A recent article in Psychology Today discusses the current state of marriage in the U.S. The author of the article asserts that couples in the U.S. today have too many choices-- and this is leading them to get divorced when the going gets rough.

We don't get the sense that this Psychology Today article was advocating that nobody should get divorced or split up. Instead, the point seemed to be, that in the context of the relatively wealthy lives (compared with the rest of the world) that many Americans lead, marriage has become less of a necessity.

This means that when conflicts and tensions arise, it is easier for some Americans to call it quits than to stick together and work through marital issues. We don't actually know if the contention made in the Psychology Today article accurately or inaccurately reflects what's truly going on for American married couples today. In some cases it probably does and in other cases it might not.

What we want to spotlight, however, is that you don't have to give up on your marriage or love relationship simply because you and your partner face difficulties. There are changes you can make and steps you can take which can actually lead you to a healthier, closer and more passionate relationship together. But you have to be willing to stay open, be honest and do the work.

Be honest when you're unhappy, dissatisfied and you want more.
First and foremost, you need to stay in touch with how you truly feel about your relationship. Notice this: We suggest that you focus on your feelings about your relationship.

It is vastly different to say to yourself, “My husband is not there for me” or “My wife never listens to me” than to notice “I want to feel supported” or “I want to feel heard.”

When you are mainly focused in on the ways that your partner is or isn't doing what you want him or her to do for you, you are missing so much of the picture. And, you've already cast your mate as the one who is to blame for your dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, when you shift your attention to what is true for you and what you feel, there is more room to not only uncover the many contributors to this unwanted dynamic, but also to create solutions that will bring positive results.

There are many times when it's important for you and your partner to talk about those issues that are driving a wedge between you. Be honest and communicate to connect by maintaining your focus on how you feel and what improvements or changes you'd like to happen.
Be open to solutions.

When you and your mate come up against a rough spot in your marriage or love relationship, it may be tempting to dissect past events or conversations in order to ferret out exactly who is responsible for this difficulty.

You can analyze any situation until you both are exhausted and further apart than you were before!

Instead, we recommend that you honestly identify the need that you have (as discussed above), listen to your mate's perspective and then open to possible solutions.

You two might even sit down together with a piece of paper and brainstorm all of the potential actions you could take in regard to this issue. Circle those that you are both willing to explore further. Create a specific plan that you both agree to follow. Now, try it!

Be sure to come together and talk about how you both feel that this plan is working (or not working) from time to time. You might decide to tweak the plan or try something completely different.
Be clear about your commitments.

There are situations in which splitting up and getting a divorce is truly for the best. Nobody else can decide whether you should stay or whether you should go for you.

It is your decision to make.

If you and your mate do choose to stay together, however, we urge you to make a commitment to doing whatever you can to create the kind of relationship that you want.

Be clear within yourself and with your partner about what that looks like. These specific relationship qualities-- such as close connection, deep intimacy, mutual support and respect-- are also something you can both commit to.

Be in your relationship fully and completely when you decide to stay-- even when challenges arise. Return to your commitments and come together during those rough spots so that you can work as a team.

It may not be easy, but it can certainly be well worth it!

Author's Bio: 

Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins help people create more connected, loving relationships and are the authors of the program Stop Talking on Eggshells. For a free report on how to reverse what you don’t like in your relationships, visit Relationship Reverse Report.