Do You Feel Like You're In A Failing Marriage? Finding Help That Works For You And Your Partner
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated March 04, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC
Is marriage a lot harder than you thought it would be? Everyone tries to warn dating and engaged couples about how challenging marriage is, but few people talk about the reality of what that looks like and what you can do to help. If you feel that you're in a failing marriage, you're not alone.
Past statistics have shown that in the U.S., 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. Those numbers might make it feel like your marriage is doomed to fail, especially if this isn't your first marriage. But, don't fall for that lie. There is marriage help to put you on the right path and to help you recover if you're already in a struggle.
The Grass Isn't Any Greener
It's easy to look at other couples and think that their relationship is better than what you have. It seems like his wife is supportive of his dreams and goals or that her husband is always showering her with love and affection. However, you're not seeing what goes on behind closed doors when they know that no one else is there watching. You don't hear their arguments or probably don't know the hidden challenges that they've been through.
If you're married and thinking that you would be better off to divorce and try again with someone else, think about the numbers shared at the beginning of this article. Your chance of succeeding at marriage drops with every additional marriage.
Most couples are better off staying in their marriage and addressing the issues instead of bailing and trying to find something better. However, if you're in an abusive marriage, this information does not apply to you. And, that includes all forms of abuse.
Common Reasons Marriages Fail
While it's true that marriages fail for all different reasons, some are more common than others. Things like communication skills and finances are often referred to as common reasons why couple's divorce. But there are usually underlying reasons that are at the root of those other divorce reasons.
For example, when couples aren't on the same page about the finances, or they are considered working class or low-income, they're more likely to end up in divorce. This isn't just about the money; it's about the feelings that are attached to it. If your spouse refuses to handle the finances the way that you would like, it might feel disrespected. Or, if the two of you are only making enough to get by barely, the anxiety that you're both under might cause you to have short-tempers and argue more about everything.
Some of the common risk factors for divorce include:
- Getting married young. Those that marry before they reach their twenties have a higher divorce rate.
- Having less formal education. The divorce rate decreases for those that graduate from high school and college.
- Coming from families with divorced parents.
- Living together before getting married.
- Not sharing things in common such as religious affiliation
If your marriage has common risk factors, or if you think that you're in a failing marriage, you don't have just to throw in the towel. There's marriage help that can assist you in turning things around and experiencing true happiness within your marriage.
Is Marriage Counseling Right For You?
If your marriage is failing, marriage counseling can help. There is a misconception among some that counseling is something that's a last-ditch effort before getting a divorce. And, counseling can indeed help at this point in your relationship; the sooner you take action on getting marriage help, the better your chance is of finding success with it.
A marriage counselor can help you, and your spouse gets to the root cause of your marriage troubles. Because they are a third party that's not family or friends, they are not going to take sides with one of you or the other. Instead, they are going to focus on helping both of you see the areas that you can improve in the relationship and where the trigger points are for problems.
If your spouse isn't interested in attending therapy sessions, you can still go on your own to improve your marriage. The therapist will work with you to identify and change behaviors, beliefs, and thoughts that you have that are negatively impacting your relationship.
If your marriage is struggling, a therapist can help you turn it around.
Marriage Help Alternatives To Counseling
If you're worried about failing marriage, there are also things you can do outside of marriage counseling to help. These can be done along with therapy, or you can focus on these to improve your relationship before things get too rough. Here are some ideas that you can implement on your own to help build a strong marriage.
Getting married is no reason to stop dating your spouse. Before saying, "I do," you most likely spent plenty of time putting effort into your dates. You carefully thought about where to go, what to do, and what the other person would enjoy.
On your dates, you had a chance to learn about the other, connect on a deeper level, and form bonds. You were able to learn what the other one liked to do, and you probably did some things that you didn't want to do just because they did.
These are the same things that you should continue after getting married to help keep your relationship strong. It can be easy to push this aside, especially if you have children, but it's important for having a healthy relationship.
Read A Relationship Book Together
There are plenty of well-written books on the topic of marriage available on the market. Choose one that addresses the marriage challenges that you're facing and then read it together with your spouse. Then, make sure that you spend some time talking about what you read as well. This can help to connect you while also teaching you new strategies to use within your marriage.
Stop Expecting Your Spouse To Read Your Mind
There's a misconception that if your spouse loves you, they should be able to anticipate what you need. We want our life partner to know what we're thinking. Many feel that they shouldn't have to tell their spouse what to do for them or what they would like and that the other person should know.
This is a dangerous lie to believe because people aren't mind readers. You don't know what your spouse truly desires or needs from you if they don't tell you and the same is true for them. If you operate under this belief, then you end up allowing yourself not to appreciate something that your spouse does for you just because you had to ask them to do it. This can cause them to have hurt feelings and feel disrespected and unappreciated.
Learn About Forgiveness
There are going to be times when you have to forgive and ask for forgiveness within your marriage. Keeping track of who has wronged who more will damage your marriage. Holding past failures over your spouse will ruin your marriage. And, living in bitterness and un-forgiveness will ruin your marriage.
Forgiveness is not easy, but it's something that can be learned. Many people think that forgiveness is a feeling and that if you don't feel like forgiving your spouse, then you don't. But your feelings follow your thoughts and behavior. If you decide to forgive them and then start to treat them like you have, eventually the feeling that comes with forgiveness will show up. Forgiveness doesn't usually come; first, it comes after you make a firm decision to forgive.
How ReGain Can Provide Marriage Help
ReGain provides online therapy that can help you improve your relationship. You, and your spouse if they're interested in participating, will be matched up with a therapist. You can hold a phone or video chat sessions with them. But you also have access to 24/7 marriage help.
You and your therapist are set up with a secure chat room where you can turn for help any moment you need it. Online therapy can be helpful for marriages when you have young children at home which can make it difficult for you both to get out of the house and to a therapy session. It's also helpful for those with busy schedules or for spouses that travel a lot as part of their jobs.
You Can Turn Your Marriage Around
If you feel like you're in a failing marriage, you can turn it around. Learning the right strategies to use within your marriage can help you to avoid common problems that lead to divorce. The most important thing is that you continue to focus on your marriage. While marriage might not always be easy, with effort and attention, it can be incredibly rewarding to have a partner you love to spend your life with.
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