit the wall of married life and it’s either break through or both go your separate ways.
The fight or flight instinct to run from the situation or stay and fight has kicked in and by reading this you are showing that’s you’re really in for the long haul.
Here, I’ll be helping you take on that fight and win your relationship back to a state of good health. It all starts with the 7 simple steps for tackling your marriage crisis;
Here’s a quick overview of how you’ll organize your approach to restoring your relationship. We’re going to go through these steps one at a time to get your things moving again.
Recognizing there’s a problem.
Awareness that you are both individuals with valid view points.
Recognize the good points in each other.
Remember what brought you together.
Get back to basics.
Outline your action plan.
The three steps to success
1. Help… There’s A Problem!
You are here reading this so you have the wherewithal to know things are off center in your relationship. Believe it or not, this act alone will help you reform the balance between you and your spouse.
A lot of times, you can become so immersed in the day to day routine, that marital problems become gradual in nature. If you are experiencing a true “crisis” by definition, it’s possible your problem is abrupt and startling. You may feel completely overwhelmed and not even know where to begin addressing the issue at hand.
The most important thing to do at this point is try to calm your initial nerves. Take a few deep breaths and congratulate yourself for accessing appropriate help. Make yourself a hot drink and read on.
2. You Are Both Right
It is absolutely natural to feel you are the one in the right when you argue with your partner. This is not true. You are both right and have valid view points and it’s important to recognize this.
You have read how your background including your childhood and upbringing affects your inner thoughts and beliefs. They also make you feel right and justified with your thoughts and feelings. Accepting that your partner is also right in many things, from their personal view point is important.
3. Good Qualities In Yourself And Your Partner
Take a piece of paper and fold it in half, on one side write your name. On the other side write your partners name. Utilize your hot drink to take a moment to reflect. What are the good qualities you both have?
Think deeply, forget any criticism. Concentrate on everything positive. Here’s some words to help you brainstorm, choose what is relevant; good sense of humor, kind hearted, thoughtful, generous, organized, time-keeper, loyal, confident, faithful, mature, thrifty or charitable.
This list is not exhaustive and I’m sure you can think of many others that apply to you or your partner.
4. What Brought You Together in the First Place?
You are having a marriage crisis, but think back to what brought you together in the first place. As you wrote the list of qualities for yourself or your partner how much you did you have to dig to find them? When you were writing them down did you think back to when you met, early dates or pre children?
On the back of the piece of paper or on a separate sheet write down as much as you can remember about when you met, where you met and the typical things you did as your relationship grew… ‘the good old days’. This is important and vital to tackling your marriage crisis. What has really changed?
This person you loved is still the person you met all those years ago. The annoying troubles have crept in, the day-to-day issues and the grind of everyday life can wear you down after a while.
Changing diapers doesn’t feel romantic. Having the bills to pay every month when money is already stretched further then possible is no fun. It’s only rational that your stress has risen.
5. Back To Basics
Set a date and have a DATE. Your date doesn’t even have to mean leaving the house. A date is a chance for the both of you to listen to each other and smile.
Rent a funny film, order takeout. It doesn’t need to be a grand event, just a chance to relax and unwind, taking a step back from recent events and getting back to the fundamental basics of you both as a couple.
Whatever it is that has led to the marriage crisis cannot be tackled as a whole.
Practice listening and laughing together on this date, small steps will take you to better communication and ultimately no longer feeling your world together has reached rock bottom.
6. The Action Plan
Formulate an action plan. What has brought things to this stage? How did you get from the occasional annoyance to feeling that this is make or break time?
Keep the plan simple, it is to pull you back from this danger point in your relationship. Go get a piece of paper, title the top of your piece of paper ‘My Action Plan. Somehow writing it down rather than thinking it in your own head makes it real and now.
Using the suggestions above, formulate how to weave these strategies into your life. Schedule your date night on a calendar and make it a recurring event.
Decide that you’re going to study communication skills with or without your spouse so that you can more peacefully resolve your conflicts. Take the action now before your marital crisis evolves into a broken marriage that requires professional help to restore.
If you feel it’s necessary speak with your partner about marriage therapy and if they don’t want to go, make the effort to go on your own. Schedule an appointment and follow through.
In other articles here, I detail numerous action plans that are more “paint by numbers” instruction. However, depending on the severity and circumstance of your crisis, you may want to access the shortest path to intervention. Couples therapy is generally the speediest route for this.
That said, you should still engage in all of the exercises recommended here as they will all steer your relationship towards a happy, more fulfilling outcome.
7. Your Three Steps
Taking the time to communicate through your marriage crisis involves three basic variables. Write them out and plan them accordingly:
Underneath your event, write down the setting for your planned date. Keep it simple, it doesn’t need rose petals or a three course meal.
The next subject is ‘action’ and may take more thought; make a list of key topics you would like to talk about during the date.
Write as many as come to your mind, whatever has led you to feel you are suffering at this point. This might be difficult, but circle ONE thing. During this date, concentrate on talking and listening about this one problem.
Taking small steps is the way to communication success.
For ‘outcome’ focus on the word or sentence you have circled, what would you like to happen after you have discussed this. Be realistic. Remind yourself you will both feel ‘right’ or ‘justified’ to feel the way you do.
This is not about winning or losing, but moving forward and breaking through the current wall.
Be sure to watch my free video on how to restore your marriage and rekindle the passion in your marriage in minutes!