Most people have a longing for a long-term, intimate connection with another person. While marriage is a vessel for that kind of connection, there are many countries where the divorce rate is climbing, even hovering between 40-50%. What we can glean from these statistics is marriage is difficult. People do not divorce because marriage is easy and perfect. For those of you who are married, it can normalize the ups and downs, the beauties and challenges, and the excitement and disappointment in marriage. If you find yourself in a marriage that is struggling, you are not alone. If you find yourself feeling a sense of hopelessness or that your marriage is a lost cause, you are not alone. If you feel like your husband hates, you are not alone. However, if you have a desire to work to save your marriage, there are a few suggestions to try before divorce.
Commit to doing whatever it takes. The first thing that has to happen is you have to commit to making it work. Even if you feel like your husband hates you, you must fully commit to working on the relationship. Positive change will not happen without commitment to the hard work it takes to revive a marriage.
Get perspective. Could your husband hate you? Yes, that is possible. However, there is usually more underneath the hate like hurt and pain. It is possible your husband is hurt but it comes out in behavior that comes across as hatred. Shifting your perspective can help you see the situation differently and potentially give you the courage to fight for your marriage.
Seek guidance from an outside person like a therapist. When relationships are broken, having an outside party to help can be life-changing. Someone like a therapist can provide helpful tools that can allow you to change toxic patterns that have poisoned your relationship. They can also provide empathy and perspective to both partners.
Better your communication and talk to him. Communication is going to be important. Learn how you can communicate differently to him so that he will hear you. Talk to him about your desire and your commitment to work on the relationship.
Resolve personal resentments or anger. What is keeping you from fully jumping into reviving your relationship? At first thought, you will say, “It’s because he hates me.” But, it likely goes further than that. When did the marriage take a turn? What resentments are you holding against him? Oftentimes, long-held resentments and anger prevents connection and commitment.
Find the deeper issues and address them. If it is not resentment and anger, there are likely deeper issues. The process of finding root issues will be easier with your partner on board and potentially utilizing someone like a therapist. By addressing the deeper issues, you can prevent future problems from affecting your relationship.
Practice vulnerability. At the end of the day, all of the above is going to be extremely difficult, especially if you feel your husband hates you. It is going to feel extremely vulnerable to work on your marriage if you are uncertain your partner wants to stay in the relationship. However, practicing vulnerability can create change and build connection.
All of these suggestions can help revitalize and mend a marriage. However, it is going to take the willingness of you and your husband to make it work. It will be important for your husband to commit as well for the sake of the long-term health of your marriage. Do not hesitate to fight for your relationship. Your commitment will go a long way and you can become the catalyst that ultimately saves your marriage.
Michelle Overman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist working as a counselor for students, faculty, and staff at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. She works with athletes, bridging the gap between athletics and mental health at ACU. She is becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant in sports psychology. Michelle ran her own private practice in Austin, Texas where she worked with a diverse population, including couples and families. Michelle earned a Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy and has been working in the field for 6 years.