Our focus here at Black Love Forum is to give our audience the tools to create healthy and long lasting relationships, this includes marriages. I’m particularly an avid supporter in this area, and I wanted to share some information that my expertise has given me. If you implement some or all of the steps below, it will be a great start to a healthy end.
1. Get Help
Most couples make the mistake of getting professional help too late in the game. The earlier you begin counseling with a professional, the better outcome you will have.
2. Take responsibility for what you are doing wrong
Most couples blame each other for the problem of the relationship. But in most cases both parties play a major role in the problem the relationship is having. It is easier to see the blame in your partner, but more difficult to see the blame in yourself. When couples begin to take responsibility for their role in the problem, things begin to turn around. Maybe you haven’t done what your partner has done, but you have done something.
3. Increase you time together
Marriage problems push couples away from each other, just as depression kills the appetite for food. I often tell people who are depressed to schedule their times to eat and eat even if they are not hungry. The same is true for relationships. You have to schedule and increase your time together because the problems you are having will force you to be apart.
4. Have conversations about when you met and what you felt
You hooked up for a reason. You liked what you saw and you decided to lock yourself into what you felt. Go back to when you met and just be there for a moment without discrediting the experience as though you were wrong about what you felt. Treat that incident with the honor and respect it deserves. Something magical happened between the two of you. Rekindle that flame.
5. Be open to criticism
A marriage doesn’t have to be in trouble to bring criticism. Criticism comes with the territory of being married. Marital Criticism is not always constructive and can sometimes be hard to accept. Be less defensive of your partner’s criticisms and take a good look at yourself to see if they could be right. In most cases they are.
6. Don’t have talks with other people of the opposite sex about your marriage problems
When you are having marriage problems you are vulnerable. Don’t put yourself in situations that may further complicate your life and your marriage. If you need comfort during the course of your marital challenges find that comfort in a close friend of the same sex and stay away from situations that are unhealthy. You know what those relationships are for you; stay away from them.
7. Be patient
It takes time to heal the wounds of a marriage so don’t rush things, but be assertive.
8. Discuss you reasons for wanting to stay married
Everyone has to have a reason to want to stay married. Identify what your reason is and begin to convert that reason it to personal will power to make it work. Sometimes you need more than just love to carry you through. You need a reason to make this work. Find yours.
9. Commit to having healthy conversations and make eye contact
Look you partner in the eye. Have close up conversations. No throwing hands and stumping feet. You’ve got to have “in your face” talks that are respectful and meaningful. Step-up your conversation game and learn how to talk and listen without having temper-tantrums. It works.
10. Envision a future together 10 years from now
When your marriage is dying you can’t just talk about the present. You have to create a life beyond today. You have to be able to see yourself together doing something 5- 10 years down the road. It is important to dream of a future when you seem to be loosing hope in the present. It is harder to dream when you’re struggling, but it is necessary. So, stop for a moment and begin to imagine and discuss your life after this thing is all resolved. Dream first! Then address the issues that are hindering your marriage.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leroy Scott is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Professional Counselor (LPC). In addition he is the host of 360 Life Talk Radio Show and author of Unbreaking The Heart. Visit Leroy’s website or follow him on Twitter at @Scott_Leroy.