Your marriage may seem great and maybe it is great. Maybe you have discovered ways to work through all your problems or to work as a team in every way possible. Maybe things are wonderful. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore things that are happening in your marriage. As John Amodeo Ph.D., MFT said, “Sadly, there is often a gap between the love we feel in our heart and the emotional intimacy we experience with someone.”
What kind of problems are you having even if you are able to work them out together? What things kind of annoy you about your partner but you just ignore them or let it go? Those are the things you need to think about.
The Little Things
There is no doubt there are going to be some things about your partner that you aren’t 100% in love with. They may have some little habits that annoy you but you don’t say anything because ‘I can just live with it’. Well, those things are going to continue to annoy you over time and if you’re not careful, they can become the catalyst for something else entirely. There are always going to be things about your partner that aren’t your favorite thing. Talking to them about these things and why they bug you is a great way to build on your relationship before those little things start taking you down from the inside.
Think about the problems that you do have. When you fight, what happens? Why are you arguing? Even if you find ways to work it out, are you arguing about the same things every time? If you are then it’s something that you should be working on together before your next fight. Why continue to argue about it when you could work out a solution so that it doesn’t happen again? You’ll definitely feel better about the situation that way and it works better for the future. In the words of Catherine Aponte PsyD, “Communication in a personal relationship is about a husband and a wife collaborating with each other by sharing perceptions, feeling, ideas, and thoughts so that they can come to an understanding of what is happening between them—what their joint reality is.”
Talk to Each Other
Sit down and talk about the things that you would like your partner to do for you. Maybe you don’t want to do the dishes all the time and you’d appreciate if they did. Maybe you don’t want to be solely responsible for taking care of the car and would like them to do it sometimes. Letting the other person know what you want from them is a great way to make sure you’re going to get it. After all, they can’t fix what they don’t know is wrong.
Think about the last time your partner did something that made you feel really special or made you really happy. Let them know that you appreciated it or really enjoyed it. This will definitely make them more likely to do the same thing again in the future because they know you like it and they know you appreciated it. Your partner wants to make you happy just like you want to make them happy, so don’t be afraid to keep talking about the good and the bad things in your relationship.
Working on your relationship when things are good is actually great. It’s going to help you feel happier in your relationship for a long time to come, and that’s what you’re really looking for. You want to be happy with your partner all the time, and while that may not always be possible, it is possible for you to cut down on the arguments. A relationship that is already damaged or where the couple is already struggling is a lot harder to fix than one where the relationship is healthy and all you’re doing is continuing to improve. Don’t let anything get in the way of a good relationship for you and your partner.
“In every intimate relationship, empathy is the key to relationship success.” — April Eldemire LMFT