Staying Strong: Tips for Handling Weaker Family Moments
In today’s world of Facebook, Instagram, and other social media, people tend to post only their best moments. They want to share their lives with their friends, and they’ll post everything positive going in in their lives. No one wants to be a downer, and so they fill their walls and feeds with only the best experiences, teeming with perfectly manicured pictures and stories of family bliss.
Of course, even the best marriages have rough spans. Rather than pretending those hard times don’t exist, though, it’s healthier to face them head on. Just because things aren’t always easy doesn’t mean that the ensuing problems are insurmountable. Rather than letting the hard times dictate your life, though, here are a few tips you can follow to handle those rough family squabbles as they arrive.
Keep the lines of communication open.
This cannot be stressed enough. If you and your spouse are having a rough time, don’t stop talking. Don’t shut down any type of communication. A lot of marital problems stem from a lack of communication, but for some reason, a lot of people’s response to these same problems is to shut down and stop talking to their spouse. This couldn’t be a worse idea, because often, these problems could be solved by just an honest, five-minute-long conversation. If you stop talking and working to solve the problem together, it’s only a matter of time before you split up.
Refuse to play the blame game.
Don’t fall into the trap of always assigning blame. While it seems like it might be a productive way to prevent problems in the future, it’s actually more likely to cause problems than solve them. Rather than focusing in on the source of a problem, spend your energy trying to finding a solution. Instead of pointing out who is at fault in this situation, let your spouse know some of the things he or she has done right. Encourage rather than criticize, and be willing to accept responsibility for any problems that do arise.
Clear your mind.
Sometimes, what you really need is just a few moments away. Take the opportunities where you can find them to clear your head. Yoga and meditation are both excellent ways to relieve stress. Concentrate on your breathing technique, taking long, slow breaths. Go for a walk, listen to music, or read a book. Basically, look for a way to step away—briefly—from the problems facing you and your spouse right now.
Be grateful for the good times.
Pay special attention to the positive things that are happening between you and your spouse. Recognize the positive things that they do. As you encourage yourself to view things in a more positive light, it will become easier in the future. Meanwhile, thinking positively and showing gratitude can become habitual. Let your spouse know the things they do that you’re grateful for. Write a note, or even better, tell them to their face. As you remind them of the ways you appreciate them, you may just be reminding yourself.
When someone, particularly someone close to you, does something to hurt you, it can be difficult to let go of that pain. The feeling of betrayal that comes with that kind of broken trust is completely understandable, but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. Over time, if you allow it to, that pain festers. It lingers and grows until it becomes difficult for you to think of anything else. It prevents you from moving on and having positive experiences that will help you grow.
It’s not easy, but if you are willing to accept what happened and no longer hold it against that person, it really will make you feel better. You only have so much energy, and by pouring it all into resentment, it leaves very little space to actually make things better. The same is true if you’re the person who messed up. Be willing to own up to your mistake and acknowledge it, but once you’ve done so fully, let it go. Being willing to forgive your partner and yourself will make communication much easier, and together, you can move forward with your lives.