For many, marriage or a long term relationship (LTR) seems like the key to a future filled with happiness. Little do they know, it takes years of hard work, communication, and compromise to make the relationship last. Far too often couples find that the hard work is not enough to keep the love alive, much less keep the happy marriage or relationship intact. Not knowing how to heal an unhappy marriage is one reason why roughly 50% of all marriages end in divorce.
But enough with the depressing talk of failure! While this information is possibly discouraging to couples who are recently married or are considering life partnership, don’t be afraid. It is possible to avoid a loveless marriage or LTR, and even create your dream relationship with your partner, with a commitment to proactive and ongoing efforts.
When Relational Bliss Takes a Turn
In those first few years of a relationship or marriage, you likely aren’t encountering any significant issues that could end your marriage. During these early months and years, your sex life is strong, you are deeply in love, and everything about your relationship still feels brand new.
As the years go on, you and your partner will begin to face life’s challenges together, and that can cause some strain on your relationship. For strong couples, these challenges are faced as a team, and the way you approach the difficulties together strengthens your bond and connection. For others, these small challenges may begin to slowly deteriorate your relationship over time. Combine these challenges with a lack of communication, intimacy, trust, and respect, other key elements of a healthy relationship, and you’ll begin to see cracks in the foundation you created and maintained for years.
For those of you who are worried your relationship may be falling into the latter category, there is still a way to rebuild and regain that sense of love, patience, and excitement that you once felt.
If you’re looking to strengthen your marriage, or simply even change things up with your partner after years of being together, there are plenty of ways to address relationship problems that can help you find happiness and feel a new sense of excitement and genuine connection.
Prioritize Your Self Love + Care
In any relationship, working on yourself and your own wants and needs is just as important as caring for your partner and their needs. You cannot neglect your desire to feel confident and beautiful, and you cannot expect your partner to be the sole provider of your confidence.
This means going out of your way to indulge in the things that make you feel amazing. Maybe that looks like journaling every day and reflecting on who you are and what you like about yourself. Finding a new hobby to enrich your day to day, or investing in your mental health in other ways. Something as simple as switching up your underwear for a new style like flattering boy short panties can reconnect you with your body and leave you more inclined to engage physically or sexually with your partner.
Being in an unhappy marriage or LTR can take a toll on your self-esteem. The more confident you feel, the better it will impact your partner’s perception of you, increase their attraction to you, and will increase your own self-respect. Create a strong body image for yourself by switching up your look from time to time. Dress up for yourself, experiment with a different makeup routine, or leave make out all together, whatever helps you feel more beautiful, and prioritize feeling sexy for the sake of your own happiness. The more love you can show yourself, the happier you will feel, and your partner will surely notice and follow suit.
Revisit Common Interests
If you find that you and your partner are beginning to struggle in an unhappy marriage or relationship, it could be that you aren’t spending enough quality time with one another—emphasis on the quality. You may find that after years of living together and being around each other practically all the time, spending time together may feel like the default. But pay attention to how you spend time together. Is it with intention or is it no different than the humdrum of everyday life?
Think back to the beginning of your relationship when the two of you were both infatuated with one another. What were the interests you had in common? Recall some of the most fun dates you went on over the course of your time together. Try to recreate some of those dates, or revisit some of your favorite activities that you can do together.
After years of going through the motions and simply dealing with daily life, it can be easy to forget about having fun with your partner. Make having fun with activities you both enjoy a priority in your relationship by setting aside time at least once a week for something enjoyable the two of you can do together. Anything from playing a simple questionnaire card game on date night, to an action-filled vacation, can bring the two of you together in a playful way.
Find A Common Ground In Vulnerability
If you and your partner both understand that you are experiencing an unhappy marriage or LTR, the only way to salvage it is if you are both on the same page about the future of your relationship. Neither of you should want to repair things more than the other. If you find yourself fighting to keep the marriage while your partner is complacent, it may be time to face the reality that the relationship may no longer serve either of you.
If the two of you can agree that while your relationship may not be what it once was, but you both are willing to put in the work, there is hope for a better future together.
As a couple, make it a point to be vulnerable with one another. Oftentimes, marriages and LTRs become loveless and stale when you don’t open up to one another about how you are feeling, both good and bad. Share in each other’s joy, and when either one of you is facing hardship, work through the problem as a team. Be open about things you don’t like, as well as the aspects you really like about your marriage. Create positive coping skills for a partnership that will last long-term.
Repair Your Unhappy Marriage or LTR
Marriage is perhaps one of the hardest tests a person will take in life, but the payoff of saving your marriage or LTR from a rough patch can be one of your greatest achievements. If you’ve been stuck in your unhappy marriage or LTR for a while, couples therapy with a psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist or couples counselor can invigorate your efforts, and help you learn new tools together.