Bring back the romance to reconcile a bitter marriage.

Reconciling a Bitter Marriage

by Shannon Philpott

In most relationships, conflict is inevitable for couples. When arguments, disputes and resentment start tearing down the walls of your marriage, it may seem hopeless to reconcile what seems to be a bitter partnership. Couples, though, often find themselves in a bitter marriage when they can no longer feel the spark or see the love they once felt for each other. It is possible, though, to reconcile a bitter marriage and find happiness in each other’s arms once again.

1. Accept Your Differences

It may have been that you and your spouse once had more in common than you currently do, but change is natural. You have changed, your partner has changed and these changes may have caused bitterness and disagreements. Just as you spent time getting to know each other during the dating phase, it’s important to "date" each other throughout your marriage so you are more in tune with each other. Look past the small irritations and embrace your differences to avoid bitter arguments and feelings of “what could have been.” It’s important to try to understand the differences between you and your spouse and then adjust to them, according to Dennis Rainey, founder of FamilyLife.com and author of “Moments Together for Couples.”

2. Renew Priorities

Time is precious when balancing family life, work obligations, children's activities and a marriage. In order to reconcile a bitter marriage, though, it’s necessary to etch out some time each day for your spouse. Make each other a priority by setting aside time each day for light conversation or one-on-one time, suggests Maud Purcell, a family therapist with PsychCentral.com. Whether you choose to dine together at your favorite restaurant, take a brisk walk through the neighborhood or share a beverage on the back porch, isolate a few moments for each other to share thoughts, feelings and dreams. Avoid using this time to discuss family schedules, disagreements or bitter feelings stemming from the past. Keep the conversation light and get to know a little more about your spouse each day.

3. Bring Back the Romance

When feeling bitter or angry, the last thing you may want to do is show your spouse affection. However, it may be the key to holding together your marriage. Revive your love life with simple surprises or love notes that reinforce your feelings for him. Plan a romantic getaway or surprise him at work with a picnic lunch. These small gestures show that you are still willing to make the effort to reconcile your marriage. Once you show your commitment to the partnership, it’s likely your spouse will follow suit, says Purcell.

4. Evaluate Your Well-Being

Although there are two people in your marriage, it’s important to take a close look at yourself when bitterness has taken over. Ask yourself why you are angry or bitter with your husband. Is it because you don’t feel good about yourself? Take the time to care for and love yourself to boost your confidence and self-esteem and it’s likely your spouse will take notice. Purcell recommends sprucing up your mental and physical well-being by eating healthy, resting often and exercising on a daily basis. With optimal health, you will be in a much better place to work rationally through bitter feelings that may be sabotaging marriage reconciliation. Once your confidence is restored, you may also feel more prepared to work with your spouse to overcome problems and challenges that have put a damper on your marriage.

5. Openly Communicate

Many obstacles to reconciliation between couples can be attributed to miscommunication. If you and your spouse struggle to communicate honestly and respectfully, the experts at Marriage Missions International recommend tackling difficult issues with one-on-one discussions. If the conversation ends in an argument, consider seeking the help of a mediator or marriage counselor to help you both communicate better and understand the feelings you both have been experiencing.

About the Author

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.

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