Denial can be dangerous in your relationship. If some part of you knows that you need to address certain issues in your marriage, don’t convince yourself that things will get better on their own without having to do anything.
You aren’t doing any favors for yourself or your spouse by taking an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to your marital problems. If you want a harmonious marriage, there is no getting around the need to take an active role in making things better.
One of the greatest stumbling blocks to a better relationship is being afraid of what might happen when you rattle those skeletons in your closet. However, you have to accept the reality that you will have to bite the bullet, take the plunge and embrace the chaos that comes with fighting for your marriage.
Will you and your spouse get hurt along the way? Most probably, but no relationship evolves without experiencing some growing pains in the process. Sooner or later, you will have to touch on the sore spots in the relationship so that you’ll learn how to stop arguing about the fundamental differences between you and your spouse.
You also have to bear in mind that you still have to take action whether or not your spouse also acknowledges the issues in your marriage. There are always two sides to your relationship, and there’s no excuse for sitting back and doing nothing if you know something’s up.
One of the other concerns you might have is that you’ll be unsuccessful in your attempts to fix things. If you feel this way, don’t hold yourself back with the expectation to get it right on the first try. Problem-solving is a trial and error process – you’ll have your share of hits and misses along the way.
What you should be worried about is what will happen if you choose not to do anything at all. Consider the following:
#1: Inner Turmoil
When you know that there’s something not quite right in your marriage, it plants a seed in your mind that will continue to grow with each passing day. Try as you might to block out the truth in your mind, the reality of your rocky marriage will catch up to you.
The inevitability of it all will put you in a state of unease that gets worse over time. Eventually, your partner will be shocked to suddenly see the stress take its toll on you when they didn’t even know it was building up inside you in the first place.
Do you really want to keep living in denial only to have a meltdown that no one saw coming – including yourself?
#2: Emotional Leakage
Let’s not forget that the misery you’re suppressing in your marriage will spill over into the other areas of your life.
If you choose not to take an active role in improving your marriage, you’ll cultivate a negative outlook on life in general and cause the other areas to suffer, such as the relationships with your family and colleagues.
Don’t forget how quickly even the smallest of issues can snowball when you leave them unchecked. If you spot any red flags, acknowledge this and be proactive in addressing them so you don’t have to reverse the damage caused by being complacent about it.
Negative behavioral patterns can develop in any relationship, especially when it involves two people who have made vows to stay together ‘til death do them part. Will you allow your marriage to be dominated by an atmosphere of passive-aggressiveness, or by a mutual attitude of reciprocation?
What you choose to do - or not to do – will determine whether you’ll stick it out in the long run or not. The stress of getting your issues out in the open is far less than keeping quiet and sweeping them under the rug.
Like it or not, those skeletons will come back to haunt you.
Relationships, like people, are always in a state of motion. Either you’re moving forward or backward – what you choose to do every day will determine that direction.
It’s definitely uncomfortable to face these truths, but life is about leaving your comfort zone for the sake of progress. After you’ve taken that first step and begin to move forward, you’ll find that it wasn’t really a comfort zone as much it was as a place of denial, apathy and decay.