Conflicts in Marriage

I can remember when I got married, people said that a marriage is hard work and that I would need to “work at it” to ensure it lasts. This puzzled me! How on earth do you “work” at a marriage?

After five years of married life, ups and downs start to become a regular and sometimes predictable feature of living together. Daily stresses and strains rain down on us from outside life, and at home you are left with trying to manage and quell your own insecurites and personal worries. I soon began to realise that things arn’t exactley what they first seem in a close relationship as it is easy to presume that the perfect couple that we see so much of in the movies is a realistic normality that we should all achieve with little or no effort. Marriage certainly prooves this theory wrong.

Looking back, I can see that from the beginning of our relationship, our arguements have had many topics and reaons to them. Yet both of us have a different understanding of the cause and importance of each subject that we encountered. It made me wonder how I knew that I was right all the time, how he was always wrong and in my mind was contsantly the guilty party. Who really had the problem and who’s responsibility to sort it out? Was it time for me to look in the mirror? If so, what made me angry and why? Is it all just a misuderstanding and how can we understand each other?

Past relationships and experiences could really effect how you present yourself in your current situation. You may have had bad times before and naturally protect yourself from the same thing happening again. I feel that these experiences can carry forward and tinge an otherwise innocent incidence possibly causing feelings of confusion and furstration.

After my ex cheated on me with someone from his workplace many years ago, I found myself a few weeks ago getting paranoid about my husband exchanging email addresses with a work colleague. Looking back, my feelings were ludicrous! I had no reason to suspect my wonderful husband of cheating on me, let alone the fact that we share the email address anyway so I would have seen anything extra marital. The point is that my ex managed to give me a complex that I have applied to my grown up married life and this fact shocked me. How often have I tortured my husband with these enexplicable insecurities and how many more times will he put up with it?

Try to realise that your spouse is not the same as your ex and that the probablity is that the same thing won’t happen to you again. It’s very unlikely that even if your partner does end up cheating on you that it will be the same circumstances- (ie only getting paranoid about work colleagues in my case.) so what is the point in trying to spot “the signs” of an adulterous husband? Don’t worry about something that has not already happened yet, what a waste of your time and emotions!

On the other hand, what about your partners past relationships? This subject probably rears it’s head in most marriages because most people who get married have been in relationships before. Most women would probably indentify with this one, it’s a horrid fact that everyone has to come to terms with and no end of reassurance still won’t take it away. Questions like- Does he still love her? Was the sex better with her? Would he still want her if he had a chance? Thoughts like this can drive you insane simply by letting your mind loose and letting yourself believe that it is something to worry about, because it’s not.

Put yourself in his shoes, is the first man you fell in love with when you were a teenager an immediate threat to your spouse? The answer is probably no- it was a crush, a past memory that although at the time was almost addictive and enchanting, is nothing compared to the “bliss” that a happy marriage can bring. It’s a totally different league of love. Realise your position, your his wife, your will appear on his family tree for years to come, you carry his name! Put your trust in that fact, give him a break and let him love you.

Arguements in general tend to be melodramatic and can seem to mean the end of the world, until you make up! What is important to remember is that arguements are a normal part of human life and that they are not just iscolated to a marriage. Think back to your childhood- the chances are that you only argued with people who you were close to, your mother, sister or best friend at school. It is almost certain that the only people who could truly upset or anger you were the ones closest to your heart. Grieviences with less promenant associates would be insignificant in comparison and have a minimal effect on your long term emotions. Arguements with loved ones tend to be more dramatic and memorable. Intimate personal knowledge allows deep insults to fly making each other’s blood boil. Feeling let down, unloved and confused, you have no-one to turn to when it’s the person you love that is hurting you.

The simple point is that you would not be arguing if you didn’t care about each other and thats a fact!

Throughout your relationship, and your many arguements to come, try to look in the mirror and search for the real root cause of the problem, indentify it and quell it- quickly. People who don’t have the ability to look at themselves and their behaviour often fail in all types of relationships because they cannot empathise and learn. Learning never stops in a marriage and the iportance of constatnly adjusting and communicating on a daily basis becomes crystal clear. Compromise is the key. Indentify what you can do to NOT annoy your partner. That’s not changing yourself, that’s compromising for the sake of a sucessfull marriage and if you don’t try to do this, your marriage cannot go anywhere.

Many people say that you should never change for anyone else, which to some extent I believe has some ground. When you marry, you cetainly love your partner for who they are but nobody is perfect and there will always be things that you dislike about each other. Instead of seeing these inperfections as negative, see them as a way to impove your marriage and use them as building blocks to work towards a better companionship and love. Use your knowledge of each other to recognise and avoid those situations that irritate your partner, even if it’s not important to you.