It’s a new year, is it time for a new marriage?

It’s a new year, is it time for a new marriage? How many of us start off each January with a new set of well-intentioned goals that don’t quite come off? There is certainly no doubt that I’ve created (and then abandoned) more than my fair share of New Year’s resolutions in my days. But the question embedded within the title of this blog: It’s a new year, is it time for a new marriage?, is really one that is worth asking yourself. Now don’t get me wrong here, I am in no way advocating chucking your spouse onto the scrap heap and unleashing yourself onto Tinder. NO, I’m not suggesting anything of the sort! What I’m suggesting here is that you consider a few questions like:

  • Is our relationship due for an overhaul?
  • Have we morphed from lovers into house-mates and baby sitters?
  • Have we lost the ability to speak about difficult things with love and a smile in our voice?
  • Do we ever just sit and chat anymore about literally nothing for an hour, and yet find it fulfilling in an undefinable sort of way?
  • Do we each find ourselves doubting the motives of the other, and often find ourselves feeling the other is purposefully being inconsiderate or uncaring?
  • When was the last time I found myself lost in an erotic fantasy about my partner?
  • How long has it been since I looked over at my partner to catch him/her secretly admiring me?

If the answers to these questions are causing you a bit of distress or worry, please know that you are not alone. In today’s oh so busy world, where we are time starved and overloaded with day to day rubbish to deal with, it is easy to lose focus and a sense of primacy in our relationships. There is a romantic idea that: If two people are meant for each other, then these things will automatically take care of themselves and we’ll live happily ever after. I’m here to say that while this romantic notion sounds great, it is complete hogwash. Long term relationships/marriages take ongoing effort or they stagnate and people become lost within them.

If you look back to when you first meet your partner, you’ll probably remember that you each put time and effort into putting your best foot forward. You put time and effort into ensuring that you knew what was happening in the life of the other, and enjoyed the fact that you could be open and honest with this person in a way that you’d never really been able to with anybody else. Generally speaking, at the beginning of a relationship men make sure we put on a freshly ironed shirt before heading out the door on a date, and women do something with their hair and pop on a bit of lippie. At the beginning of a relationship we work hard so that the other can see us in our best lights, and we each strive to make the other feel special. 5, 10 or 15 years later, when neither party  has put in anything like the effort described above in God knows how long, then it’s not really a surprise that some of the feelings that were once held for/about the other have shifted a touch. Remember, when we fall in love with another, these feelings are only partially about the person in question. A significant amount of our feelings stem from how that person makes us feel – both about ourselves and life itself. In this, the amount of effort that we perceive that our partners put into our relationship will have a direct impact on those feelings.

If you’ve lost those feelings within your relationship, it may well be the time for a new marriage. Not a new person mind you, but a new marriage with your current spouse. In my counselling practice in Bishops Stortford I have helped literally hundreds of couples find a route back into romance and happiness. I’ve assisted couples beat the boredom, learn again how to trust and love each other, and create brand new relationships that can take them happily through the next 10 years. It is entirely possible to have a new marriage with your old spouse, as long as you’re both willing to take a good look at yourselves and have a desire to find that spark again.

If you would like more information on how couples counselling might be helpful to you in your situation and you live in the general Bishops Stortford area, please feel free to call me on 01279 834467 for a fully confidential, no obligation discussion of your needs prior to making an appointment.