This article is a continuation of " A Spoonful of Sugar" series. It picks up on the "Things You Can't Fix."
If your partner is mentally ill or has a personality disorder and refuses to get help or take medications, you have a justifiable reason to leave them. Some people stop taking their meds because they think they don't need them or because they dislike the side effects. This means that they revert to their psychotic behaviors. Or, they cause grief to others but don't get help because their disorder doesn't make them uncomfortable. Keep in mind that when someone has a personality disorder, therapy can take years.
When your spouse has character problems and refuses to seek help, the marriage may be doomed. There are some core issues essential to a relationship including trust, honesty, loyalty, empathy, and monogamy. These characteristics are deeply engrained and learned as a young child. That means that they are difficult to change. While therapy can help some people with character problems, you need to be prepared to move on if that doesn't work.
If your spouse is too immature to handle the marriage, it can be hard to make the relationship work. Young and immature couples can sometimes grow into the marriage, but if your husband or wife is over 30 and still immature, the situation may not be fixable.
Finally, if your partner is sexually or physically abusive toward children or adults, don't even think about working things out – just get out of there. If you care about the other people in your life, you will move on and be safe.
Having Said All That...
The last section was something of a downer. This article is supposed to be about how to fix a marriage. But, letting you know what's not fixable will allow me to focus on how you can fix things that can be fixed.
There are some problems that lend themselves to therapy. For instance, sexual problems are annoying and frustrating, but they can be relatively easy to fix with the help of a psychologist. For instance, premature ejaculation, difficulty with orgasm, ejaculatory dysfunction, difficulty maintaining erections and painful sex are all fairly mechanical and treatment is usually short term and successful.
Not all sexual problems are sexual in nature. Many times they are a result of other problems in the relations. Do you think you can have great sex if you're always arguing with each other? When the problems are based on deficits in the relationship rather than in the mechanics, couples counseling becomes the solution rather than sex therapy.
Therapy can also be useful for communication problems. You can learn how to use healthy communication skills to amicably resolve disagreements. You should solve your current problems and learn the process of solving future problems before terminating therapy.
Some problems are one-sided but can be dealt with in therapy. For instance, a person who has a neurosis is in touch with reality but is uncomfortable. Anxiety and depression are two examples. You or your spouse should commit to a therapy regime to help deal with the issues. Not only will this make your marriage better, but it will also make the suffering person feel better.
Some problems require more than short term therapy. Overcoming them takes a lot more work. But, through long term therapy and hard work, you can solve these problems if you want to.
The next article will continue the series of articles on "A Spoonful Of Sugar."