Do you feel like you and your spouse are stuck in a rut? Are you wondering what went wrong and where? Do you look at your friends and think why can’t my marriage be like theirs? Do you think your marriage is boring? Are you so focused on your children that you’ve forgotten to take the time to work on yourself and your marriage?
Yes, marriages need to be tended to, the same way we nurture our children and tend to our gardens. It is not uncommon and many couples do hit a lull in their marriage at some point. If this resonates with you, then it is not too late. However, time will not heal and do the problem solving for you. You can however, put in the deliberate work together to find a way to enhance and improve your marriage.
Often times, we marry in our twenties or thirties and assume that the person we choose then will be the person we are meant to be with for the rest of our life. Nevertheless, the twenty-four-year-old who chose his/her spouse, develops as a person and grows from within. At forty-four years old, you are seemingly a different person; more mature, experienced, with different goals, passions, and priorities. If you grow as an independent, and not a unit, then this may be one reason why you look at your spouse and wonder what went wrong.
We go into marriages with expectations of what the “perfect” or “ideal” marriage should look like. We watch countless TV shows and movies, where the romance practically takes our breath away, the sex looks better than anything we’ve ever experienced, and the couples never argue or if they do argue, they somehow makeup just in the nick of time with the sweetest happily ever after. Well it doesn’t take long into a marriage to realize that these portrayals aren’t a reality. And yet, we still feel a twinge of disappointment when we compare our marriage to other marriages. So why are we looking around to compare our marriage?
You likely thought that marriage would be the smart thing to do. You could problem solve together and face any challenge that surfaced. You thought that you’d agree on problems and would share the same goals. The expectations that you hold for marriage is likely the problem. You are setting your marriage up for failure before you’ve given it a fair chance. We need to throw the expectations out the window. We need to stop and take responsibility for our part. We need to come together to admit that for whatever the reason, something isn’t working, and show our commitment to putting in the hard work to make it better, because it can and will get better.
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Written by Bianca Lerer, LMHC