Family Matters Articles and Advice On How To Improve Marital and Family Relationships
Are you unhappy with how much or how little time you spend with your partner?
How Much Time Should Couples Spend Together? Here are some tips here which might help you decide.
I have known people who feel that a good relationship means you have to spend all of your free time together. They socialize together, they spend all of their free time together, they even go grocery shopping or run errands together! I have to say that if I spent that much time with my husband on a regular basis, things would not be good in my household.
This type of relationship can be smothering. Spending more time together also means there are more opportunities to disagree and fight. Often, there are other issues at work as well. If one person is insisting on spending all of this time together when the other person truly does not want to, this is a sign of a controlling or abusive relationship. You are only one-half of a couple - you are an individual and you should not be defined solely as a part of a marriage or a pair. Your happiness should not be dependent primarily upon another person.
Whether to file for divorce is one of the hardest decisions you could ever face
Should you get a divorce? There are no easy answers. If you are asking yourself this question, your marriage is probably already in serious trouble. Only you can answer this question. However, here are some thoughts that may help you to decide.
The most important part of this question has to do with why are you thinking about a divorce. There are some serious problems that simply cannot be solved such as physical abuse, child abuse, mental illness, criminal activity, fraud, etc. If you find yourself in one of these situations, there is very little you can do to resolve them especially if your partner is the one who has the problem. For your safety or your child's safety, you may not have a choice but to seek a divorce to get protection from the legal system. But, as difficult as these problems are, the answer to the question of whether to get a divorce is easy - yes!
There are other reasons you may be thinking about a divorce that are not so clear cut but still very serious. For example, drug or alcohol abuse or another addiction could be the issue. Of course, your spouse can seek treatment and if he or she does, this could save your marriage.
Good communication is the key to a successful marriage or relationship
This seems an obvious statement but most couples struggle with this at some point. One of the biggest threats to a relationship is the lack of communication because communication affects almost every aspect of your marriage. You might go through the motions - your mouth opens and you speak. But, communication is more than talking. Respectful and constructive communication is important. Some people shut down or don't make an effort to speak at all. Some spouses don't stop talking but don't really say anything. Neither one is going to help your marriage.
Here are some tips to help you with communication problems in a marriage or relationship:
1. Make an appointment
It sounds silly but one way to insure that you both are heard is to set aside a time each day. Make a point to talk over dinner. Talk about your day and really listen! Talk about upcoming events or schedules. Or, if you are not together for dinner, take a few moments before bed. It is important to have time each day to connect and make sure to have some meaningful conversation.
Should we stay together for the sake of the children? Many parents ask this question
People often believe that divorce is extremely damaging to children and they stay together in an otherwise unhappy marriage as a result. However, this is not necessarily the best thing for children. My clients tell me all of the time that they stayed together or believe they should stay together for the sake of their children. I tell them that children do not need married parents - they need happy and healthy parents.
There is no doubt that kids benefit from living with two parents who have a good marriage. They feel secure and safe. They learn what it takes to make a good marriage and to form good adult relationships. They do not have to deal with the complications and stress that come with a divorce. Studies reveal that children who are raised in a two person, loving, and stable environment show less signs of depression, anxiety and defiant behavior and do better in school. However, there are two parts to that equation. Just having two parents is not enough - a good marriage is the more important part.
All couples have problems in their relationship
Sometimes the problems are so bad, however, one partner decides to end the relationship by either breaking up or filing for divorce. In that case, what are your chances for reconciliation with your spouse or partner?
The answer depends on what circumstances led to the breakup. In some relationships, there is no hope. These are people who should have never been together in the first place. They are bad for each other for whatever reason and neither party was ever really happy, at least for very long. Or, there are serious issues that someone is simply not willing to address or set up a harmful situation to one partner. In these cases, reconciliation is unlikely and probably should not occur.
I happen to believe, however, that most relationships can be saved. There are as many reasons for problems in a relationship as there are people who have them. All of these issues cannot be specifically addressed in this article. Suffice to say that both people need to work on the problems and be willing to address the underlying issues. You need time to do that. Therefore, the most important factor to influence your chances of reconciliation is how you react when the split happens.