When you and your spouse exchanged vows years ago, your passion for each other was your primary focus. After 25 years of marriage, though, problems are likely to arise. If the two of you have settled into a routine that feels lifeless and stressful, tackling the problems one at a time can help to reinvigorate the love you once knew.
Over time, you and your spouse may have become too comfortable with each other. When partners begin neglecting each other’s needs, avoiding conversation and taking advantage of each other’s time, feelings of resentment are bound to occur. In fact, according to Dr. John Grohol, founder and CEO of Psych Central, resentful emotions occur when couples feel the relationship is unequal. As a couple, you must find a way to compromise and encourage each other’s hobbies and interests while also respecting individuality. To demonstrate your appreciation, show interest in your spouse's passions.
Poor communication is one of the biggest marital problems couples in long-term relationships experience. According to Susan Brown, California-based licensed clinical social worker, partners married for 25 or more years get in the habit of communicating their own points of view instead of actively listening to what the other partner thinks and feels. Active listening entails processing what your spouse says while providing verbal and nonverbal validations, such as a comforting touch, head nod or a validating phrase, such as “I’m sure that was difficult.” If partners actively listen to each other when communicating, they show genuine care that can help them work through any marital problem.
One devastating blow to a long-term marriage is infidelity. Extramarital affairs happen for a variety of reasons. Many people look outside their marriages for intimacy when their needs are not met or to escape the difficulties or responsibilities of their primary partnerships, according to Brown. When a spouse strays and is involved in a romantic affair with another, all trust is lost within the marriage. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, however, many marriages survive infidelity and even become stronger when couples engage in marriage counseling.
Lack of Intimacy
After 25 years, the toll of juggling work obligations, household duties, and activities with children and grandchildren can take the excitement out of your love life. Partners tend to get into a routine that lacks intimacy or time for each other. Make your spouse a priority, recommends Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP, in "Reviving Your Marriage," published by Psych Central. If the passion or spark is gone in your marriage, revive it with weekly date nights, scheduled walks through the park or a designated time each day to share something new about yourselves. If your love life is lacking in the bedroom, it’s likely the relationship needs a tune up, suggests Brown. Be proactive and show your spouse you are still attracted with an unexpected display of affection each day.
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Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.