Orlando counselors and therapists discuss ways that boundaries and balance can help couples maintain happiness and healthiness in marriage. We share some helpful to-do’s during arguments, and ways to communicate with your spouse or partner to help maintain respect within the relationship.
In my opinion there are three fundamental keys to a successful marriage:
- Working on changing yourself more than you work on changing your partner.
- Respecting and understanding that you are different from your partner and deciding to accept that there are certain aspects and personality traits in your partner that can’t be changed.
- Learning to understand that conflict and differences are part of a marriage and that you can learn how to resolve them in healthy ways.
There are certain boundaries for marriage that can have a profound effect on personal happiness and an enhanced relational experience. Couples should agree not to accuse or demean one another, and should never try to harm each other with words because they are angry or frustrated. Instead, choose to have a calm discussion about your differences. An example of this, is using phrases such as: “I love you, but it hurts my feelings when you ___________________.”
Another helpful idea may be to email or text when emotions are high so that emotions don’t get the best of you – write it, save it, then the following day edit and send if you still feel it would be helpful. Also don’t pass blame or insult each other. Remember it isn’t helpful to burn bridges by using hurtful words that you can’t take back. Try to find something nice to say and build from there. One step at a time, one day at a time – rebuilding a collapsedrelationship is hard work.
Research has shown that increased communication skills lead to increased problem-solving skills, which in turn significantly improve marriages. If you think your challenges only affect you, take another look – they are likely affecting everyone in your household. Studies show that although critical or serious events in marriages, including separation or divorce, have little bearing on marital quality, stressors common in daily life that include illness, loss of work, children, and other normal factors, do create negativity in marriages that can alter marital quality significantly. Other stressors such as denial, avoidance, depression, self-blaming, negative self-verbalization, withdrawal, and more extreme stressors, such as drug abuse and violence, also have considerable negative impact on marriages.
Other research shows that stress in daily life can have an enormous impact on marital communication, especially work-related stressors and whether one partner is working outside the home or within. In other words, home-worker stress was as significant a factor as outside-the-home work-related stress. It was shown that partners who were stressed were either withdrawn or showed more anger or hostility towards their partner during the week with less negative behaviors demonstrated at home on the weekends.
Stress in marriages can directly cause stress in the lives of your children if parents don’t use healthy coping mechanisms or create effective communication. If you feel overwhelmed, depressed, stressed, or unhappy in your marriage, the counselors at GroundWork Counseling in Orlando can help.