Some unhappy marriages can be saved with work and dedication from both partners. Other relationships may be damaged beyond repair by infidelity or incessant arguments. Through effective communication, resolution of past issues and quality time, your relationship may improve. Both partners should have personal interests outside of the relationship. The couple should also become involved in activities to strengthen their bond. Repairing an unhappy relationship is not easy, but neither is break-up or divorce.
Unhappy spouses often report a lack of intimacy. People crave affection and attention. The absence of these can create frustration and sometimes infidelity, says marriage and family therapist Lori H. Gordon in the Psychology Today article, "Intimacy: The Art of Relationships." Increase intimacy by improving communication skills and giving one another heartfelt compliments. Take time to hug and kiss each other hello and goodbye every day. If your spouse has been unfaithful, determine whether you want to remain in the relationship. If you do, be willing to work through the hurt feelings and trust issues in order to move forward.
It Takes Two
Both partners must work to keep the marriage moving forward, says marriage and family therapist Corey Allan in "Three Ways to Handle an Unhappy Marriage," published on his website, Simple Marriage. Arrange date nights, seek counseling and work on changing behaviors. The more you work on issues, the better the results. For example, some unhappy couples fall into a cycle of incessant bickering. This cycle needs to be broken and replaced with positive communication. A complete breakdown in communication may end the relationship.
A common misconception is that a relationship will meet all your needs. Total reliance on a partner can damage the relationship, says couples counselor Elly Prior in her article "Long-Term Relationship Problems and Marital Issues Resolved," on her website. Each partner should have friends and hobbies that do not include the other partner. This builds a strong sense of self.
Something drew you to your partner in the first place. When you are in an unhappy relationship, try doing things you enjoyed together, advises psychologist Margaret Paul in her article "Seven Ways To Improve Your Relationship," on the website Self-Growth.com. While it is important to deal with relationship issues, it is also important to relax and have fun. You and your partner should create time for things you enjoy, such as games, going to the movies or going to a comedy club. Creating fun, happy times can help fade the negative memories.
Jaime Vargas-Benitez has been a parenting writer since 2010. She has worked in the child wellness field in various roles for over 20 years. Along with the experiences of raising her own kids, she has been privileged enough to participate in the raising of hundreds of other children as well.