A 5 Step Guide To Solving Marital Problems

Solve-Marital-Problems.jpg
Courtesy Hill Street Studios/Getty Images

 

5 Steps To Solving Problems In Your Marriage

 

I’ve spent quite a bit of time writing about marital problems that lead to divorce. I’ve not, however, given advice on how to find solutions to those marital problems. You first step should always be to seek professional help by seeing a marriage counselor.

If, for some reason marriage counseling is not an option following the five steps below should help find a solution to those marital problems and help you move forward.

Step 1:

Name the problem.

In naming the problem, you have to be specific. Saying, “he/she never helps around the house” will get you nowhere. If you want your spouse to help around the house you need to outline what specific tasks you need help with. For example, you need help with the laundry, or you wish your spouse would help clean-up after dinner each night.

You can't name general problems. You need to be specific about the problem before you can find a solution to the problem. 

Step 2:

Be honest about how you are feeling.

Often times we keep our true feelings hidden out of fear of hurting our spouse. Be willing to communicate your displeasure over your spouse’s behaviors and be willing to listen when your spouse communicates his/her displeasure in your behaviors. Marital problems aren’t solved if both spouses aren't willing to accept and acknowledge that they both play a role in the problems.

And, it's imperative that your marriage is a place that you can both feel safe in expressing negative feelings. Before there is honesty there have to be feelings of safety. 

Step 3:

Leave no stone unturned.

Communicate with each other by asking questions. What might improve the problem? Are there any books we can read that will help?

Don’t dismiss a suggestion from your spouse because you feel it a silly suggestion. Make a list of what you feel are solutions and put them to work.

  • 4 Suggestions for improving problems:
  • See a marital therapist.
  • Read books that help build relationship skills.
  • Take a relationship course online, together.
  • Talk to a marriage enrichment coach.

Step 4:

Evaluate whether or not the “solutions” are working.

Solutions are only solutions if they are solving the problem. Keep in mind, though, problems aren’t solved overnight. Evaluate whether or not a particular solution is working by assessing your mood. Are you in a better mood, are you feeling closer to your spouse? Is your spouse in a better mood, are they feeling closer to you? Discuss with each other what you feel is and isn't working. 

If so, you’ve hit on a solution that is working…just give it time. If not, put your heads together and come up with another solution.

Step 5:

You should be seeing results.

If you’ve done the work, you should be seeing results. Either the solution worked and your marriage is back on track. Or, you’re still having problems and feeling stuck. If so, go back to step one and start the process over again.

It may take a few go-rounds to define and come up with a solution to your marital problems.

In the end the work you do will be worth it if it means saving your marriage.