Not all marital problems are obvious. They don’t all have glaring symptoms like blowout arguments or infidelity. Not all “unhealthy” marriages are composed of chronically unhappy people…
Some marriages are what you might call “loveless” – in that they aren’t necessarily coming apart at the seams, but they aren’t very strong or connected either. Couples in this situation are usually just “going through the motions,” sharing a home and tolerating each other… And not much else.
While this certainly isn’t a healthy relationship, it gets worse. For couples living in this kind of environment, disaster is often only a problem or two away. If they aren’t sharing an active connection, aren’t putting any effort into the marriage, and aren’t even aware of how far apart they’ve grown, one big fight could lead to all of the issues rushing to the surface. If things have gone unaddressed for years, this “opening the floodgates” can be extremely difficult to deal with.
Similarly, these “loveless” marriages are at prime risk for affairs – especially emotional affairs. People want to feel connected, and seek it out naturally, even if they aren’t entirely aware of their own actions…
But instead of recounting all of the risks of “loveless” relationships, let’s focus on the real point: what to do about it!
1. Make The First Move
If you’ve been more and more aware of the rift in your marriage, noticing how far you’ve grown apart, and so on… You have to be the one to bring it up! In so many cases, this exact problem goes unaddressed because neither person wants to start the tough conversation.
If you want to get things back on track, or even start the process of making improvements, you have to bring it up directly. You have to talk about it. If you both can’t admit that there’s a problem, how can you ever start resolving it?
2. Dig Deep
Before you can start rebuilding, you need to address – at least generally – what went wrong. This means getting honest with each other (and yourselves) to unpack the last few years of your relationship. Try to identify where things started to go wrong, what unhealthy habits you may have developed, what moments drove you apart, and what you didn’t do to pull the marriage back together.
This won’t be the most pleasant conversation, but if you go in with the mindset of repairing your marriage together, you can work through this tough stuff in an effort to find solutions and strategies for moving forward.
Once you’ve faced the challenge at hand, and agreed with your spouse that something needs to be done about “falling back in love,” the fun begins! Now is the time to rebuild your connection, and that means enjoying each other’s company, exploring what it means to be a loving couple, and likely growing as individuals.
These could be some of the most enjoyable and fulfilling times of your life! This is a chance to start over from the beginning with the person you’re already married to – a chance to get to know each other all over again. Start small if you have to, with quality time spent together away from distractions.
Go on dates, laugh together, explore each other’s hobbies and interests, flirt, show affection… Treat these times like the early days of your relationship, and allow yourself to feel excited!
It may be slow going at first, but if you put in the time and effort, and keep the right attitude, you can make tremendous progress.
As with so many other issues, the first big step is to recognize what’s going on, then commit to fixing it together. Couples naturally go through ups and downs, but if the downs have been persisting, it’s time to do something about it!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the <a href=”https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/coursedetails/strongmarriagenowsystem/”>StrongMarriageNow System</a> today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, <a href=”https://www.strongmarriagenow.com”>StrongMarriageNow.com </a>