5 Tips to Help Your Spouse Be Happy AgainMidori Verity
Marriage is a journey, and there will be happy times and challenging times. We all go through rough periods where we would prefer to stay in bed rather than face the day. However, sometimes a day becomes a week; a week becomes a month, etc. Overwhelm, sadness, fear, stress, can take over our minds and bodies. Physical pain, avoidance of regular activities, anger, or a gloomy attitude can all be signs of the mental states listed above. A good measure for this is the tequila test. If one shot of tequila seems to snap the person out of the mental state, your concern probably is not so necessary. However, if it takes half a bottle…well, ya’ got a more serious issue. Just kidding – it’s not a real test and alcohol is probably not the best medicine! Keep reading for better marriage advice!
The first step in working through issues is always communication. However, sometimes ‘talking’ just doesn’t get through to the other person. They may have a mental wall up and may be too consumed in their inner turmoil.
I firmly believe in the correlation of mental stress leading to more severe illness and disease. The National Institute of Mental Health published an article stating the following:
Long-term stress can harm your health. … Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression or anxiety.
Being a life partner can be incredibly vital. Married couples statistically live longer than singles. In fact, studies show married men live 32 percent longer than single men, and married women’s longevity is 23 percent higher than single women. So, if your spouse or partner is displaying this out-of-the-norm behaviour, you want to help them dig out of it as quickly as possible. Here are some suggestions:
What’s going on in your partner’s life? Has he/she complained about a boss or work expectations? Is there extra strain on finances? Are issues with kids prevalent? Are you experiencing great success and maybe your spouse has issues revolving around this? Also pay attention to a buildup of events, such as a falling out with a friend, unhappiness with physical appearance, or a significant birthday.
An interesting thing I noticed recently is when you are married for a long period; you can see what’s going on in your spouse’s life more objectively. My husband has said to me many times, “I know you better than you know yourself.” I believe what he means is he can see what’s going on with me more clearly than I may be aware of.
2. Don’t feed it
Showing empathy and love is good; however, if the behavior is not improving tough love can be beneficial. Maintain your regular schedule. Get up at your regular time; go to work, shop, etc. Plan a social gathering, such as meeting friends for a hike. Tell your partner you’d love for him/her to join you, but you are going out either way. When you go home talk about how wonderful it was and that you missed having him/her there.
Related: 7 Tips to Spice up your Sex Life
3. Keep the area clean and fresh
Let’s say your spouse is complaining of back pain and has been laying in bed for days, not doing anything to improve his/her situation. Eventually, they will need to bathe. Take that moment to become a whirling dervish and get the room, Martha Stewart clean. Make the bed, put away any medication, vacuum, and open drapes. Mentally it says, ‘Okay, this room is fresh, clean and healthy. It’s time to go on with our day.’
4. (Ninja move) Get your general practitioner to share advice that you choreograph
If your main squeeze’s situation is going downhill and you fear he/she is headed to a darker place bring in the help of your trusted doctor. Go to the appointment with your partner and be part of the conversation. The doctor will ask what’s going on, what the symptoms are, and how long it’s been occurring. Insert directed questions, such as, “Doctor, my husband works so hard. Do you think stress could be causing some of these symptoms?” or “What are natural ways you’ve seen your clients recover from these issues? Can exercise make a significant difference?” Make sure you find out when you should return for the follow-up. This will help with accountability and allows you to gently remind your love that they want to be following the doctor’s orders because you’ll be seeing them again soon.
5. Keep yourself healthy and positive
This is essential for your mental health and will help your partner to get back to their normal life too. If you feel that you’re getting sucked into a place you don’t want to go, do everything you can to escape that darkness. It might mean sleeping in a different room for a night or two, to get the mental break. Another idea is to go on an overnight or weekend away with friends. I used to take my kids to Tahoe for a few days to get away from it all. I think it helped my husband too because he didn’t have the added concern of the kids (not that they were a problem but when you’re overwhelmed everything extenuates the spiral). Of course, exercise, healthy eating, and being surrounded by supportive family and friends is invaluable.
Obviously, there are many levels of depression and unhealthy behavior. If things do not improve and you feel it’s out of your control, you will want to seek the advice of a trained professional. We all need a little help at times and having that trusted spouse by your side is a gift. I always recommend nurturing your marriage, through the good times and the bad, and it will reward you.