Just a little over a year ago, my husband and I got into such a bad state, that we almost decided to get divorced - going so far as to separate for about six weeks.
Ironically, I think the separation actually saved the marriage, because it gave us both a sense of what it would be like to get divorced. (For this reason, I think trial separations are a great idea.) After giving each other some space, we each independently concluded that despite our issues and faults, we loved one another and didn't want to be apart. So we started talking about what was going wrong between us and how to move forward.
The biggest thing I think we realized was that because of some career choices, we were viewing our future lives as a zero-sum game. The feeling was that one of us would get the career and the life they wanted at the expense of the other.
Realizing we were stuck in this zero-sum way of thinking, we kind of hashed out how we saw our future, and got past this sense of "winning" and "losing." It's a little hard to explain. It's like, last year it felt as if we were on opposing teams, and this year it feels like we're on the same team again. I think finally talking about the goals we both wanted to achieve helped us a lot to reset and refocus.
So this past year has been much, much better in terms of getting along with my husband, although that isn't to say he doesn't annoy me sometimes (and vice versa), but overall everything feels much less adverserial. I think focusing on more ways to have fun together has also really helped, rather than seeing our lives as one big to-do list, career track, or chore.
When he does bug me, I try to remind myself to "not sweat the small stuff," which happens to be my theme for this year, along with several other small resolutions.
And when I get in a really negative funk, I try to remember all the things my husband is good at that I very much appreciate. For example, my husband is good at:
Anyway, he certainly has many other great qualities, but I'll stop there so I don't bore you. It's a pretty good exercise though. I recommend it.
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