In most marriages, you are unaware of your weaknesses which makes it challenging to live the married life you have hoped for. The key to living the married life of your dreams is to find and eliminate the weaknesses.
As newlyweds, my husband and I would get on each other's nerves more often than we liked. We never gave our issues the attention it needed because we were under the assumption we were still getting to know each other. Our assumption was true. Nevertheless, we did some soul-searching and concluded we had a few minor unresolved issues before marrying that needed resolution. So, we created checklists of the things that most bothered us about each other and worked steadily to mend our weaknesses.
If you feel your marriage is not in the right place or could use some improvement, have a one-to-one with your spouse so, together, you can test your marriage.
Here are two ways to discover the weaknesses in your marriage:
There are organizations online such as "The Relationship Institute" offering marriage checklists. These checklists consist of questions such as why you and your spouse argue and how do you work on resolving the argument. However, if you prefer, you can create your own checklist. For example, you and your spouse each make a list of what you believe are the weaknesses in your marriage. Then, read each other's list. When it is time to discuss, be honest and open-minded. Do not turn the checklist exercise into a disagreement. The checklist is a guide.
Many couples prefer professional advice. You may feel comfortable in talking to an unbiased party and trust this person will do his or her best to guide you and your spouse in the right direction. Accordingly, the therapist will offer the proper management and exercises to uncover the weaknesses.
Once you both uncover the weaknesses in your marriage, here are five ways to work on them:
Focusing on you is important. If you have a particular weakness, you cannot expect your spouse to fix it for you. For example, if you are a jealous person, you will find ways to accuse your spouse of doing something when he or she is not. You need to work on your jealousy before moving forward in your marriage.
2. Talk and listen
You hear what your spouse is saying, but are you honestly listening. Do not interpret what your spouse is saying until he has finished speaking. Do not put words in his mouth. Learn to listen. Learn to communicate.
When you both figure out the weaknesses in your marriage, give each other time to work on them. You cannot expect resolutions overnight. Take each day with stride.
4. Be attentive
Show true signs of caring for your spouse's needs and wants. For example, if your spouse is in hopes of starting his or her own business, volunteer to help with the startup process. Sometimes just cheering for your spouse on the sidelines is good enough support. Remember, the same attention you seek from your spouse is the same attention you should give in return.
Learn to let go of the past. It is not easy, but it is possible. Oftentimes, when you get in an argument, the first thing you do is throw the past at your spouse. Unfortunately, doing so only creates tension and a distance between the two. Even though the past may have daunted you, you need to find a way to let it go and never bring it up again if you want your marriage to work. When you choose to forgive, the past must stay in the past.
Never get embarrassed to acknowledge your weaknesses. Be open with your spouse about each other's weak points and work at fixing them together.
Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.