Renegotiating the expectations for your relationship is possible.

How to Heal a Damaged Relationship With Your Husband

by Kristen Moutria

If you are in a damaged relationship with your husband, you may not know how to begin the process of healing your marriage and restoring the close bond you once had. You may feel like he is not the man you thought he was when you married him, or that he is unwilling to work through your relationship problems. However, by forgiving your husband, restoring trust in your relationship, renegotiating your expectations for your marriage and attending marriage counseling, you have a better chance of healing your broken marriage and becoming close to the man you love.

Forgive your husband. If you are in a damaged marriage, your husband has certainly done many things to hurt your feelings and perhaps even cause you to question your relationship. However, as a human, your husband makes mistakes and much of the hurt he has caused you may be because of misunderstandings in your relationship. The "Focus on the Family" website states that forgiveness is a process, and that you must work through your emotional problems before you truly have the ability to forgive. Forgiveness releases pain and frees you from focusing on what your husband has done to hurt you. Although you will not forget his actions, the memories will no longer be as painful.

Restore trust in your relationship. Restoring trust is a slow process if your husband has caused you to question his integrity -- especially if he has been unfaithful. If human beings were always flawlessly reliable, being in a relationship would be easy, says John R. Ballew, a licensed relationship counselor cited on the "Body Mind Soul" website. However, your relationship most likely brings out the worst in both you and your husband, and restoring trust is essential in order for you to live with his humanity. Ballew recommends creating trust by making the decision to always be honest, as well as explaining why you are having difficulty trusting with your husband.

Renegotiate your expectations for your relationship. Even if you have had patterns in your relationship for 20 years, you can change these. Making a plan with your husband about what the two of you will change in your marriage may help heal your damaged relationship. For example, if you feel he spends too much time in front of the TV and not enough time with you, explain that you would love to spend an hour together after dinner chatting over coffee. He may not even be aware that what he is doing is hurting you and your marriage.

Attend marriage counseling. One of the best ways to heal your damaged relationship is to get the perspective of an expert by attending relationship counseling. Even if you think you should have your marriage "under control,” it may be difficult for you to work things out with your husband without the perspective of an outsider. It is not a good idea to wait until both you and your partner are willing to start marriage counseling, say Linda and Charlie Bloom, authors of "Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truths from Real Couples About Lasting Love," in a 2012 "Psychology Today" article. Instead, go as soon as you detect a problem to prevent the problem from becoming worse and causing a serious issue for the two of you.

About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

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