A 2017 study shows that 69% of married couples think couples counseling is not on the table because of the costs involved or because they think they have problems they can fix themselves. Many married spouses were left with little to no options when it came to healing their marriage problems without the involvement of a therapist.
Relationship expert Danielle Napolio Cox, the founder of Emotional Wholeness for Women program, shares five steps spouses can take to foster a deeper connection and improve their relationship with their partner.
“Marriage”, says Napolio Cox, “is a complex, evolving entity. As we change over time, it’s only natural that our marriage will change too.”
Assess the stage of your marriage
Viewing their marriage from an outsider’s perspective can be useful for most spouses. “Before you can change the direction of your marriage, you need to get real about what is and what is not working. Take the time to give an honest assessment of how your relationship has evolved. How did you contribute to this slow derailment? How did your husband? How is this playing out in your relationship today? If you continue this way, what does the future look like?”, says Napolio Cox.
Understand the role of emotions in marriage
“What we think, feel and believe impacts every relationship but it has a profound impact on our marriage”, says Napolio Cox. “We carry with us thoughts and judgments from our past that affect how we experience the present and what we believe about the future of our marriage. Many of these subconscious beliefs were formed in childhood and resurface during moments of conflict. When we become emotionally triggered, that is when our subconscious beliefs can wreak havoc in our relationship,” Napolio Cox adds.
Get emotional clarity through self-reconnection
Healing marital wounds begins with developing clarity around any subconscious beliefs and judgments. Napolio Cox asserts that improving a marriage only takes one spouse to connect with their inner self and begin a personal transformation. “When we show up differently in our marriage, that is when change and connection can occur”, says Napolio Cox.
Reconnect to your partner with compassion
Within a marriage, conflict is unavoidable, and any discussions have the potential of quickly spiraling out of control into full-blown arguments, spouses can shut down and refuse to work towards a compromise. Napolio Cox says that “Conflicts are an opportunity for connection. When we approach problems and disagreements with compassion and see our spouse through the eyes of love, that is when a momentum shift can occur.”
Stop sabotaging behavior
As marital tensions increase so do destructive behaviors that subtly sabotage the relationship. Napolio Cox thinks that “These behaviors become so ingrained in the way in which we conduct ourselves that they often become an unconscious habit. As with any habit, the key to ending it is with awareness and intention.”
Napolio Cox concludes that “The path to ending loneliness within marriage requires courage and hope. Bravely facing the fear of rejection and judgment from our spouse opens the door to possibility. When people reconnect to themselves and choose new beliefs about them and their partner, they invite in the opportunity for true marital transformation.”