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We all have rough patches in marriage. The test of a strong marriage is being able to get through them, heal, and move on stronger than ever! Keith and I have been through our share of difficulties in our marriage. But with good communication and commitment to each other, our relationship keeps improving. Here’s how we get through rough patches in marriage, and fully move on from them.
Date your husband!
You’ve heard it before: don’t stop dating just because you’re already married! This preventable measure will keep your from running into rough patches in marriage in the first place. Schedule date nights for every week, or every month – whatever works for your budget! No money to go out? Have a romantic night in with a delivered or homemade dinner and the newest romcom on Amazon Video! (Psst: If you don’t already have Amazon Prime, sign up for a 30-day free trial here to access the thousand of movies and TV shows they offer!)
Quality AND Quantity
Spend as much time together as you can, and make as much of that quality time as you can. Yes, spouses need some time apart to stay sane and have their own interests. But don’t let that take over just hanging out together often! And try to make most of the the time that you’re together real connection time. This could be just chatting, giving massages, helping each other do chores – whatever makes both of you feel connected. This is a perfect way both to avoid rough patches in marriage and to heal after the fact.
You know what I mean! Healthy marriages involve sex. There, I said it! Sex is the way we connect with our chosen forever partners. It’s special – so don’t withhold it out of resentment or even habit. Sometimes we turn him down so often, no is our knee-jerk reaction! Break that cycle and say yes, but to prevent rough patches in marriage and to reconnect after hard times.
Forgiveness is hard. It’s hard to make the choice to get past something that really hurt us. It feels like by refusing to fully forgive, we’re protecting ourselves and learning from our mistakes. But trust me: it’s essential to forgive in order to really heal from a rough patch in marriage. And forgiveness doesn’t make you a doormat!
Make a Plan
How are you going to stop this issue from happening again? Make sure to freely talk with your husband about what happened, how it made you both feel, and what you both believe caused the issue. Write it all out, and identify what you can change in your daily lives and how you communicate to avoid another rough patch in your marriage.
Set and Keep Strong Boundaries
How will you know when you’re about to encounter more hard times? What kind of behavior is off-limits for both of you? What kind of emotions are red flags? Don’t let these little hints go unaddressed. Speak about them when they happen, and don’t let these boundaries get broken. This will keep you from unknowingly finding yourselves in another rough patch!
Choose to Forget the Past
Now that you have a clear plan and solid boundaries, it’s time to forget what happened. I know what you’re thinking: “But Diana, I can’t forget! And if I do, I’ll just be setting myself up for it to happen again.” I hear you, and I worried the same things, until I realized that dwelling on the bad things only made me sour and resentful against not only my husband, but our marriage entirely! Now I’m not asking you to do mental jumping jacks or go to a hypnotist to forget what happened. When negative thoughts about that hard time come up, simply move your thoughts on to something else; put them aside and don’t add any weight to them. If you need to, distract yourself. The more you think about the rough patch, the stronger those connections will become in your brain, and the worse you will feel about your marriage in general. Choose to forget the rough patch so you can move forward and heal from it!
Have you been through a rough patch in marriage? How did you move past it? Comment and share your wisdom!
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