First you have to realize that you may be the “wrong” person too! Lol Never be so arrogant that you think that you have it all together while your partner is the one with all the issues. If you think that blaming the other person will improve your marriage, it won’t! This is the last thing that you want to do! Realize that both of you are contributing to what’s wrong. Get over yourself, take ownership for your part and spend a little time and energy focusing on what you can do differently…… Become the spouse that you want your partner to be. Is there any way that you can respond differently to your partner’s imperfections? Can you humble yourself long enough to listen? Not just to his or her words but also to his or her heart…….. Do you recognize that you are a little different than what he or she expected? Do you admit that life can often times throw you curve balls that it may take a minute for either of you to get up from? Can you admit that you too are becoming the “wrong” person for your marriage?
Secondly, commit to creating change! This is perhaps the hardest thing to do when you are not “feeling” it. Realize that effort has to go into making your marriage work….. Think about some of the things that you wish could be different. Ask yourself, how can I contribute to our change? Is there anything that I could do differently to help us move in the right direction? If you can’t think of anything, you have already given up! Realize that if you have given up, there is almost nothing that can help you to see things differently. You forfeit your right to hope when you give up. You cripple yourself by feeling like you are “stuck” in a horrible marriage. However you have to realize that this is a marriage you both created. You at some point sacrificed your oneness by failing to see yourself as a team. You have to figure out how to empower yourself again, how to dream again, how to feel again that this man or woman is good enough for you to change and worthy enough for you to be patient with. I bet that’s how you managed to walk down the aisle to this imperfect being……You dared to dream. You looked past the imperfections and believed enough that you were willing to “leap!” Forget about what he or she is not doing……… Start doing whatever you want to see differently in your relationship. If there is not enough romance, begin planning some nights that will be difficult to remember. If there is no communication, initiate some scheduled times to talk. If you feel disconnected, schedule some intentional moments to connect. Help to change whatever is not working. Instead of tearing down, build up by changing your perspective and game plan.
Thirdly, keep distractions to a minimum by cutting off anyone or anything that steals any piece of your heart that should belong to your spouse. There are so many things and people that remove our attention from our mate. What is it for you? What prevents you from having the patience to work on your marriage? What is distracting you so much that it leaves you taking that person for granted? What monopolizes your free time? What are you throwing yourself into so much that it almost irritates you when your spouse asks for a bit of your time? It is a bit difficult to admit when you have been yielding parts of yourself to another person, hobby, or thing. However the reality is that it can easily happen. Especially when you feel as if expectations have not been met. It is so much easier to run away and retreat emotionally into that habit, career or other relationship. So just stop it. Don’t overthink it. Don’t rationalize why you are justified in being distracted. Just stop it. Turn your affections, time, and attention back to your spouse. Of course this doesn’t mean you need to give up everything but it does mean give up anything that is distracting you. Be balanced as a person with friendships, hobbies, and career goals but know when you are using these things to avoid the empty feelings inside stemming from your unhappy relationship. At some point you will have to deal with your marriage. Stop putting it off.
Lastly, create your plan for growth and take one step at a time. If you don’t have a plan or vision for your marriage, you will never move forward. You have to decide what you want and think about what steps you need to take to get there. To accomplish anything in life, you have to have a plan. Of course you are not limited to that first draft. You can alter your plan and steps as often as you would like. Just move forward. Don’t sit there waiting on change to happen when you own some of the responsibility to move your marriage forward. Either you become committed to your plan or you allow someone else’s plan to overwhelm you because it takes you in a direction that you do not want to go in. What is your step one? What needs to happen first? What can you focus on and work on initially? What small thing will begin moving you in the right direction? I know it may feel silly but go ahead and write out your plan step by step then Go For It!