If you’re struggling in your marriage, it’s not unusual to look for the escape hatch. After all, we look for a new job when we struggle at work, or make other changes in our lives when the situation is uncomfortable.
So, why not a new spouse?
The idea of “someone new” is enticing. Imagine, entering a new relationship where no problems exist…
In this blog, I’ll talk about the idea of someone new, and give you two tips for healing your marriage and holding on to what you have. Keep reading…
A Spouse Trade-in?
Who ever said marriage is easy? Think about any human interest news stories of couples who have been married for decades, maybe marrying in their twenties and are still together now in their eighties. They are considered news-worthy because statistically, many couples throw in the towel long before then.
But those couples who have been together don’t say that life was a waltz throughout their marriage. They readily admit to having problems—and working through them. That’s what commitment is all about. The reason it’s easy to leave a job, or move from a neighborhood or distanced yourself from a friend is because you haven’t taken a vow with any of them.
However, intermingling two distinct personalities is challenging enough, but throw in some epic marriage problems—like infidelity—and you can feel utterly overwhelmed with just how difficult this commitment is.
Saving a marriage is an ongoing effort on the best of days, and the only break your mind may get is indulging in an escapist fantasy of how things “could” be so much better with a new person in a new relationship.
You may dream of all the fun times you’d have, picturing yourself out on the town, laughing, walking hand in hand, sharing intimate moments…
Here’s the reality for any long-term relationship: dirty dishes, crying kids, nagging in-laws, bills, car and house repairs. Even that “someone new” will become “someone familiar,” and you won’t be living the romance-book fantasy any more with them than you currently are now.
Saving Your Marriage
Fantasies: A Distraction from Marriage Healing
Fantasies are nice to indulge in once in a while, but understand that the idea of starting over with someone new does not mean your life will suddenly become problem-free, or that a new relationship won’t take work, and may actually have new problems you don’t even have in your marriage today.
One marriage study uncovered this fact: unhappy spouses that divorced and remarried were no happier, on average, than those who stayed married.
There’s no reason why, as you work to heal your marriage, you can’t be living the fantasy now, with the person you are married to today.
Here are some tips for infusing some fantasy into that special “someone” you have now.
Tip 1: Heal Your Marriage
There are multiple reasons why once-happy couples let the fun die in their relationship. When problems arise, that’s all the couple focuses on—and they forget to take a break from analyzing the problems and just enjoy one another’s company by indulging in some good, old-fashioned fun.
It’s important to develop new memories, associating them with fun times, which will serve to diminish the power of the bad memories of all the problems that have been overwhelming your relationship. So take the time to take your spouse out on a date.
Tip 2: Rekindle Pre-Marriage Passion
Before the daily grind of life got in the way, you met, fell in love with and married this person you are married to today. You planned dates in order to spend time together and basked in one another’s company. Then you said your wedding vows, and you may have felt the fun times came to a screeching halt at that point.
This key point can’t be emphasized enough: Dating isn’t just for single people! You didn’t vow to give up fun; you vowed to love and stand by one another, and a critical component of that is to make your marriage union enjoyable.Saving Your Marriage
Unfortunately, many marriages begin to derail from the onslaught of those daily obligations, especially when making time for fun is not prioritized. The marriage begins to feel like work, and along comes the fantasy of someone new, which in some marriages, leads to the devastation of one partner acting out the fantasy and indulging in an affair.
Make fun a priority again in your marriage—you may find it helps you to work more effectively through the problems. One way to start is to take a trip down the individual “memory lane” of your relationship: Is there a date the two of you went on that brings back fond memories? Would you be able to arrange a reenactment of that date, as a reminder of that happy time?