I’ve been married now for a little over a year, and I love my husband. Or at least I think I still do. But somehow marriage hasn’t turned out anything like I expected.
We’re annoying each other a lot, there are loads of silly arguments, especially over stuff like chores, and somehow all the warmth and affection seems to have gone.
We’re hardly intimate any more, our arguments are getting nastier, and we’re spending less of our time together. And to be honest I’m scared.
Is this what marriage is really like? Because if it is, I don’t think I’m going to be married long! Is there anything we can do to improve things, or should I be thinking seriously about cutting my losses?
Everything’s Going Wrong
Hi Everything’s Going Wrong!
Most new couples go through something like this, and gradually realise that love isn’t enough. You’ll also need a whole load of new skills. Because love doesn’t build houses or save up for the future. So marriages also need the same sort of practical competencies as running a business.
Make a firm decision to make your relationship your top priority. Couples lose each other in their busy lives, so set aside 30 minutes last thing every day to talk together. Catch up, share ideas, create a vision of your future together, and talk about what you want in bed!
See a counsellor if you can’t, because being unable to discuss your sex life is the start of many a divorce.
Say ‘I love you’ lots and do nice things for each other without being asked. Touching is also far more important than people realise, so hold hands, hug, and kiss whenever you can. And smile hugely anytime your husband grabs your hips!
Be totally honest, and always say what you feel, so neither of you has to guess what the other’s thinking.
You can’t trust each other? That suggests there’s an underlying problem in your relationship that needs fixing.
The idea that the chores should be split equally will probably also drive you both crazy. Let it go. Even if you both work the same hours, one of you will end up managing the house, if only because you’re better at it.
Learn to cope with your differences, and accept each other the way you are, with patience and self-control. Keep giving each other a hard time, and there’ll be endless trouble. So you also both need to stop needing to be right, blaming or criticising.
No one’s perfect, so make forgiveness a habit. Nothing wrecks your marriage faster than resentment or bitterness. So let hurt feelings go and make up fast. And if you need to discuss something serious, sleep on it first. Because conflicts are best handled when you’re prepared, calm and rested.
Never argue on an empty stomach either. So if it feels like your husband’s picking a fight with you, ask him if he’s hungry!
All the best,