Marriage continues to be a contributing factor to people’s happiness levels. Studies show that people who are married are happier than people who are single or divorced. You might wonder why that is and if that is true how does a great marriage work.
What I have witnessed through my time as a relationship therapist is that people who accept a team mentality in their marriage are the ones that succeed and find happiness together. What often happens is that when people get married, they have already been living independently and then tackle problems by seeing them as individual problems instead of a team effort. This is reinforced if a couple cohabitates before marriage because they continue to be two people independently problem solving. This pattern then carries on into the marriage.
The greatest barrier to becoming a team is fear. How fear enters in is that we have been hurt before in other relationships and we do not want to hurt again. We try to handle problems ourselves because if we handle them ourselves, we might just be able to control the outcome. This creates a false sense of security. Then when things go wrong, we also have someone to blame, our partner.
Removing the Blame Game
When problems arise, our mind immediately goes into trying to figure out the why so that we can find a way to avoid it in the future. This starts us looking for someone to blame and when there is someone right there beside you, they make an easy target. Instead of trying to figure out whose fault it is, look at the situation and acknowledge what role you played in it. At the same time, provide an empathetic and a non-judgmental approach to your partner with the goal being to understand their point of view on the situation. Together you can keep things in perspective and find a solution.
Building Each Other Up
Part of being a team is acknowledging each other’s strengths. Appreciate what the other person brings to the relationship and be willing to compliment them as the opportunity presents itself. This will strengthen the two of you as a team. Just as negativity breeds negativity, positivity breeds positivity. As you build each other up that will cycle into a more dynamic relationship where you can utilize each other’s gifts and talents to help navigate difficult circumstance. This also helps each other feel safe and secure in the relationship which has an affect of having more enjoyable moments of laughter and fun.
Marriage is an amazing union that can bring joy, love, encouragement, and strength to each partner. If you are struggling in your marriage couple’s therapy is available to help you fall in love again. It would be a pleasure helping you both.