There are tons of books, DVD's, podcasts, blogs, and professional help on the subject of marriage. You can get marriage advice from your friends or family members that may have been divorced more times than Elizabeth Taylor or married for 50 years. The one thing that anyone who's been married will tell you, whether for decades or months, is that a good marriage is a hard job and must constantly be maintained and rooted in love, but it's also worth the hard work and can be very rewarding.
It sounds kind of corny these days, but love is the foundation of any real and close relationship. Today, more people are focused on outside appearances rather than what's on the inside. That includes many marriages, and if love is not there, then the relationship is doomed to failure.
Tips for Helping a Struggling Marriage
Two major causes that contribute to a struggling marriage are family and work. Finding the perfect balance between taking care of the kids, climbing the corporate ladder, and keeping your relationship with your spouse healthy and loving is daunting but beautiful work. Here are a few tips to help a struggling marriage that will help restore the love, respect, and happiness.
- Let love thrive - Love comes easy in a brand new relationship, but as life goes on, other things tend to get in the way. Make time to say "I love you" to your spouse and then back it up with actions of love such as flowers, a date night, a quiet dinner, or intimacy.
- Put your spouse first - Treat your spouse as if their happiness is more important than your own. This selfless act will nurture trust, generosity, and gratitude.
- Change old behaviors - If you’re the type that points out flaws in your spouse or tends to come home from work in a bad mood, then change your behavior and attitude. Look for positive things in your spouse and let go of problems at work before you come home. Do what needs to be done to avoid putting yourself in negative situations.
Effectively Using Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling can be an effective tool in helping to restore love, trust, and happiness to a struggling marriage. Keep in mind that counseling will only be helpful if both parties are truly committed to saving the marriage and following the advice of the counselor. Like most things in life, what you get out of something is equal or greater to what you put into it. A marriage counselor can help clear the clutter in a troubled marriage and get to the root of the problem or problems in the relationship but only if both parties are honest and committed to the process. By utilizing tools that increase communication between spouses, a counselor can help couples express themselves more freely and openly and began the healing process. Open and honest communication is the first step to restoring a struggling marriage.
Marriage retreats combine a relaxing, peaceful, and romantic setting with professional counseling to help couples reconnect, communicate, and resolve their problems. Marriage retreats are generally offered in time periods of a few days to a couple of weeks and are sometimes referred to as a marriage boot camp because of the intensive nature of the counseling and therapy involved. For couples with serious issues, a marriage retreat is a perfect way to focus on their relationship and reignite the passion, trust, and affection. Like any other form of marriage counseling or therapy, both parties must be fully committed to working out their differences and restoring the relationship in order for the retreat and counseling to be effective. One spouse, no matter how beautiful the setting or how good the counselor, can save a marriage alone. A marriage retreat is not a vacation but a place to receive personalized and intensive counseling in a calm, scenic and beautiful setting that's free of distractions.