Your Marriage Is Failing — But These Techniques Could Help

First comes love, then comes marriage and then comes many years of wedded bliss — ideally.

your marriage is failing — but these techniques could help

Married couple

Marriage is a part of life for most of us — so much so that more than 90 percent of people marry before they turn 50 in western cultures, according to the American Psychological Association.

But, sadly, approximately 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. If you feel like your marriage is failing, try these techniques from relationship experts that could help.

Ditch the Bickering

Chronic bickering makes for great television but can destroy a marriage. “While some couples bicker as their normal form of communication, they’re usually television characters,” says April Masini, author of four relationship advice books and the “Ask April” relationship advice column.

“In real life, when bickering escalates and becomes chronic, with no end in sight of it stopping, it’s because there are underlying problems,” she adds. “Bickering is usually the symptom of something in the relationship that is causing chronic duress.”

Yes, Sex Is Important

While sex is not everything to a marriage, experts agree that it is a big part of it.

“When sex goes, the relationship is on shaky ground, and the reasons for it going completely are not about fatigue and busy schedules. It’s about not prioritizing it in the marriage,” Masini says. “Sex is a symptom of a good or bad marriage. It’s not the whole enchilada, but when it goes, it’s usually a sign that the marriage is having problems.

Don’t Overuse the D-Word

When my husband and I have a big fight, I automatically assume it will lead to divorce while he’s never once thought about breaking up or divorce in our nearly 10-year relationship. Relationship experts agree that couples should avoid overusing the word divorce.

“Sometimes people pull out words like ‘failing’ or ‘divorce’ in order to get the attention of their partners. One person in the marriage may think the marriage is about to crash and burn and wants to save it, but the other person may think it’s business as usual and isn’t exerting much energy to improve things,” Masini says.

But there can also be a positive outcome from using dramatic words: motivation. “Trigger words like ‘failing’ can nudge someone out of a lull and bring them to the table to try and work things through,” Masini says.

Don’t Give Up

Marriage is rarely a quick or easy decision, which is why couples shouldn’t give up on their relationship once things get tough. “If you’ve gone to the extent of marrying someone, you should try to work things out. There are a few exceptions — like when there is abuse or when there is chronic betrayal — but if you have a commitment, and there is still good there, it’s a good idea to work things out,” Masini says.

“Think of it like buying a house. If you buy a house and then find there are problems, you usually try to fix them,” she adds. “Think of your marriage as that type of investment.”

For more marriage advice, check out FamilyMinded.

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