Fighting. Struggle. Resentment. All too often, this is the experience of many relationships.
For Jon and me, this was our experience for a long time. I know many couples who are in the same situation, and often considering separation.
The truth is, marriages take a lot of work. No marriage is perfect, but I have come to believe that a perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.
Jon and I have been married for almost 40 years now. With a lot of work, we turned our marriage around.
6 Powerful Ways We Healed Our Marriage
1. Be accountable.
It starts with not giving up on yourself and being accountable.
I led the way in starting to heal my own dysfunction, and Jon soon joined in. We each discovered resources that we would either both feel drawn to, or it was just perfect for what we needed to focus on.
Self-accountability requires you to give up blame and the easy outcome of believing “they are the problem.”
2. Stop being each other’s therapists and coaches.
As you discover resources that help you, resist the urge to tell the other person what they need to fix. Instead, focus on changing yourself.
Unless your partner asks you for feedback, avoid telling them what they should do differently.
3. Learn to communicate.
Any great partnership involves great communication.
Like many people, Jon and I did not know how to communicate when we first got married.
In my book, Mastering Affluence, I share the most important communication strategies we’ve both learned over the years. This one is near the top:
When someone is emotionally charged, their brain is flooded with emotion and they cannot make rational decisions. There will be many times when both partners are emotionally charged and cannot have a rational conversation.
You need to both agree that when that is playing out, one of you says, “We are both emotionally flooded and we cannot have a civil conversation about this. Let’s talk about it when we are both clear.” Then the other person says, “Okay.”
Then give each other personal space to allow the emotional energy to shift. Then, you won’t be as vulnerable to take on each other’s energy.
4. Have some fun together on a routine basis.
Jon and I enjoy a lot of the same activities. We love the outdoors and are both very active, so on a regular basis, we plan outings and activities that nurture our relationship.
What do you both enjoy? Life can feel serious and heavy. Plan it into your lives to have fun together as often as you can.
5. Sleep in different beds whenever it feels correct!
You won’t hear this tip from everyone! But it was life-changing for us.
Jon and I have different sleep habits, and because of this, we used to be disruptive to each other. I need sleeping solace to help me reset and refresh on an energetic level.
Everything improved once we started doing this: our sex life, our communication, and our ability to be around each other and not trigger each other continually—it all shifted for the better.
We still share the same bedroom and bathroom, we just sleep in separate beds. Let go of the cultural stereotype that sleeping in the same bed represents a healthy marriage. I would not use that as a measurement!
6. Heal your sex life.
Our sex life was broken from the go! Jon and I both had to work through layers of wounding over several decades to get to the place where we are now—which is an honoring and enjoyable sexual experience.
One of the ways I did this was by learning how my sexual biology functions!
Do you know the name and function of all of your sexual and reproductive organs? I didn’t. That is why I read the book, Woman’s Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston.
I wrote an article about how we healed our sex life, and it has several more very helpful tips on how to do this.
Want more personal guidance on healing your marriage?
In the Carol Tuttle Healing Center, I created the Healing Plan for Relationship Challenges. This healing plan takes you through a two-week journey to uncover limiting beliefs about yourself and your relationship. If you’re not yet a member, start your 14-day free trial right now!
PS: Discovering our Energy Types was a huge help to us too. We were able to understand each other so much better once we learned that Jon was a soft and subtle Type 2 man, and that I was a rich and dynamic Type 3 woman! If you don’t know your Types yet, start your free Beginner’s Guide here to find out.