All marriages go through rough patches
We all go through ups and downs in our relationships.
You think everything is okay, and then bam! Something negative happens, and you wonder why the hell you ever got involved with this person who might as well be a stranger in your own bed.
Your mind races to all the times in the past you could have broken it off. You think about all the disappointing things your partner has done to you. You mentally add everything up and keep wondering why you put up with so much.
As I said, we all go through a version of this in our relationships – whether it involves money, sex, or lies; it’s all relative.
At the end of the day, we are all humans with flaws and faults. So do you continue to deal with your current mess? Or move forward?
That is your own personal choice. Is giving up worth it by severing the ties?
Then it hits you again, you have worked so hard on your relationship to get to this point.
Yes, you have been through troubling times before, but you have come back stronger than ever after those times. You even felt happier and closer to your partner after a rough patch in your marriage.
You realize you both slipped up again by not paying attention to the signs and by not proactively working on your relationship. If you feel like you can save your marriage, you just have to do things differently. Use your mistakes and learn from them.
Once you step back and breathe, you may find yourself wanting to reconcile. If you’re going to continue moving forward with your relationship and make it even stronger, here are some guidelines as to what you can do to get through the rocky times in your marriage.
(I am including in this post images from, “Keep Your Marriage Sizzling After Baby, 50 Different Ways.” Sign up for my newsletter to receive a downloadable version of all 50 ways. Hopefully once you get your marriage on the right path, you can use these ideas to keep your marriage sizzling.)
#1 Is your marriage rocky because you are not on the same page?
This should come as no surprise, the first thing you must do is make sure you and your partner are on the same page. Find out that you want the same things from your relationship, and your feelings towards each other are mutual.
If you realize you are not on the same page, then that conversation turns into one where you figure out where one another is at in your relationship. See if you can get to a common ground somehow.
Remember a marriage involves two people (in the sense that I am writing about here, not all relationships are the same) – not one, not half of one, not three or four.
Two people moving in the same direction is much more beneficial than going in opposite directions.
You may feel helpless working on your relationship alone, but you will feel empowered if you two come together and do the hard work needed to make it work.
#2 Do you speak to one another but do not communicate?
You must communicate well to get through a rough patch. Share everything – be an open book and reciprocate by really listening to what you are being told.
If you can’t communicate productively, you will not get anywhere. So try not to be judgemental about what you hear. Accept the things you are told and do your best to be productive with what your partner is telling you.
If your marriage has been shaky, that means that there must not be much communication going on in the first place. This is your chance to start working on that.
When my husband and I were at a low point in our marriage, we started getting to the core of the problems, and realized our past arguments were about things that did not matter. Rather than communicating through the real issues, we did regrettable things to spite one another, which made everything worse.
Once we found the issues, then we were able to move forward. We focused on our very real problems – rather than the petty things we were doing to one another.
#3 Do you have lies or skeletons in your closet?
When you are at the final straw in your marriage, and it could all be over, there is no better time to be honest. Lies were likely the path that brought you to where you are now.
So forget about the lies and put it all on the table.
Be honest for once and move forward!
A relationship with no secrets and lies can grow and be beneficial for both parties. It will free you.
Having pent up lies is a weight on your shoulders that will knock you down daily.
Are you lying about how you are spending money? Or what you do after work? Worried that you will get caught? Just stop it.
If it is troubling you and stressing you out that is because you should not be doing it.
The truth really does set you free. Especially when you are truthful with the person you plan on spending the rest of your life with.
Sleeping with no lies or mistrust on your conscience is the best type of sleep.
#4 Is true forgiveness possible?
After you have come clean to one another, you meet another crossroad.
What do I do with the information I just learned? What should my partner do with what they just learned?
At this point, you both need to decide whether you forgive each other or not. You do not have to forgive all at once, it will take time. But you must decide if forgiveness is the path you want to go down or not.
If all the truth was too heavy, you might not want to forgive. Once again, it’s your choice as to what you do with the truth and how you move forward in your relationship based on your new found knowledge.
#5 Is it possible to give each other a clean slate?
Let’s say you both decide to forgive, then you need to forgive for everything and not throw the past in each other’s face when you argue moving forward.
It’s extremely easy – yet petty to bring up the past. But when you do, you open the floodgates to the painful memories, and you can quickly revert to the pessimistic mindset you were in maybe months or years ago.
This is not the moment to take a leap backwards.
If you do bring something up from the past – because it did exist and you must acknowledge it, use it as a platform for learning or a lesson of what not to do. Use those experiences productively.
Try to start new and give each other a clean slate.
Do not think of it as a free pass where you got away with what you did. Remorseful is something you may have to live with for a long time. Think of it more as a second chance to make your partner happy and to create the life you want.
It can be very difficult. However, many things that are challenging are usually worth it in the end. If you are both all in and devoted to one another this can be a saving grace.
Do your best not to repeat your mistakes!
If you did something that almost destroyed your relationship, use this clean slate to do the right thing. Being given another shot should not be taken lightly and should be nurtured and tended to with respect.
Being able to start over again can be powerful and might be one of the greatest gifts you can give one another in your relationship.
#6 What brought you together in the first place?
Once you decide to move forward, forgive, and commit to a new start, then you can reminisce about your good times together.
Think back and remember what brought you two together. Do you remember the attraction and the sparks you once had?
Something amazing was once there because you ultimately committed yourself to one another, and that does not happen if it’s just a little crush or fling. So figure it out and bring it back into your relationship.
Discuss things like how you first met, how it was to have butterflies in your stomach, the moment you fell in love, and all the other great high points in your relationship.
Doing this will at least remind you where you came from and why you two came together. Maybe it will make you see one another through new eyes from the past.
Let your origin story bring back those feelings, but this time keep those feeling close to both of your hearts.
#7 Do you need professional help?
If it all seems helpless and you can’t do it between the two of you, get professional help with your relationship.
There is nothing wrong with reaching out to someone to help you get through a rough time. In fact, it’s pretty brave and speaks to the commitment you are making.
Sometimes having someone provide you a new perspective and guide you through the process may be just what you need.
#8 Can you prepare for future bumps in the road?
There will be bumps in the road on your path to rekindling your marriage. And the bumps will keep popping up for the rest of your life. Marriage is not easy, that is why many of them end.
So why not prepare for hard times while your marriage is in a better state?
Once you are in a decent place in your relationship and the communication is flowing – this is the best time to plan ahead.
Discuss how you want to handle those rough periods in your marriage.
Let’s say you both bottle everything up inside until your feelings explode. In the future, when those feelings start to add up have a plan of action on how you both will handle them.
The more you prepare for the inevitable relationship hiccups and life’s imperfections, the more constructive you can be during future arguments and disagreements. Do so by creating realistic expectations about your marriage and creating guidelines for your disputes. This will help you get a grasp on future issues and nip them in the bud.
#9 Is it time to have fun yet?
Hopefully, you eventually get to a place in your relationship where you start to feel and remember the love and feelings that brought you two together.
At this point, it is nice to do fun things together!
What did you do during the most exhilarating times in your relationship? Can you do those fun things again or at least a version of them?
Break away from the monotony of your everyday lives and do your best to sneak in fun times again.
#10 Are you ready to get intimate?
There is no better birth control in a marriage then resentment. But once you get past those feelings, reigniting your physical love for one another can be very powerful.
Sex can bring you two to the next level and might be the last barrier to reigniting your passion for one another.
If it has been a long time since you two have been intimate, then take things slowly. Do things like holding hands, and having romantic dinners. Just acknowledging your attraction for one another can also be a great start towards intimacy.
You absolutely do not have to go “all the way” immediately. Do the deed when you are right and ready.
You may be feeling anger, resentment, and all the sentiments that creep up during the hard times in your marriage. That is okay.
Remember, you have the right to be angry and feel everything you are feeling. How we feel and what we do with the energy that we draw from our emotions matters. It can be what motivates you to keep your marriage moving forward.
Every marriage or relationship is different. What works for one may not work for others. So try a variety of things to help get you through your rough patch.
Hopefully, some of these ways to get you through a rough patch will help you out. It is okay just to try a few or all of them. But that fact that you are attempting to work through it is a great first step.
Depending on your situation and your relationship, working on it and staying together may be the right solution. It is up to you and your partner to make that decision. Do it together.