Get Into a Healthy Relationship Routine
I make no claims in this series of articles that I can prescribe a pill that will “fix it and forget it.” Indeed, a marriage must be tended to on a daily basis. So, you need to get into a healthy relationship routine rather than any quick fix. The bond between you and your partner must be strong. You'll see problems when it deteriorates. Everything will seem like a big deal even if the issue at hand is minor.
That's why you need to do frequent “checkups” to see how your relationship is working. It's a good idea to take an inventory of your marriage at the end of every day as you are drifting off to sleep. As you review the events of the day, examine how your interactions with your partner went. If you are unsatisfied, figure out how you could have handled it differently and figure out what you can do to correct it tomorrow. When you do this daily, you will notice problems sooner than if you don't and noticing a problem early is the first line of defense incorrectly.
Problems that Can and Can't be Fixed
Not every problem can be fixed, even with a “spoonful of sugar.” Recognizing which are which can help you determine the course of action you should take.
The five issues that couples tend to fight about are money, sex, kids, family and friends, and spare time. These are every day topics that can be fixed when you develop good communication skills. If you are motivated to make the marriage work, you'll find ways to compromise.
Unfortunately, there are some problems that have no easy fixes. No matter how much you try, you won't find a solution unless someone or something changes dramatically.
If your partner refuses to compromise on most issues, you have to decide whether you are willing to live on his or her terms. Doing so, generally, is not healthy. If you are the one always giving in, your partner is controlling you. You may have a naturally accepting nature, but your spouse is taking advantage of it and taking you for granted.
Next, you need to be aiming for the same things. If your partner doesn't share the goal of the relationship, you are in for problems. For instance, if you want children and your spouse doesn't, that can be a deal-breaker. One of you is not going to get something deeply desired. There is no way to compromise or meet “halfway” on this issue and no amount of talking is going to change the other person's mind. If you have determined this is the case, you should end the relationship and move on.
Besides kids, there are other life goals that can split up a marriage. For instance, if you can't compromise on when to buy a house, how to go back to school for a degree, or how to spend money you may need the help of a professional counselor. If counseling doesn't work, a split may be in the works.
The next article will continue the articles on "A Spoonful of Sugar" series.