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Do you find your self holding a grudge, not letting go of hurt, continually reminding your spouse of things that happened in the past, blaming your spouse for all that is wrong with your marriage? All of these are symptoms of a buildup of resentment in marriage. Resentment develops when something your spouse did causes you to feel anger and hurt. Holding onto those feelings, instead of dealing with whatever caused the anger and hurt, is a recipe for resentment. Having resentment toward your spouse is one of the surest ways to poison and destroy your marriage.
Resentment causes bitterness and you will soon find yourself full of negative thoughts toward your spouse. The negative thoughts not only threaten your marriage, but they also hurt you. A quote I have often heard is "Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die." The poison of resentment affects every aspect of your life. As you hold onto more and more resentment you become more and more bitter. In addition resentment can lead to feelings of depression.
The reality is that whatever someone has done, is done, you cannot change what has already happened. Many people try to convince themselves that continually remembering and holding onto the past makes things different. The only difference this makes is in your attitude, it becomes progressively worse.
The only person who you have control over is you. Remember that. You cannot control the thoughts and actions of your spouse, but you can control your thoughts and actions. Even in the best of marriages, things happen that cause one or the other spouse to be hurt. The difference between a healthy marriage and an unhealthy marriage is letting go of that hurt and moving on or harboring resentment and clinging to the hurt.
Abraham Lincoln once said "People are about as happy or unhappy as they make up their minds to be." You can choose to hold on to every hurt and continually feel the pain or you can choose to forgive and let go of the hurt. In other words hurt feelings are going to happen, negative thoughts and resentment because of those feelings is entirely your choice.
Is resentment a silent partner in your marriage? If it is, I can promise you that it is slowly but surely destroying your relationship. A build up of resentment eventually leads to feelings of hate, and you cannot love and hate someone at the same time.
Some Causes of a Bad Marriage
Everywhere you look, you will see the signs of a bad marriage. Many people stay in bad marriages in hope for a solution in the future. It is perfectly alright and natural to fight for your marriage. However, some people do not even recognize the signs of a bad marriage. The only way to solve a problem is to recognize it. Many people have identified problems and found suitable solutions. A poor marriage will have many features that will raise the alarm. It is a union that oppresses the rights of either partner. A bad marriage is caused by many things. These things are mainly the problems that arise. There are so many problems that a marriage faces. The first thing is lack of love or distance. This is one of the major things that couples claim to suffer from. This is mainly caused by other factors. The distance might be as a result of infidelity. When a wife or husband is getting affection from someone else, they have no need for the love at home. Consequently, they end up neglecting their responsibilities at home and causing a bad marriage. There are so many things to be explored when it comes to a cheating spouse. How to Make Marriage Better
The fact is most marriages worldwide, end due to infidelity. Adultery is one of the leading causes of breakage of marriages. This is so in societies where monogamy is common place. For example, western couples will not allow this. Christian marriages can end in divorce due to infidelity. This is provided for in the bible. However, they must be forgiving at all times but, if they feel the situation is out of hand, they can walk away. However, they must remain in a state of single hood until the former husband dies. This is not usually practiced as stated because; those couples, who find themselves divorced from bad marital situations, often remarry. The answer is not to get into another relationship or run away. It is vital to weigh your options and look for a way forward. When you discover that your man is cheating on you, you should not panic. Keep in mind that your man is not unique but prone to the same temptation as other men. Therefore, to make sure that your marriage does not go in a bad direction, keep your bitterness on one side and seek to find out what the cause of the problem was. The mistrust cannot be justified but, you have to compose yourself because you want to make things better.
If there is any pending issue, discuss it in a calm manner. You might find yourself at fault for the problem. If you are the kind of person who denies your man his conjugal rights, you have clearly driven him to the act. Wives are not always at fault for this and, forgiveness is the only way to ensure your marriage stays intact. If you feel that your spouse is no longer willing to be faithful to you and, they have made it clear, you always have the option to leave. Many unhappy couples have committed suicide for this. You deserve to be happy and, if it means being alone, then it is worth it. There are other couples who suffer physical and emotional abuse. Many in very bad situations have been killed. Seek help before it is too late.
Do you remember your excitement as you and your soon to be husband or wife planned to get married? I am sure your visions were of a wonderful, happy marriage. While you may have had wonderful, happy times, reality took over. The difficult task of making a marriage work, sometimes makes you want to give up. All relationships will have ups and downs. The following tips will help you learn how to make marriage better and get back the wonderful, happy marriage you dreamed of.
- Communicate with your spouse. Without effective communication a successful marriage is impossible. Tell your spouse what is on your mind. Don't hold things in and silently fume. Your spouse is not a mind reader and if you don't tell them what is wrong, they won't know. While that seems obvious, so many people are guilty of expecting their spouse to know what they are thinking and feeling without ever sharing those thoughts and feelings.
- Show respect for your spouse. Snide and sarcastic remarks are disrespectful. If you have a problem with your spouse, the respectful way to deal with it is by talking to them about the problem, not by making nasty remarks about it. Telling your spouse you appreciate things they do is another way of showing respect for your spouse. When was the last time you thanked your spouse for something they did. Saying thank you is quick, simple and lets your spouse know that you notice and appreciate the things they do.
- Learn to forgive. I don't care how good your marriage is, from time to time you will have arguments and you will disagree. Disagreements happen. The key to keeping your marriage successful even when you disagree is forgiveness. When you don't forgive your spouse the danger of resentment is very real. Resentment soon causes bitterness which will destroy your marriage if left unchecked. You need to learn to say I am sorry and mean it. Forgiving your spouse and moving on without holding a grudge will improve your relationship. Learn to forgive and you will be one step from getting back together with your ex.
Holding a grudge will only hurt both of you in the long run.
These things may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how often these simple things cause big problems when ignored. A successful marriage takes work. So how do you make marriage better if your relationship is not what you want it to be? Practicing effective communication, appreciating and showing respect for your spouse, and learning to forgive are three tips that when put into practice will make a difference in your marriage.
Mending your marriage after an affair
When an affair is first discovered, both partners feel as if the world has collapsed — you're left wondering whether your marriage can survive.
Few marital problems cause as much heartache and devastation as infidelity. Money worries, disagreements about children or a serious illness can strain a relationship. But because of the deep sense of betrayal, infidelity undermines the foundation of marriage itself.
Divorce doesn't have to be the inevitable resolution to infidelity. With counseling, time to heal and the mutual goal of rebuilding the relationship, some couples emerge from infidelity with a stronger and more honest relationship than before.
When an affair is discovered
The initial discovery of an extramarital affair can trigger a range of powerful emotions for both partners — shock, rage, shame, depression, guilt, remorse. Both members of the couple may cycle through all of these emotions many times in a single day — one minute vowing to end the marriage and the next wanting desperately to save it. At this point, it's important to take one step at a time:
Get support. For your own well-being, seek support from family, friends, a pastor or counselor — people you trust and feel comfortable with. Talking about your feelings with those you love can help you cope with the intensity of the situation. Objective support can help you clarify what you're feeling and put the affair into perspective. However, avoid confiding in people who you know will take sides — this tends to increase the emotional intensity of the situation.
Give each other some space. Both partners need a break from the emotional stress generated by the discovery of an affair. Although difficult, experts advise taking a "timeout" when emotions are running high.
Take time. Avoid delving into the intimate details of the affair with your partner at first. Postpone such discussions until you can talk without being overly accusatory or destructive. Take time to absorb the situation. You may need to air out your feelings with someone who is a good listener before you can have a constructive conversation with your spouse.
What is infidelity to you?
Infidelity isn't a single, clearly defined situation. There are different kinds of situations that some may consider infidelity. What's considered infidelity varies among couples and even between partners in a relationship. What may be acceptable for some couples may be unacceptable for others. Similarly, what is tolerable for one partner in a relationship may be intolerable for the other partner. For instance, is it infidelity if your partner is attracted to someone outside the marriage — but never acts on it? Is an emotional connection without physical intimacy infidelity? What about online relationships? If your partner is regularly chatting intimately with another person online, is that infidelity?
As a general rule, a person who is having an affair:
- Feels a strong sexual attraction to someone other than his or her partner
- Feels the need to keep the relationship a secret, and uses lies and deception to do so
- Feels emotionally closer to this person than to his or her partner
Recovering from an affair is a difficult and ongoing process. But it's possible to survive an affair. Marriage counseling can help you put the affair into perspective, explore underlying marital problems, learn how to rebuild and strengthen your relationship, and avoid divorce — if that's the mutual goal.
Understanding why an affair happened is crucial to recovering your marriage. Affairs can happen in happy relationships as well as troubled ones. The reasons vary
The involved partner not getting enough from the marriage relationship or, conversely, not contributing enough to it
An addiction to sex, love or romance
Fear of intimacy
A life transition, such as the birth of a child or an empty nest
Acting on impulse while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
A means of ending an unhappy marriage
Moving on: Steps to help recover your marriage
Although every relationship is different, often these steps are necessary to help mend a broken marriage:
- End the affair. First, the affair must end. This includes any and all interaction and communication with the lover. True reinvestment in your marriage can't happen without this.
- Be accountable. If you've had an affair, take responsibility for your actions. If you were cheated on, consider the role you may have played in your spouse's unhappiness and reasons for straying.
- Determine your shared goal. Be sure you both agree that you want to mend your marriage — but don't make this decision in the heat of powerful emotions. It may take some time to sort out what's happened and to see if your relationship can heal. If you both arrive at the goal of reconciliation, it's important to realize that recovering the marriage will take time, energy and commitment.
- See a marriage counselor. Find a marriage counselor who will help you restore your marriage if that is the mutual goal. Seek help from a licensed counselor who's trained in marital therapy and experienced in dealing with infidelity. Avoid therapists who see an affair as the end of marriage.
- Identify the issues. Infidelity often points to underlying problems in your marriage. Examine your relationship to understand what has contributed to the affair, and what you need to do to prevent it from happening again.
- Restore the trust. Make a serious commitment to rebuilding your marriage. Go to counseling together to help visibly confirm the commitment and to prevent secrecy from continuing to erode your relationship.
- Talk about it. Once the initial shock is over, discuss what happened openly and honestly — no matter how difficult talking or hearing about this may be. Know that you might need the help of a marital therapist to be able to talk constructively about it.
- Give it time. If you were the one cheated on, you can set the timetable for recovery. Often the person who's been unfaithful is anxious to "put all of this behind us" to help cope with his or her guilt. Allow each other enough time to understand and heal.
- Forgive. For many people, this is the hardest part of recovering from an affair. Forgiveness isn't likely to come quickly or easily — it may be a lifelong process. Talk to a counselor or spiritual advisor about what forgiveness really means. Don't use forgiveness to cover uncomfortable issues that you think are too hard to face. If you're committed to your partner and your marriage, forgiveness tends to become easier over time.
- Recommit to your future. What you're going through is emotionally devastating. But times like this can make people and marriages stronger than ever before.
The end — or not
Not every marriage touched by infidelity can or should be saved. Sometimes too much damage has been done, or both partners aren't committed. Painful as it is, it's important to acknowledge when this is the case. But if both of you are committed to rebuilding your relationship and you have the strength and determination for the task, the rewards can be great — a partnership that grows in depth, honesty and intimacy.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA