Long-term relationships take a lot of work and effort. Even the most passionate of marriages can die out and lose their spark.
But, that’s not the end of the story. When you’re tired of being married, there is something you can do about it.
In this article, I’m going to talk about 11 steps you can take to reignite a withering marriage and help you figure out if it’s time to move on.
How to reignite the marriage
1) Be honest with your feelings
It’s important to be honest with yourself. If you can’t admit your true feelings, how can you expect to be able to change them, or grow?
Here’s a simple truth: If you’re tired of being married, you have to be honest with yourself. What exactly is it you’re feeling? Are you burnt out, dissatisfied, or just bored?
Oftentimes in a relationship, it’s easy to lie about being happy.
You want to do it to protect your spouse; you want to do it because the idea of a divorce is too daunting; you want to do it because it’s easier than facing the facts.
Here’s the thing: that will only work for so long, and the longer you lie to yourself, the harder it will be to take the next step forward, whatever it may be.
Whether you end up getting divorced or end up reigniting the relationship, it will only be a beneficial change if you’re doing it for an honest reason.
Henceforth, in order to have an honest reason, you have to be honest with your feelings.
2) Pinpoint exactly why you’re tired of being married
Once you begin to grasp the kinds of feelings you have, whether it’s being jaded, bored, or otherwise, you can start to dissect and analyze why you feel this way.
So ask yourself, “why am I tired of being married?”
When you honestly consider the answer, you’ll be able to remedy the situation. In fact, the better you understand the reasons, the better you’ll be able to not only take appropriate action but also grow as a person.
There’s a lot that comes next, once you begin to understand the situation more clearly, but this is where it all starts.
I learnt this (and much more) from Brad Browning, a leading relationship expert. Brad is the real deal when it comes to saving marriages. He is a best-selling author and dispenses valuable advice on his extremely popular YouTube channel.
Watch his excellent free video here where he explains his unique process for mending marriages.
3) Shake up your habits
When our habits grow old, we become burnt out. When we get entrenched in our habits, we lose excitement for life. When our habits become stale, it’s hard to find joy in anything.
I know when I’ve become stuck in a routine, I lose all my energy. I feel tired all the time, and constantly frustrated.
It’s not like I’ve suddenly been dealing with a lot of stress or a higher workload, and that’s why I’m so tired.
It’s because I’m burnt out.
The same applies if you’re tired of your marriage. Love isn’t going to be as exciting and fresh as it was when you first were married, and neither will your day-to-day life.
But there’s nothing stopping you from shaking up your current habits. Change your routine, try something different.
Do something new, with or without your spouse, and you might start to see some vitality come back into your life.
Make it a habit to change your habits. Be spontaneous, go somewhere new, do something new. If you’re looking to change up a tired and stale marriage, always be open to trying new things with your spouse.
Soon enough you’ll find that both of you are finding more enjoyment, and you’ll be growing because you’re learning new things.
On the flip side, though, trying new things with your spouse could also reveal bigger issues, incompatibilities, or red flags that you wouldn’t have seen with the same routine you’ve had for years.
4) Look at your spouse with fresh eyes
When we see the same person day in and day out for years, it’s easy to take them for granted.
What do I mean?
Well, it’s not to say that you take their value or contributions or role for granted. However, you might stop seeing them for who they really are, or just let time pass thinking you know who they are because you’re so close.
But people are always changing, so are perceptions. Time changes things, circumstances, and so your spouse is a different person than they used to be.
With that in mind, then, try to look at your spouse with fresh eyes. When you wake up tomorrow, think about them and interact with them as if they were an entirely different person than the one you’ve been married to.
In other words, act as you’ve never met them before. Try to reignite the wonder you had at the beginning.
You might be surprised at how fascinating this “new person” is. You might find yourself falling in love with your spouse all over again. It might just be that with a new perspective, you find yourself no longer tired of being married.
If you’re just bored with life entirely, here’s a great look at why that might be and how you can change it.
5) Reopen the lines of communication
When a marriage begins to stagnate and grow old, it’s almost always accompanied by a lack of communication.
The difficulty comes because it might seem like you communicate effectively. Living with someone and being married to them requires a constant level of interaction.
But here’s the thing: that’s not honest and open communication. That’s the bare minimum. That’s the status quo and the habit you’ve established as two people existing together.
When was the last time you were entirely genuine with your spouse? And when was the last time they were completely and utterly honest with you?
It’s likely been quite a while. Communication on all levels is vital to a healthy marriage. With that in mind, then, endeavor to be completely honest with them. Tell them about something you found interesting, tell them about your opinion on something, how much you enjoyed something.
These small things will set the tone for those open lines of communication.
And then, when the time is right, you can open a line of communication regarding the fact that you’re tired of being married.
This is where understanding your feelings first will come into play. You’ll be able to articulate your emotions honestly and clearly with your significant other. Pay attention to the way they react and respond, you’ll be able to learn a lot.
The likelihood is they’ve been feeling similarly, too. This means you both can unite in moving forward, if it’s possible.
All relationships go through stages. Here’s a closer look at each of them, including some tips on how to survive them.
6) Celebrate the adversity you’ve shared
Life is hard, and adversity can put a huge amount of strain on a marriage. Year in and year out you weather storms together, for better or worse.
At the end of the day it can leave you feeling exhausted, worn down, and tired of being married.
But, really, marriage isn’t necessarily the cause of the problem. In fact, being married has probably helped you deal with adversity better than you would alone.
The negative experiences can easily bleed into your perception of the relationship.
Try to think about it differently. Realize that the fact you’ve both stayed together through everything, and faced the adversity as one, is a triumph.
In other words, it’s something that should be celebrated. Maybe express to your spouse how thankful you are that you’ve had them all these years.
Use it as a way to bond and draw closer. How special that you’ve both gone through so much, and with each other by your side.
7) Consider marriage counseling
If your marriage is lacking spark, fading away, and becoming a boring, frustrating routine, there are clearly a wide variety of things you can try to help reignite it.
However, sometimes it takes more than just being honest with yourself, opening up communication, and working with your spouse.
Sometimes it takes external help. This is where marriage counseling could prove to be instrumental.
If you haven’t got the time or resources to try marriage counseling, you could consider a trusted online resource.
The one I recommend to all Hack Spirit readers is Brad Browning. I mentioned him above.
Brad is the real deal when it comes to saving marriages. He is a best-selling author and dispenses valuable advice on his extremely popular YouTube channel. To learn more about him, check out his excellent free video.
The strategies Brad reveals in this video are extremely powerful and might be the difference between a “happy marriage” and an “unhappy divorce”.
8) Go on vacation
Seriously, go on vacation. It’s one of the easiest ways to heal from burnout. If you and your spouse travel well together, go somewhere simple, and somewhere relaxing. You’ll be able to enjoy each other’s company in a new environment.
That means you’ll be able to connect in a new way, a way that’s fresh and in a new context.
That kind of connection will really help out when you’re tired of being married. You could even take the relaxing time as a great opportunity to discuss your feelings about the marriage: why you’re tired, and what to do about it.
Every circumstance is different, and if it doesn’t seem like you can go with your spouse, you could go somewhere for a day or two on your own. You’ll still be able to shake up your routine, and give yourself a new environment to think through your feelings and place in life.
9) Practice being grateful
It’s so easy to take your spouse for granted after being married for a significant amount of time.
I’ve done it in the past, spent months on end without really even acknowledging her. It was far from ideal, and it left both of us, especially her, feeling tired, worn out, and unappreciated.
No one likes to feel unappreciated or under-acknowledged.
To put it another way: just because we’ve been with someone for long enough that kindness becomes a habit, we can’t let gratefulness fall to the wayside.
You may not be happy in your marriage, or your spouse may not treat you the best. However, being ungrateful will only make things worse.
When you’re tired of being married, practice being grateful. Whether it’s little things your spouse does or things they’ve done since the beginning, it doesn’t matter.
In a marriage, you both do things for each other.
Expressing gratitude will not only improve your outlook, but it will also make your spouse feel valued.
When it feels like you’re stuck in a huge rut, there are some great ways to reinvigorate yourself and your life. Here’s a look at an article that runs through ten tips to reinvigorate your life.
10) Share your dreams
When we marry, two lives become one. However, there’s no need for either party to sacrifice their ambitions and goals just to be servient to the union.
Here’s what I mean: Don’t give up on your dreams if you get married. It won’t be long before you find yourself burnt out, unhappy, and tired of being married.
To take it further, you’re not just doing a disservice to yourself. You’re also doing a disservice to your spouse. You’re not being honest with them.
And since they know you so well, they’ll pick up on it. It will hardly be a secret to your spouse that you’re unhappy, even if you’re lying to yourself.
So don’t be afraid to dream. Think realistically about your ambitions, don’t be afraid to get excited about them.
Most importantly, share your dreams with your spouse. Get excited when you talk to them about your ambitions. You’re being honest and open with them; you’ll inspire your spouse to do the same.
If unfortunately, your goals and dreams aren’t compatible, that’s okay, too. With that honest information, you’ll both be able to move forward, whatever that ends up looking like.
Setting intentions in life can be difficult. Here’s a great article that shows you how to do it.
This ties into being honest with yourself, our first point.
However, it’s a little bit more specific. It’s really important to understand yourself when in a relationship with someone else. Especially is this true in a relationship as close and as lasting as a marriage.
To elaborate: introspection will bring you insight. There are so many countless variables outside of ourselves that we often forget to consider what’s going on internally.
Inside of us, there are countless variables, too. When we take the time to focus on what’s inside, we can find much insight.
If you’re really unhappy with your marriage, introspection will help you understand fully why that’s the case, and what you think the best move is.
If you’re burnt out and tired of life, then find that seeping into your marriage, introspection will tune you back into your true self, where you can find healing and a solution to reignite not just your marriage, but your passion for life.
In other words, introspection is something that carries through every other point. It’s something that we should always be doing, no matter the circumstances. Keeping in tune with ourselves is perhaps the healthiest thing we can do.
Deciphering if it’s time to move on
Figuring out if it’s time to move on from a stale, cold, and unrewarding marriage is a tough thing.
There’s no right or wrong answer that anyone can give you. It’s something you have to figure out yourself.
However, you can find guidance to help you decide what the next step should be. Let’s run through some pointed questions that will help you decipher if it’s time to move on.
1) What would my life really be like after divorce?
As tempting as divorce can seem, especially when at wit’s end and overly burnt out, take the time to seriously envision what your life would be like after a divorce.
Where will you live? What stuff will you have? What kinds of lawyer bills will be leftover? How will your social life change?
Divorce will affect every single aspect of your life, and often not for the better.
With that in mind, then, be honest. Is it really the best idea to divorce, or is working it out an option?
Only you can decide.
2) Is your spouse happy?
This is a great question to ask because you’re not the only one in the marriage (obviously). Your decisions not only affect your spouse but also are affected by your spouse.
Consider their viewpoint, how they feel about the marriage. Are they happy with how things are? Or are they completely unhappy? Are you both on the same page regarding how tired you are of being married?
The answers to these questions will give you great insight into how to proceed.
3) Can you meet in the middle?
This question is important because marriage is a two-way street. Marriage takes effort from both sides.
So is there a way that you can both adapt to a tired and worn-out marriage, in an effort to make things better?
If there’s a way you can meet in the middle and both be happy and satisfied, the likelihood is that it makes sense to stick around, instead of moving on.
4) How would my spouse react to divorce?
As I mentioned once before, marriage is a two-way street. Your decisions directly affect your spouse. There’s no getting around that fact.
So ask yourself, how would my spouse react to divorce? Would they be completely lost? It could be that they understand where you’re coming from, and are willing to work something out or talk about it more.
Something like a divorce is going to cause a lot of trauma for both parties, in almost every scenario. It’s unwise to consider divorce lightly, especially because it will directly affect the person you once loved the most.
5) If you fight to keep the marriage together, will your spouse?
There’s no point in desperately trying to salvage something that only one of you is interested in saving.
If you’re willing to fight, to change, and adapt, are they? No matter how hard you fight, no matter how much effort you put into fixing a sputtering marriage, it won’t work unless you’re both doing it.
In other words, you can’t be the only one. If your decision is to fight for the marriage, to keep the union alive, make sure that your spouse wants to do the same.
6) Does my spouse truly respect who I am?
People always change. You’re not the same person your spouse married, and your spouse isn’t the same person either.
When you’re tired of being married, and when something needs to change, it’s important to know you’re valued for who you are.
If your spouse doesn’t like who you are as you’ve changed over the years, it’s a big warning sign.
If they can’t truly respect who you are right now and today, there’s no point in trying to salvage it. Respect is one of the most important, if not the very most important element in a marriage.
If you can’t be respected, it might be time to reconsider your marriage.
Marriage is something that takes work, dedication, and respect. It takes two individuals who can be honest with themselves and honest with each other.
Even then, though, it’s all too easy to get tired of being married. It’s a normal thing, actually, and something that can be worked through in many cases.
Make sure you firstly become honest with yourself, then communicate openly with your spouse, and from there you’ll be able to figure out what to do next, whether you save your marriage or scrap it.
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