Relationship Tips for a Happy Marriage Part 35: Leave the Baggage Behind
Have you spent a lot of time and money seeking advice on how to fix a relationship? It may be time to evaluate whether you are carrying harmful baggage from previous relationships.
Marriage is a lifetime commitment between two individuals with different pasts and histories. Such history sometimes includes feelings of guilt, anger and resentment which can cause relationship problems. Who you are as a person influences what you can achieve in marriage.
Signs Your Relationship Is In Trouble
- Comparing your partner to your parent or ex -Nothing says baggage like comparing your spouse to your parent or ex. Your father or mother should never be the bench mark against which you measure your partner and neither should your ex. Such comparison denies you the opportunity to create new memories and truly enjoy your marriage.
- Holding Back – Are you giving your marriage everything you got or are you holding back some emotions to avoid getting hurt? Self preservation is a basic human instinct that keeps us from going through the same painful experiences over and over again. Unfortunately this defense mechanism also stagnates marriages because more often than not, your partner can tell when you are holding back.
- Paranoia – Some people go through marriage just waiting to get hurt. They interpret harmless events within a relationship as a sign that things are not going well. This attitude eventually wears the other partner out and they stop trying.
How to Save Your Relationship
If you recognize some of the above signs of baggage in yourself, here are some tips on how to fix a relationship.
- Marriage Counseling – Do you sometimes act irrationally yet you can’t explain why you are acting that way? You may be carrying ‘mystery baggage’. Marriage counseling helps couples to identify mystery baggage and gives them the tools to deal with it.
- Pray – Getting rid of painful baggage from the past requires a radical change that only Christ can bring in us. He can break the cycle of anger and resentment and restore your marriage if you let him. Praying together about your relationship problems is a great way to begin the journey to recovery. It helps you to stop attacking each other and begin attacking the problem.
- Proactive Communication – If you suspect you are carrying some baggage, let your partner know. You can’t expect your partner to understand why his actions bother you so much unless you tell him. While you are at it, tell him what excites calms and energizes you and gives you meaning. Your partner loves you and he or she will be more than glad to support you through the healing process.
Bringing baggage into a marriage causes you to have unrealistic expectations of your partner and dooms your marriage to failure. Save yourself the years of marital counseling trying to find out how to fix a relationship and let go of the baggage. It may take some time until you are totally baggage free so better get started now!