You walk into marriage with the expectations it will be forever. But somewhere down the line things begin to change and forever is no longer.
Coming from a failed marriage, I knew what to do differently when I decided to remarry. Just like any other marriage, my husband and I have our share of ups and downs. But the secret to making the marriage work is working together and putting love first.
If there is an imbalance between you and your spouse, you can't expect the marriage to work. Therefore, here are 10 things you can learn from a failed marriage.
Getting married for the wrong reasons
If your relationship is on rocky grounds, do not assume marriage is the answer. Marrying someone you do not trust, constantly fighting with your spouse or following a pattern of break ups and make ups are just a few signs the marriage will suffer. People have this misconception that marriage changes a person. It can, but only if the person wants to change. Marriage is a serious commitment, not a problem solver.
The moment you are verbally attacked or physically bruised by your spouse, you know it is time to leave. As scary as it is to pick up and move forward, you must for your safety – and the safety of your children. If you have no family or friends to turn to, reach out to your local hospital or church. Your well-being, and that of your children, are priority. Kids quietly suffer or act out. When children live in an abusive environment, they run the risk of experiencing the same in their relationships.
Do not bring up the past
There is no reason you should rehash what can no longer be changed. Reliving the past in your marriage is only calling for trouble and instability. Levels of frustrations will rise, and a simple discussion turns into a quarrel. For example, if you and your spouse are arguing over a family outing, do not bring up something from the past to make a point. The past is the past. Leave it there.
Arguing over the finances
Most married couples have their share of finance problems. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances – hospital bills for you or the kids or a mishap with your home property – can cause tension between you and your spouse. When there are not enough funds, you and your spouse feel the urge to argue. There is finger pointing, who should work more hours, and who should drop certain expenditures. Instead, take a step back and calmly talk with your spouse.
You may have differences of opinions about religion, politics, how and where to raise a family and so forth. As much as opinions are sometimes hard to receive, always give respect. There is no right or wrong when it comes to opinions.
Not giving each other space
As wonderful as it is to spend every minute with your spouse, it's healthy to give each other some space. Once in a while go out without your spouse. Both of you should mingle with friends or family as a way to clear the mind from the everyday routine. A little space means catching up with old friends or relatives. It doesn't mean doing unfaithful activities. When you give each other space, you begin to miss one another.
If you cannot trust your spouse or if your spouse cannot trust you around certain people, alone or handling matters, then what is the point to the marriage? It's an unpleasant feeling being married and unable to live a content life because feelings of mistrust linger in the marriage.
Lack of understanding
If your spouse is facing trouble at work, problems with a friend or just feels bad about her appearance, it is hard to relate because you do not know exactly how she feels. Nevertheless, ask your spouse what is going on and listen to every detail. Though you may not relate, you will start to understand what is going on and sympathize.
Lack of communication
Communication is of utmost importance in a marriage. A marriage cannot function to the best of its ability when there are no lines of communication. Talk freely to your partner. If something is bothering you, address the issue openly and honestly.
It is obvious lying, in any relationship, is wrong. But when it's done in a marriage, it tends to hurt more. You feel betrayed by the person you believed in wholeheartedly. If you feel the necessity to lie, ask yourself why. Is your lie worth jeopardizing your relationship? When people lie, they do so assuming they are protecting the person they are lying to. However, a lie hurts more than the truth.
Marriages are about two people loving and supporting each other through it all – even when they do not always agree.
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.