All marriages, even the great ones, have irreconcilable differences. While some differences are deal-breakers, many are natural and even necessary in order for relationships to thrive. An unfortunate all-too-popular myth held by many people is that irreconcilable differences are an indicator that the marriage is doomed. The courts even see it as legitimate grounds for divorce. 

 

Ironically, it's the ways in which we are different that makes us attractive to each other. The idea is not to eliminate differences by trying to change each other or ourselves. Rather, we can learn how to appreciate and grow from them. Learning how to view differences as the compost that fertilizes our relationship rather than seeing them as problems can transform conflict into connection and suffering into gratitude.

 

Most couples wait too long to get help.

A recent survey found that couples with persistent marital difficulties made their first outreach to a counselor six years after the initial onset of the problem. Wishful thinking or the hopes that things will just "spontaneously improve" is rarely sufficient to implement necessary corrections to a troubled relationship. Things don't generally stay the same when they are unattended. 

 

Relationships are either growing or dying. There's no neutral ground, and continued breakdown diminishes the chances of full repair. The longer couples wait to get the help that they need, the longer it takes to heal the relationship. Couples should make their best efforts to use the skills they have to do their relationship work on their own as a first resort. However, when your best efforts fail to bring about the desired outcome, it's better to get help sooner rather than later.

 

Dennis Stoica, President of the California Healthy Marriages Coalition claims that "Eighty percent of divorces are completely avoidable. If people are able to access resources, they can restore their marriages." It's an unfortunate truth that many people go into marriage with the expectation that eventual divorce is a likelihood for most couples. Others enter marriage with another equally illusory belief that "love is enough" to get you through the rough times. 

 

Love goes through many seasons and there can be some harsh winters. Some of the factors that can determine whether or not a couple makes it have to do with challenging beliefs that can set us up for disastrous self-fulfilling prophecies. There is no shortage of good resources to keep marriages healthy and to heal them when they're not. But there has to be a willingness to recognize when help is needed as well as an intention to engage in the repair process. When these conditions are met, the prognosis is good.

 

15 Tips to promote a healthy relationship:

  1. Spend time with each other
  2. Learn to negotiate conflict
  3. Create a spiritual connection
  4. Practice forgiveness 
  5. Improve communication skills 
  6. Show respect 
  7. Focus on what you can do to improve things when difficulties arise, rather than on what your partner may have done wrong.
  8. Take responsibility for your own happiness rather than expecting your partner to make you happy.
  9. Learning to listen without blame, judgment, or defensiveness 
  10. Find out the ways your partner feels loved, rather than simply giving them what would make you happy.
  11. Turn demands into requests.
  12. Acknowledge what you appreciate about your partner more often.
  13. Prevent resentments and disappointments from accumulating and deal with them when they occur.
  14. Remembering to play, laugh, have fun, and enjoy the time you spend together.
  15. Don't take your partner for granted. Ever.

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Comment by Omtimes Media on October 29, 2020 at 10:58am

Linda, thank you for your submission. Would you be so kind to include your bio of 60-70 words at the end of every submission, please? That way we are sure tyo give you the proper attribution, and also direct readers to your website/producst and services. A bio is a requirement to be considered for submission. Please and Thank you.

Comment by Linda Bloom on October 4, 2020 at 3:21am

Abstract: Learning how to appreciate and grow from the differences we have from our partner is direct to becoming wise. Struggling couples who get counseling find this new frame with which to hold their differences. Then they become less frightened of their differences and can find hope and inspiration to learn from them. By using the differences as a growth opportunity, couples discover the various ways that they can promote a healthy, wholesome, long-lasting partnership.

OM Times Magazine is a Holistic Green eZine with a Spiritual Self-growth Perspective for the Conscious Community.

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