Resolutions for Rebuilding Your Marriage

Helping struggling couples focus on resolutions that rebuild their marriage and recover their happily ever after.

“We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.” Helen Keller

What is your favorite holiday movie? If statistics are any guide, your movie offers a perfect romance that promises happily ever after. This focus on happy couples makes the holidays even tougher for couples who are struggling. If this season has you thinking, “What happened to our happily ever after?”—a few resolutions may help.

Amidst resolutions to diet, save money, or even quit smoking—these resolutions offer concrete ways to improve your relationship. Stick with these long enough, and your dreams for your marriage may re-emerge by next year’s holiday season.

Resolve to communicate.

Early on, hours fly by as couples talk on the phone or stay up into the wee hours sharing hopes and dreams, opinions, and jokes. We want the love of our life to be the first person to hear all our news.

Then, workloads increase. Children enter the picture. House chores pile up. With our attention on 1,000 details, just talking to each other can be reduced to who is grabbing the milk or getting a child to soccer. As real communication fades, so does the sense of being important to our partner. Protecting time to connect takes intentionality–yet can make all the difference.

DailyFind 15 – 30 minutes daily to catch each other up. Whether it’s what is going on at work, in other relationships, or inside your head—share it. Every person’s deepest desire is to be known and accepted, especially by those closest to us. But, we can’t be known if there’s no time to talk.

So, resolve to get up and have coffee together, talk on the phone over lunch, or lock the bedroom door (to keep kiddos out) when returning home. Do whatever it takes to reconnect each day. If you aren’t sure how to begin, start with sharing the high, low, and weird moments of your day. Before long, conversations start going late into the night once again. (Bonus step—You reinforce to yourself the primary spot of your spouse when you save the jokes, big news, and even the odd snippet to tell them before telling anyone else—just like when you were dating and wanted them to be the first to hear everything.)

Think you don’t have time? Tell that to Chip and Joanna Gaines. With 5 children, their own network, a magazine, and a farm—the couple has plenty on their plate. Yet, they set aside time each morning to focus on each other. They say this offers a critical guard for their marriage in the busyness of life. It will guard your marriage in the midst of your busyness, too.

WeeklyLike any successful business, successful marriages hold weekly meetings. Marriage meetings catch everyone up, set priorities, and get spouses on the same page.

Mary and Jeff found this to be a lifesaver. They deeply loved each other and couldn’t understand why they were constantly fighting. Then, they heard that most conflicts come from unmet expectations—expectations unmet because they were never verbalized.

So, each Sunday evening they tuck kids into bed, pour a glass of wine, and compare notes for the coming week. They share what each hopes for, worries about, and needs from the other. The weekly meeting has proven a game changer.

Instead of rushed schedules and competing priorities pitting them against each other, they enter the week with a game plan. They foresee the Wednesday evening challenge (when both need to work late but Bobby has a soccer game) and plan for a neighbor to help. Jeff can share that the washer is making a funny noise, and they discuss whether to repair it or shop for a replacement. In short, they get on the same page and set expectations. Rather than feeling sabotaged, they join as allies.

Resolve to prioritize.

As you communicate more regularly, you’ll likely feel more a priority to your spouse—key for closeness. Build on that to prioritize each other with your time.

Along with the weekly business meeting, plan another time each week to have fun together. When dating, time together never seems enough. As soon as we leave each other, we want to be together again.

Over time, the life details that reduce communication likewise challenge spending time together. But, without regular deposits of sharing positive life moments, the withdrawals from relational goodwill (by daily drudgeries and big life challenges) leave your relationship overdrawn. So, resolve to spend time reconnecting with each other.

Whether you stay at home to play a game or take a long walk; head out on the town to a movie, concert, or play: or escape for the weekend—set aside time to share moments and build memories. The goodwill you deposit into your relationship account provides the needed connection to work together through life’s challenges.

Resolve to serve.

Kerry was shocked when Terry said, “You just don’t care about me anymore!” Nothing could be further from the truth—but, he knew distance had been growing for some time. So, Kerry resolved to convince his spouse that he did care. He began each day with a simple, “What can I do for you today?” He then did whatever asked.

As days turned to weeks then months of Kerry seeking to serve, Terry began to trust again. And, rebuilding trust is the real key for rebuilding relationships.

While there are many labels, most relationships fail because trust is broken. And, usually, trust is broken through tiny but consistent failures over time. Forgetting to grab the milk. Not fixing the faucet. Ignoring the request to help put the kids to bed. Little by little, spouses learn that the person who was supposed to be their closest ally and greatest support can’t be counted on. That they are alone. The undermining of the confidence that “my spouse has my back” is what really kills most marriages.

So, consistent, daily demonstrations of, “I’m here for you!” prove crucial. They rebuild the broken trust.

Some marriages feel beyond repair. But, if your resolutions include these habits—you can rebuild anything. And find your way back to your “happily ever after.”

If you would like more information on how to repair your relationship, contact us about Marital Mediation. You can email or call 317-793-0825. We look forward to speaking with you!

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