Having Marriage Struggles? 7 Pieces Of Marriage Advice That Work

Updated March 16, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Chante’ Gamby, LCSW

There are a few things as frustrating as a struggling marriage. You might want it to work out so much, but just aren't sure what to do. It might be that you have different struggles that come one after another, or it could be that you have the same struggle that keeps resurfacing. Either way, there is marriage advice that can help you through.

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The following pieces of advice can help you navigate through difficult times.

  1. Choose to Focus on the Good More Than the Bad

Every marriage has its rough moments and struggles just like every person has areas where they can improve. We tend to see more of what we focus our attention on. That means if you choose to focus on the bad things in your marriage, that's what you're going to notice the most. But the couples that end up happier are the ones that choose to focus on the positive aspects of their marriage the most.

Think about when you first started dating your spouse for a moment. If you're like most people, then you probably were so focused on everything you liked about them that you didn't even really notice all the other things. Even when family or friends would try to point out something negative about the person, you couldn't see it. Your attention was on everything you loved about them so there wasn't any room for you to focus on the negative things.

When you're married, you have the same choice. You could choose to focus on the good things in your marriage more than the struggles. This doesn't mean that you should ignore the struggles and pretend that they don't exist. It just means that you shouldn't get so caught up in the struggle that you forget to focus on all the good things your marriage has going for it as well.

  1. Love is a Choice More Than a Feeling

When your marriage is going through struggles, it's important to remember that love is a choice. This is difficult for many of us to accept because we want love to be something that we feel. We think of love as something that makes us feel good, so when our marriage is struggling, we don't connect it with love at all. Which makes it difficult for us to want to do things to show love to our spouse because we just aren't feeling it.

However, love is something that you can choose. Even if you aren't feeling all of those good loving feelings towards your spouse, you can still choose to act in love towards them. Many times, your feelings are going to follow your thoughts and your actions. This means if you choose to focus on the good things about your spouse and show them love eventually your feelings are going to catch up with it.

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However, if you wait to show love to your spouse until you feel like it, it might not happen. As you continue to focus on the struggles that you're having, it's going to become harder and harder to feel love for your spouse. Couples that go down this road often end up divorced because they think that they're no longer in love with the other person instead of realizing that it's just going to take a little more work at the moment.

  1. Keep the Discussion on the Topic

When you're in a relationship, it's easy to let things build up because you don't want to have those difficult conversations. You might sweep an issue under the rug instead of fully dealing with it and coming to a conclusion because you think this is the easier thing to do. But then later when you're in an argument, all of those old things end up coming out as well. Then the disagreement that you're having with your spouse blows up into an even bigger deal. You end up talking about many different topics and disagreements instead of the one that you initially started on.

This is why it's important to come to a real conclusion at the end of any disagreement that you have with your spouse. Unfortunately, there are going to be sometimes when you reach an impasse and cannot come to an agreement on a topic. But anytime you can, it's important to end a disagreement instead of simply pushing it off to another time. This allows you to not have all of these unfinished disagreements lingering underneath the surface of your relationship. This makes it easier to keep the conversation on topic when you're dealing with a new problem.

It's much easier to address one situation at a time instead of having to deal with many different disagreements at once.

  1. Watch Your Words

Your words are very important in life and in your marriage. Once you say something, you can't take it back. This is why it's important to learn how to effectively communicate within your marriage. There are many different pieces of advice that go along with this.

The first is something that you were most likely taught as a child-don't name call. When you get really frustrated with your spouse it can be tempting to allow a few unpleasant names to slip through your lips, but don't do it. Even if it's just in the heat of the moment, this is not healthy conversation to have within a marriage.

It's also important to avoid words like "always" and "never". Very rarely does someone "always" do something or "never" do something. These types of words don't add to your conversation or help you to reach a conclusion. Instead, work on sticking to the facts and the present moment.

You also want to focus on using "I" statements instead of "you" statements. This can help you to communicate without making your spouse feel as defensive. The calmer you can both stay in your discussions the easier it will be to work through the struggle you're facing.

  1. Remember That You are on the Same Team

There are some struggles in marriage that aren't things that you're going to have one discussion about and then be done with it. Some challenges take longer to work past and figure out. When you're in the middle of this it's easy to feel that your spouse is your enemy, but they're not. As long as you're married and you both want to remain in the marriage, you're on the same team and working towards a common goal.

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When you stop viewing your spouse as the enemy it's easier to start to make compromises and work together to reach a conclusion to the situation that leaves you both feeling okay about things.

  1. Don't Go to Bed Angry

This is a piece of marriage advice that has been handed down from generation to generation. And while it's great advice, there are some limitations to it that you should be aware of. The main purpose of this advice is to help you resolve arguments quickly. If you let situations go they can build up over time. But if you address them quickly and make sure that you reach a conclusion that both you and your spouse agree with, you're able to move on and that topic won't have to continue coming up as a future problem.

However, there are some situations that you aren't going to be able to resolve quickly. If you try to stay up until you reach a conclusion, you'll end up skipping sleep, which will only make dealing with the struggle the next day even more difficult because you'll have little patience. Sometimes, it's better to go to sleep and leave the situation for the next day when you're able to handle it better.

When you can, handle the situation quickly. Try not to go to sleep when you're angry with your spouse. This will allow you to wake up without bringing struggles from the day before into it. But, if you're in the middle of a struggle that isn't a one-day and done type of situation, then make sure to practice good self-care. Get the rest that you need and take care of yourself, so you'll be able to think clearly and control your thoughts and behavior as you work through the situation.

  1. Don't be Afraid to Get a Therapist Involved

Then, there are some marriage struggles that you just don't know how to get past on your own. This could be more serious situations like infidelity or something along the lines of just not feeling like you're really connecting with each other anymore. If you aren't really sure what steps you can take to improve your marriage, talk to a therapist. An experienced therapist will be able to help you make progress in moving forward in your marriage. They can help you identify areas that need improvement and then teach you the strategies and skills you can use to make the necessary changes.

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You don't need to be ashamed of asking for marriage advice. There are therapists trained in helping married couples because struggles within relationships are normal. Marriage help is available to you 24/7 through online therapy with ReGain. If you feel that your marriage is starting to struggle, don't delay getting help. It's out there and waiting for you.

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