Sometimes simply acknowledging a problem can be the biggest step toward reaching a solution. Often, couples who schedule their first therapy session report improvements in the marriage even prior to attending their first appointment. Couples who start facing their problems and identifying problems have the ability to start resolving the issues.
If you know that your marriage is less than what you hope for, don’t ignore this. Don’t be afraid to look at the potential your relationship has. Ask yourself some questions – What would make my marriage better? What would happen if my marriage improved? How would my life be different if our relationship were great? What would be doing differently if we have a wonderful marriage?
Once you examine the answers to those questions, start looking at what gets in the way of having the best relationship you can have. Perhaps you discover that you don’t spend enough alone time together. Or maybe you disagree so much on financial issues that you’ve stopped discussing anything that has to do with money. Or maybe you have so much trouble communicating that you’ve stopped talking altogether.
As soon as you figure out what the marital problem is, don’t place blame. It isn’t helpful to point fingers at who is at fault. Instead, remember you are a team, and both of you have some responsibility in the marital problems. Talk about the problem that you have identified and focus on what you could do differently.
If your partner isn’t willing to make changes, you can start making changes first. See what happens if you start doing some things differently. Maybe this means you will start talking to your partner more. Or maybe it means you’ll practice listening to your partner better. Or maybe you’ll do more work around the house. Whatever it is, start doing it.
Don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results. Change takes time. Focus on the results you hope to see and it will help keep you motivated to keep going.