You know you're in a slump when you feel stagnant or stuck with your partner. You may feel bored, disconnected, lonely, and lack physical or emotional connection. Like all other relationships, marriages have ups and downs, with periods of closeness and distance that are nothing to fret about. These rough patches are often due to miscommunication, lack of quality time, and differing love languages. It takes both partners in a marriage to address the issues and commit to making the relationship work.
Potential Causes of Feeling Stuck in a Marriage.
Even strong people in well-matched unions can sometimes feel unhappy. Research suggests it's common for happiness to decline in the initial years of marriage.
Potential causes for this decline in a long-term relationship include:
Mismatched sexual or emotional needs.
A communication breakdown.
Differing parenting styles.
Incompatibility in your personalities or lifestyles.
Despite these difficulties, you may stay in the partnership for several reasons, such as:
Concerns about divorce's financial effects.
Wanting to maintain a specific lifestyle for your kids.
Pressure from your families to stay together.
Fear of being alone.
What's more, you may still love and care about your partner deeply, despite your current challenges, and hold on to hope that things will get better. In many partnerships, relationship quality improves for couples who stay together through a challenging period, though this can take some effort on both sides.
Are Your Marriage Problems Workable or Toxic?
Lasting unhappiness in your marriage can affect your emotional and physical health and overall quality of life. It's important to distinguish between workable problems and problems that characterize toxic relationships that would signal you to end the relationship. Characteristics of toxic relationships include emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, cheating, lying, and unwillingness to put in the effort.
These problems may not be fixable and could indicate that you should leave the marriage. An unhealthy relationship can become healthy if you and your partner are honest with yourselves and do the challenging emotional work to make changes.
Ways to Get "Unstuck."
Start Designating Time for a Check-In with Your Spouse.
Addressing communication problems through communication building will look different for every couple; a tried and true solution is regularly taking time out of your day, week, or month to check in with your spouse about their emotions, expectations, and feelings. Effective communication can be embedded into your routine and ensure you and your spouse can express your feelings openly.
Don't Play the Blame Game. Take Responsibility.
When people are in a relationship rut, there is a tendency to point out what the other person is doing wrong, leading to anger and resentment. It is better to forgive and think about ways to improve your relationship and play a role that will bring energy, hope, and new life into your relationship. Blaming others may make you feel like you have no control over your life and choices.
Remember What It Was Like When You Fell in Love.
Often, the first year of a relationship contains beautiful memories and emotions. As couples work to grow closer to each other emotionally, they often re-discover why they fell in love in the first place. In the early days of a relationship, both partners felt like they mattered to the other. Healing happens when each owns and has empathy for how they have taken the other for granted and have fallen into negative patterns of anger, arguing, conflict, and hurting each other.
Take Steps to Try to Reconnect with Your Spouse.
Life can get hectic, making it easy to take your marriage for granted, so prioritize your relationship by checking in on your partner's feelings. Date nights are another way to focus on your relationship. A date night can be anything from ordering food to be delivered, cooking a meal together, seeing a movie, or eating out.
Sometimes you need to take things to the next level by taking a long weekend or even a week for some necessary quality time with your spouse that can help you rekindle the romance and sort through some things in a new environment. It doesn't matter what you do; it just matters that you and your partner are spending time together. Quality time is the basis of a good relationship; cultivating this bond will help you feel close to your partner.
Focus on Changes You Can Make Within to Get Unstuck.
If you don't like the way your marriage is going, take inventory and make changes within since you can't change your spouse by controlling them. Changing yourself will result in a different outcome. Whether or not your spouse changes in response, your future will be happier and more satisfying. What your relationship looks like in the future is not guaranteed, but changing yourself will ensure both you and your connection will be healthier than it is now.
Get Professional Marriage Counseling Help.
Marriage and couples counseling or coaching can help couples with problems, but it may also help stable, happy couples deepen their bonds and avoid future disasters. Getting out of a stuck place in your marriage is very important. It requires good communication techniques and openness to restore happiness in your marriage and family bond. Consider using Marriage in a Box if you need helpful advice and suggestions on working through this.
Marriage In a Box is a great resource that gives you access to the simple tools, techniques, and solutions that professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the site. You can set goals and earn rewards. Feel free to check out the available kit and sources of information online.