Making Your Marriage Successful, and Knowing When to Call It Quits
When people decide to get married, they often have specific expectations about what married life will be like. These expectations are sometimes reasonable, and sometimes totally unrealistic.
Here are some things to keep in mind to help your marriage thrive:
- Prepare to put in some hard work. Marriage is not easy, and it won’t just work by itself – it takes daily work by both partners. Accept the fact that you made a commitment to go through life together, good times and bad, and don’t expect things to always go smoothly, because they won’t.
- Make the best of bad times. When life serves you lemons, you can choose to be miserable and blame your spouse for all your troubles, or you can decide to get through bad times together, learning all you can along the way.
- Celebrate your accomplishments as a couple. Spouses often set goals for themselves and can become discouraged when it feels like they will never accomplish what they set out to do. However, it is critical that couples celebrate important milestones as they work toward their goals – the journey can be just as exciting as the outcome and will help keep you motivated to keep going.
- Navigate difficult times together. There is no guarantee that life will be easy, and for most people, it is not. However, it isn’t fair to expect your spouse to tackle all the tough things alone, while you wait in the wings for it all to work out. You’re partners, and one spouse needs to be there to pick the other one up when the going gets tough.
- Work as a team. When you got married, you chose to be together, not on opposing teams. Learn to work together for one another, not one against the other. Sometimes you will need to make sacrifices for the good of the team, and sometimes your spouse will need to do the same. Sometimes you need to function as a unit, not separate individuals.
- Keep communicating. When making important decisions (and even minor ones) talk to each other and work toward decisions that are in the best interests of both of you. Although it is normal to disagree at times, don’t be stubborn and dig your heels in just to get your own way. Instead, weigh the options and figure out what’s best for the team, not just you.
- Stay friends. Many married couples start out as friends. While friends don’t always agree, they figure out how to stay friends because they enjoy each other’s company and want to spend time together, despite their differences. Investing in your relationship will form the strong companionship that will help your marriage last.
People change and their relationships change along with them, sometimes for the worse. Even with the best of intentions, some marriages will not survive. Here are some situations that might signal it’s time to move on:
- Lack of intimacy. Every couple goes through dry spells now and then, but a general lack of intimacy is one of the most ominous signs that a divorce might be looming. If a partner shows a lack of interest in sex, won’t talk about it, and won’t do anything to change it, there are often other issues that play that are weakening the marriage beyond repair.
- Absence of commitment. When a partner no longer makes the other a priority or begins to devalue them, self-doubt will begin to creep in, causing them to feel insignificant and doubting everything about themselves that they were once confident in. When one partner continually blames the other and refuses to compromise, it can be a strong indication that they are no longer committed to the marriage.
- Growth in different directions. Some people end up divorced because they have changed and are no longer the same people they were when they got married. In this situation, they have grown apart, no longer have the same goals, and can no longer envision a future together.
- One-sided relationship. Both spouses must commit to working to solve whatever issue they are facing, and if one partner is doing all the heavy lifting while the other refuses to participate, something vital is missing in the marriage.
- Too much trash-talking. If one spouse cannot resist badmouthing the other every chance they get, this could indicate a general lack of respect and consideration, particularly if children are involved. Kids typically know more than their parents think they do, so a few careless words here and there can spell divorce to them.
- No longer willing to make the effort. If one or both spouses aren’t willing to try or refuse to explore marriage counseling, that could be a sign that pent-up resentment preventing them from attempting to improve the marriage. Although some spouses won’t try to repair the marriage because they feel that they are not at fault for the issues, the fault for marital issues is usually shared by both. If one partner won’t acknowledge their shortcomings and refuses to take responsibility, divorce could be on the horizon.
- Less time together. While many couples are extremely busy with work, children, and other commitments, intentional over-scheduling or spending extended periods of time on the phone or computer can be a symptom of a marriage that is in trouble. Couples who are ready to divorce frequently disconnect from each other physically and emotionally long before the marriage is legally over.
Although most people enter a marriage with the best of intentions, unrealistic expectations about one’s spouse and marriage in general can sometimes lead to an irreparable breakdown of the marriage.
If you are considering divorce, the family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC are committed to making the process as painless as possible. To set up an initial consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys in Charlotte, Boone, Weddington, or Concord, fill out our contact form or call 704-321-0031 today.
Epperson Law Group, PLLC, is guided by a commitment to helping clients achieve favorable results in an efficient manner. Our Charlotte divorce and family law attorneys work with clients every day who face a range of divorce, custody, and other family law issues. We are equipped to help you appropriately resolve some of the most important legal matters you will ever need to address. We invite you to learn more about our team.