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In order to communicate better and resolve those painful conflicts and putting an end to the silence, you must learn how to communicate effectively and learn how to accept each other's differences, think about what attracted each other in the first place what made you want to be together. If you are the one that has reservations about the marriage and carrying on like your married then you have to communicate that to your husband he will only act as if the marriage can be saved if he thinks there is hope and if you don't know if there is hope and want to date then you have to be honest with your husband about your feelings, not knowing proper way to communicate only make things worse because you both may have lived your married lives with silence never discussing when something is bothering you and thinking it will correct itself on its own. Just learning how to communicate better does not solve your communication problems and won't necessarily help save your marriage unless you both work on saving the marriage and want to save it.
Most marriage end because of more serious problems like lack of love and intimacy. Not being able to communicate your feelings can lead to many misunderstandings and hurt feelings and feeling ignored but it doesn't have to end your marriage if you both want to save it. You both may have exhibited lack of commitment also, a commitment to communicate and tell each other your inner most feelings and desires. Dating someone else will not help the marriage but only confuse things even more and make things more stressful, you should never start another relationship or start dating until you have closure or work through your issues in your marriage and know that you need more. Getting into another relationship or the dating scene before you figure out what went wrong in the marriage will only mean that you will repeat this same behavior of not being able to communicate. Most couples fail to stop a marriage, separation or divorce because they fail to take action. They fear that it may be too late. In order to work on better communicating you may need some outside help like a marriage counselor or a clergyman; you both also need to have patience and perseverance to get through the tough times.
Try starting with each of you telling the other how you feel about everything that has happened, lack of communication, the separation, how you feel about wanting to date while your separated, how he feels about the separation. Each one saying their feelings and letting the other one talk without interruption and then the other do the same. It's going to take baby steps don't try to talk everything out at once make it a couple of meetings don't overwhelm each other all at once. You may just find that you both have a lot in common and that there are still feelings there and a chance to save your marriage.