5 Steps to Loving Through Hard Times – Marriage Counseling Advice

What do you do if you’re sick and tired of your partners behavior?

Perhaps you used to be closer, but sometimes you find you simply don’t want to be around them or that things they do really wind you up.

It can be hard to give your love.

I will share with you my 5 steps to loving through hard times.

As let’s face it it’s far easier to love someone when they are fulfilling our relationships needs, showing us love and respect in the way we want to receive it.

Whether that’s affection, words of appreciation and admiration, through physical touch, giving us gifts or doing things for us. When they show us they for care and appreciate us, it feels good.

Doesn’t it? And feels good to reciprocate?

Not so easy is loving someone when we feel they are not saying, doing and behaving how we wish they would.

Sometimes this could be to a disagreement on a topic, like child rearing, finances, family interference, putting work or friends before the relationship or their actions…

More often than not, it is when they fall short of our expectations. Battles can begin or one or both can start to withdraw and emotionally shut down which in turn causes problems in the relationship. Most of us know that arguing or avoidance won’t make things better but it’s often instinctive. We let small issues escalate and before we know it, we notice our own resentment.

The good news is once we recognize these patterns we can take control, save the marriage and stop divorce.

But before I begin though

I am curious to ask you if you have ever loved something about someone when you met them and then grew to dislike or even hate it later?

What’s changed?

Nothing in them, it’s your thinking!

You have made that switch in your head and it’s affecting the way you see them.

Well that’s how these steps work, inner changes can make a huge impact. Try them the next time you get angry, frustrated or annoyed instead of sulking or pointing our their faults.

Step 1 Awareness

The first step is to open our eyes to see people for who they are, not who we want them to be, or who we’ve caricatured them to be. Why or what is causing them to be that way. Is this just them, the person we fell in love with and our expectations have changed?

Step 2 Accept

We need to accept them for who they are. Part of this is letting go of any negative thoughts and feelings that arise from them not being who we want them to be.

Step 3 Value

What do you value you about them.

Close your eyes and think about when you first met.

What you did value you most about them and your relationship.

Reminisce on the honeymoon period, what moments do you value, what things did you laugh about?

Marriage expert Gottman author of “The 7 principles for making marriages work” claims he can predict divorce by asking couples about how they first met and what their relationship was like in the beginning. Couples who could recite the happy times, were far less likely to get divorced than couples who struggled to recount positive memories. He argued that when a couple (often due to recent years of trouble) struggle to remember the good times, they have a far higher chance of divorce. He believed that this was because those couples who were able to recall the “happy” “loved up” period in their relationship, used this to rebuild connection and overcome differences. If you can no longer associate to any good you are more likely to leave.

Why not use this knowledge to strengthen your marriage now?

Why not spend some time this weekend to go through your holiday or wedding photos?

Talk about your first dates, honeymoon, happiest moments…

deepen your connection and many find communication and relationship happiness improves.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether it worked for you.

Step 4 Appreciation

Focus on what you appreciate about them. It can be so easy when we are annoyed to focus on what they are doing wrong or not doing. Especially after something major like a betrayal of trust, we can turn on blinkers and notice only how they are falling short of what we want and expect. Any good can be missed. So it’s important to get out of critical judgment mode. As judging one another can lead to pointless going back and forth, “you did this, so I am doing that” This is where I see couples getting trapped in negative scorekeeping.

If this is happening right now in your relationship, take control and flip it around by focusing on everything you appreciate. After infidelity, this can be tough – don’t hesitate to contact me for support in this or feel free to check out the infidelity support programs by clicking here:

Step 5 Give Love

This is probably the hardest but most powerful way to strengthen your relationship and have peace in your own mind and heart.

If they you notice you are angry, upset, fed up with them, take a deep breath (or several) and say to yourself: it’s OK, I am going to love them anyway. Then ask yourself how you can be more loving and show more compassion. If you want more love and affection from them, give more…

Show compassion despite their “bad” behavior. You will feel peace inside. Many have found that their relationship gets stronger. Typically when our partner has let us down it’s because they are stressed out, tired, ill, fearful or swamped at work. It’s in those times they need our love the most, by giving it you are demonstrating how you want to be treated the next time you are cranky or preoccupied.

It is also powerful because if you can truly love someone for their imperfections, you are sending an unconscious message to yourself that you also deserve love when you are not perfect.

Showing love through tough times is not easy, I used to be terrible at it. In truth I still have a long way to go to really mastering it, but I am practicing it (albeit sometimes a day or two late) and have seen my relationships and happiness through tough times improve. Many have said that when they step back and be calm and more loving, they feel more free and gain perspective.

Remember we don’t grow when things are easy and effortless. We grow when we are being challenged, so congratulate yourself for using the hard time as an opportunity to improve yourself and life

From my heart to yours

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