It was the happiest day of your life. You publically proclaimed your vows to your love in front of friends and family and promised to honor them till death do you part. But along the way something happened. Over the years you drifted apart, became interested in different things, and that once solid relationship started crumbling to the ground. Is it possible to save your marriage?
Here are 12 reasons your marriage is miserable and what you can do to fix it.
1. You’re Bored
Being around the same person 24/7, depending on the relationship, can lead to boredom. If you ate the same food every day and night the same thing might occur. The answer may be to stop spending so much time together. Get out and make some new friends, start a new hobby or take up a new sport. Being bored is a choice, and so is overcoming it.
2. You’ve Stopped Trying
You work hard, play hard and take care of business, but you’ve stopped trying to be an attentive, attractive spouse. You’ve allowed complacency to take over and fallen victim to the mindset of marital mediocrity. The solution is to start engaging with your spouse before someone else beats you to it.
3. You’ve Changed
You’re not the same person you were when you got married and neither is your spouse. You’ve both grown and evolved, and not always in the same direction. You like to hit the town on Saturday night and she likes to knit by the fire. Your savior may be finding common ground wherever you can and building on that before you end up living separate lives.
4. You’re Too Comfortable
You’ve been together forever and forgotten what attracted you in the first place. You wear floppy shirts and baggy pants around the house and you’ve haven’t put on makeup since Reagan was in the White House. Maybe it’s time to invest in a new wardrobe that doesn’t resemble anything seen on the Golden Girls or Gunsmoke.
5. Your Kids Have Taken Over
You’ve fallen into the parent trap of allowing your kids to run your life and ruin your marriage. Some couples thrive in this environment while others struggle. The answer is to make time to be lovers, not just parents. This takes time most parents claim not to have, but so does getting divorced. Invest your time in the relationship or you’ll end up investing it in lawyers.
6. You’re Courting Your Own Mortality
You’re getting older and wondering if your best days are behind you. Your marriage is boring and you’re looking around to see if there’s a way to fix it or find someone new. One strategy is to see if you’re the problem. Look in the mirror and see if a boring person stares back at you. If so, make a decision to create some excitement in your life. If you decide that your spouse is the problem, maybe it’s time to have a heart-to-heart around how you’ll spend the remaining years of your life.
7. You’re Cheating
You’re having sex with someone else because it’s fun and it makes you feel alive, and you’re justifying it by telling yourself you deserve it. This time bomb threatens to destroy your relationship. It’s time to start communicating with your spouse on how you can repair your relationship before the bomb explodes and everyone gets hurt.
8. You’re Out of Stories
You’ve heard of all of each other’s stories and you have nothing left to talk about. You’re tired of hearing the same tales and even more tired of repeating your own. The answer may be to plan a big adventure together to create some new stories. Start a new business, learn a language or develop a new skill together. Your new stories may reignite your passion.
9. The Sex Sucks
You’re either not compatible, bored in bed or no longer attracted. The bottom line is you’re both missing out on one of the great experiences of life. Volumes have been written on how to spice up your sex life, and many of these strategies work. Your best bet is to try them out and see if you can rekindle the lust.
10. You’re Broke
You spend a substantial amount of time fighting about money and it’s breaking you apart. You’re a big spender and she likes to save. You had to have that big house while she wanted to stay in the condo. The kid’s activities, expenses and college funds eat the family’s discretionary cash and you’re getting deeper in debt. The solution might be to find common ground and join forces to manage the issue minus the conflict.
11. You’ve put on the pounds
The last time you exercised regularly was when you bought the Richard Simmons belly-buster on an infomercial during the cold war, and you never met a doughnut you didn’t like. Not taking care of yourself sends a message to your spouse that you don’t care anymore. Try cutting the carbs, trimming the fat and hiking to the gym.
12. You’re Too Familiar
Just the act of being in the same physical space as someone else for an extended period of time is enough to breed overfamiliarity, which sometimes leads to resentment, frustration and even contempt. We’ve all heard that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this could be a potential solution to the problem. Go on a vacation by yourself or with friends without your spouse and see how it impacts your relationship.
If things aren’t how they used to be, don’t despair. Depending on the situation, sometimes it’s as easy as making a few small changes in your relationship. Other times it’s more involved and requires professional help. Either way, if the marriage is important to both of you, it’s definitely worth fighting for.
Steve Siebold is author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class, and an expert in the field of psychological performance and mental toughness training. He’s studied the beliefs, behaviors and thought processes of top performers for more than 30 years. www.mentaltoughnesssecrets.com