Are You Still Working As a Team?

Choosing someone to spend your life with was likely not a decision you made lightly. In the first few months or years of marriage, many couples find that closeness, marriage intimacy and working together come easily. Everything is new and exciting when you're just starting out, but once the day to day stresses begin to take their toll, you'll likely need to spend more time actively working on your marriage.

One of the best things you can do to improve your marriage is to be sure that you're working as a team. Often as we try to talk to our partners, we get so caught up in what our problems are, or what we're not getting, that we can't see that our partner likely has issues as well. When you try to talk to your spouse about what's going on with you, it often leads to putting them on the defense, or worse yet, them shutting down.

To avoid this situation, you want to be careful and conscious about how you talk about your marriage. Be sure to focus on what you can do together, as a team, and not just what your partner is or isn't doing. Instead of saying, “You need to pick up your socks,” say, “I would like to talk about how we can keep the house tidier.” The first statement is likely to result in your partner getting defensive, while the second statement is more likely to open a conversation about keeping the house neater, which is what has to happen before anything can change.

You'll also want to be careful to avoid blaming either your partner or yourself for your problems. The reality is that marriage intimacy is a two way street, and many things come together to give you the overall feelings you have in your marriage. It's never about one thing, it's about a combination of things. Some might be your doing, some might be your partners, and some might just happen on their own, but at the end of the day, assigning blame and trying to win arguments isn't going to do anyone any good.

What's Your Goal?

If you find yourself having trouble not pointing out that your partner is to blame for some of your relationship issues, take a step back and ask yourself what your goal really is. Are you trying to win, or do you want to have a happy, intimate marriage? If your goal is to have a more open and committed relationship, it's easy to see that placing blame and hurling hurtful words is not a step in the right direction.

As you work to improve your marriage intimacy, keep your eye on your end goal. Each time you find yourself wanting to withdraw, ignore your feelings or say hurtful things to your partner, ask yourself if those things are really going to help, or if they'll just make them worse. Work with your partner to find common goals that you both can work on. Be receptive to what your partner tells you, and keep an open mind.

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