Building a healthy and happy marriage is a process that takes work. Much of that work can be joyful. Spending time together, communicating openly and sharing important moments are all key aspects of creating a lasting union.
However, not all aspects of marriage will be as joyful as those moments or as beautiful as your wedding day. In fact, sometimes, being married can be downright ugly. You can feel anger, bitterness, resentment and jealousy toward the person you promised to have and to hold. Why does that happen?
Strong Emotions Create Tense SituationsThe person you married is someone you love deeply. They are someone you promised to share your life with. These strong feelings of love and affection can lead to negative feelings that are just as strong when communication breaks down and two married partners are acting in a way that does not contribute positively to their union. When you or your partner is feeling an intense surge of emotion, yelling, breaking things or becoming physical are not appropriate solutions. Instead, take a quiet moment to gather your thoughts. Communicate the strength of your emotions to your partner. Explain that you know you feel so intensely because you care so much about them and about your marriage, and then take time to calmly address the situation without using blaming statements.
Jealousy and Infidelity Hurt MarriagesWhile some amount of jealousy is a normal human emotion, an excess of jealousy can be very damaging to a marriage. When one or both parties feel like they either cannot trust their partner or that they do not have their partner's trust, they may start to question the point of remaining faithful. Infidelity puts even more distance between married partners, as individuals seek solace in the arms- or even just the words- of another. This betrays the confidence that a married couple puts in one another when they take their vows. When jealousy and infidelity become problems within a marriage, being brutally honest is absolutely necessary. You may find success working with an impartial third party, like a marriage counselor, to get to the heart of the problem and eliminate the issue that led to the act of infidelity.
Drug and Alcohol AbuseWhether your married your partner knowing they were an addict or it is a problem that developed after the big day, living with someone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol is no picnic. Being married to them can be even harder. If drug and alcohol abuse is affecting the quality of your marriage, honesty is the best policy. Even if it hurts the addict, they need to know that their actions are having a very real effect on you. Being committed to your marriage may mean helping your spouse as they complete a 12 step program, keeping in mind that their recovery will not be instant, that it is a lifelong process, and that they may relapse. Staying committed and positive is key to helping your partner recover in order to sustain your union.
Marriage is so much bigger than a wedding, and it comes with the sometimes serious bumps in the road that accompany taking on someone else as a true life partner. Being willing to work on communication alone or with a therapist even during dark times and thinking of your marriage as an entity outside yourself to treasure and preserve are some of the many ways that couples can maintain and strengthen their unions, even in the face of adversity.
John Keefe is an avid blogger and professional Wedding Officiant in Oklahoma City. John is passionate about sharing information online through his blogs, on youtube, and provides local marriage services in OKC to his local community with Lifelong Wedding Ceremonies Wedding Officiant.