If you want something else than what you have had so far, you will probably have to DO something else than what you have done untill now. And this OTHER THING is by definition unknown, difficult or artificial. Because if it had been known and easy, you probably would have done it a long time ago.
In other words, you need to get a grip and get it together and start doing the right things. I know, it is hard to understand. But it is the truth. And you may start to notice that things are starting to get better – because they are starting to get better for real. Your feelings and moods are starting to improve so that you are not always angry and resentful. And you are beginning to hear more positive and caring comments about you from your spouse. You are beginning to notice things that you were not noticing before.
But it takes work. And it is not always easy.
I am a couple therapist (in Danish we call it parterapeut Frederiksberg) have developed several communication tools for various situations that I use in my clinic in relationship coaching or couple therapy. Some of them require effort, some of them do not. Because if it were easy, you would have done it already, and you would not be where you are now. You just have to get started. Because the last thing you want to do is waste another evening arguing and fighting with your spouse. They are not worth it.
The tools are simple. The process is not.
First, you will need a list of the things you can change. Write them down. Do not let the list become a mountain. You do not need to write everything down. But it is a good idea to leave a little margin for error. In other words, if you miss an item, you can always add it later. It is important that you write down your wants and needs. Otherwise, you will start to drift even further apart. Also, if you do not do this you will be unable to recognize how things are going and will make bad plans.
Next, you will need a list of the things you cannot change in your relationship, parforhold. In order to save your marriage, you cannot change your spouses wants and needs. I know this is frustrating, but I assure you it is better than doing nothing. By doing nothing you will eventually forget what it is that is causing the trouble. But also do not forget that these things will eventually need to be changed. In the meantime, you can attempt to change the things that you cannot change. This is where the list comes in handy. It is a good idea to leave a little margin for error. So you do not go overboard and make changes that are totally unrealistic. This list will help you identify what you cannot change. By making changes on this list you can at least begin to make progress. It will be up to you to do your part and commit to long term changes.
The final step is to get some writing done on your goals. This will help you to long-term vision. I know that you want to have a happy marriage and want your marriage to last. But you will know when it is really time to get writing done. By long term vision I mean the vision for your marriage, not just the marriage today. Long term vision will help you to understand that your marriage is not going to be there forever. Do not confuse short term vision with long term vision. A couple that has a short term vision of having a happy marriage in 3 months may find themselves out of a happy marriage three years later. There are ups and downs in a marriage. It is what makes a marriage a good or bad marriage.
The most important thing to remember is to stay in touch. There are two people in the marriage and you need to stay in touch to make the marriage work. Communication (bedre kommunikation) is a key to a long lasting marriage.
Communication does not mean just talking. It also means listening and respecting each other’s views.
By working on the areas in your marriage that cannot be changed, you can help your marriage to last.