When it comes to repairing a marriage, the first thing you need to do is take some time to analyze the situation. I know that it’s often easier to just sweep the problems under the rug and try to find bandaid (temporary) solutions, but this isn’t going to heal the cracks in the foundation of your marriage. So many clients try to repair their marriages simply by going on vacation together, or by trying to turn a blind eye to the rocky parts of their relationship. We saw this a bit in Michael’s situation, because they hadn’t tackled the broken trust element that stemmed from his infidelity.
For this reason, when you’re thinking about things to do to fix your marriage, the first thing you need to do is take a step back and look closely on what is going wrong. Think about what the issue is or what the issues are, and think about when it all began. The clearer picture you have of what kind of problem your relationship is experiencing, the easier it will be to pinpoint the appropriate solution. If you have no idea what’s going on, it’s going to be nearly impossible to identify the solution. It’s uncomfortable and stressful, but it’s a crucial element of repairing a marriage.
In many cases, a couple would actually benefit from a temporary separation, and this is something that we suggest to clients who are in a situation in which their relationship has become a hostile environment. To quickly summarize for you, taking a break in a marriage is often the best way to give yourselves some perspective and hit the reset button. It is normal that the idea of it would make you feel anxious and scared, but I can honestly tell you that it is one of the most effective techniques that we use. When you’re in the thick of it, when you’re in the middle of the storm, it’s really hard to see things clearly. Tensions are running high, there are so many emotions, so of course it would be difficult to have a calm, collected, and productive conversation about what needs to change.
Sometimes we just need some time to cool off and evaluate our needs. The other thing is that when you give yourselves the chance to recalibrate, you also give yourself the chance to get back in touch with the person you where when the two of you first fell in love. With all the challenges and responsibilities that life throws our way, it is so easy to lose track of ourselves. Plus, when you love someone, it’s easy to dedicate all your time and energy to the relationship and inadvertently lose track of yourself.
This is why a huge part of how to repair a marriage actually requires you to fall back in love with yourself. Whether you choose to take a break or not, you absolutely must take the time to reconnect with your own sense of wellbeing. For this reason, I highly encourage you to make time in your schedule for the people and activities that bring you joy. Prioritize these things because the happier you feel in your personal life, the easier it will be to feel positive in your relationship. If you have a positive frame of mind, problem-solving becomes significantly less daunting. It is little shifts like this that can make a world of difference.
It is also why physical exercise is so important. If you make time to exercise at least two times a week, you will pick up on a big shift in your mental state. And I don’t just mean doing three sit-ups! I mean taking the time to actually do something that makes you break a serious sweat. The more you can sweat, the more tension you will release from your body and the more tension you release from your body, the easier it will be to tackle the issues at hand in a calm and collected way. This is also why we recommend meditation. Allowing your mind and body to be in a relaxed state is truly going to do wonders for the current situation.
Sometimes, when I tell people that one of the things to do to fix a broken marriage is physical exercise, they don’t understand how the two things could be related. But that’s the thing about repairing a marriage – it’s all about the little things that help to lay out a new foundation. You can’t just flick a magic wand and expect your marriage to be repaired overnight. That just isn’t realistic. Instead, you have to take a look at all the little shifts that you can make that combined, will make a world of difference. Once you start making changes in your personal life, it will be easier to make changes in your relationship. I’m sure you have heard the quote, “You cannot fully love another person until you love yourself,” right? Well, this could not be more true!