Are you waiting for small signs of love from your partner? Are you waiting for your partner’s approval to feel worthy again? Do you feel trapped in a loveless marriage? Do you find it physically and emotionally exhausting? Is not being acknowledged in your marriage making you feel lonely?
Unfortunately, these are feelings that many couples go through, often silently. As the romance wears off and as life’s realities start hitting hard, the love can quietly but surely sneak out of a marriage. Sometimes years pass before you acknowledge to yourselves that you let your happiness and love slip away.
So how do you resolve these difficult issues? How do you get back to loving each other? How do you heal a loveless marriage? How can you be happy again?
A critical thing to know is: you share marriage with the other person. A loveless marriage involves you both: meaning neither of your needs is getting fulfilled. This lack of fulfillment can become a vicious cycle. No needs fulfilment > No communication > No mutual contentment > Loveless marriage
So, let’s break this cycle with simple steps with the help of some experts!
Dr. Dhruv Thakkar, a practicing psychiatrist from Gujarat, has taken up a lot of marital cases. He suggests two doable tips to get back the love in your marriage.
He says, “First is, to be honest. Acceptance from both sides that they are responsible for the situation will help. Not blaming your spouse for things that are and admitting honestly that you are also equally responsible can create a soft spot. This kind of honesty in most cases pays off.”
Second, it’s difficult, to be honest. So make the first move. It’ll prick your ego but do it. Instead of waiting, focus on being more compassionate and forgiving. By doing this, you will set an example of how to be in the relationship with each other and gain more respect with your partner. However, tread carefully and don’t expect much when you are making the first move. If they buff you, carry some more courage to move forward.
Ishan, a meditation and wellness faculty, had some actionable ideas on how couples can cultivate a big heart and be forgiving. He suggests, “It’s difficult but a must-do in such situations. Small acts of generosity go a big way. Show your partner that you respect them. Care for them. And are available for them.
Maybe once a day. In small actions.
If s/he is preparing coffee, you do it for her/him. Is your spouse running late for the office? Pack them a nice lunch. Be a little mindful and appreciative of your partner’s needs. Such altruistic gestures will bring out the lost respect in each other. More importantly, taking ownership will make you feel great and more in control. It’s important for you that you practice giving.
Time and Patience are the two greatest warriors. As you work your way towards healing your marriage, remember to give time to your partner, to your marriage and most importantly, to yourself. Change can’t happen in a day. Having patience can bring in unbelievable changes.
Friedrich Nietzsche very beautifully says, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” One of the reasons why marriages don’t last beautifully is that the partners don’t tune into each other’s needs. We slowly become self-centered and forget what the other wants.
Prioritizing your partner’s needs, especially when you are hurting, is a difficult-to-do but a wonderful piece of advice. You’ll feel vulnerable but start small. In the book, Winning Your Wife Before It’s Too Late, Gary Smalley writes beautifully, “Don’t panic. Let’s take a good look at our mistakes and make the needed changes and adjustments. We must realize that there is no way to get it all back with just one play. But if we can sustain a drive and give it all we have got there is no limit to what we can accomplish. Now get out there and win!”
If your partner is worth it and your marriage is worth it, do everything in your power to heal it. Anyone who has had a successful and lasting marriage will tell you that it wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it. So you take the first step forward… At the end of the day, we can only change ourselves.
But remember this, in the happier times and in the turbulent times, your happiness is your responsibility. Do not burden your partner with duty as big and important as making you happy. Only you can do that. And your marriage will be stronger if you bring that happiness into it.