If you’re going through a rough patch in your marriage right now, celebrating your anniversary is going to feel more stressful than it is a time to celebrate being married.
It doesn’t have to though, you can turn this into an opportunity to strengthen your marriage and turn a corner.
Here is my best advice on how to celebrate an anniversary in a bad marriage!
How to Celebrate an Anniversary in a Bad Marriage
First of all, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate just how bad things are for you right now, and what you want the future of your marriage to look like.
Whatever that future is, you can make it happen if you’re willing to put in the effort and open up communication with your spouse.
Assuming you want to repair your marriage and get back on good terms with your partner, here are some ideas for how to celebrate your anniversary:
Make It All About Your Spouse
No matter who you think is to blame for the problems in your marriage, if you make your anniversary all about your partner it’ll show them how much you care.
Maybe this means picking their favorite pastime (even if you hate it), or doing something that they’ll know is out of your comfort zone, whatever it is, make it personal to them.
Do Something New Together
Whether it’s a new restaurant, activity, or destination, doing something new together can help rekindle the spark in your relationship.
It’s normal to fall into a routine when you’ve been married for a while. Breaking that routine is difficult, but it’s exciting and demonstrates you’re making an effort.
Replicate Your Honeymoon
This doesn’t mean you have to go on an extravagant vacation (though that would be nice), but it does mean trying to recapture some of the early romance in your relationship.
What were the things you used to do when you were first dating or newlyweds that you both enjoyed?
If you surprise your spouse with some of these things for your anniversary I think it’ll put a wide smile on their face!
Take a Break Away From Your Daily Distractions
In our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget what is really important.
And that’s the two of you, your kids if you have any, and your future together.
That’s why it’s important to take a break away from your daily distractions so you can really focus on these things.
This could mean planning a weekend getaway, or even just turning off your phones for a day and really talking to each other.
What’s important is that you make time for one another and really listen, talk, and pay attention to one another.
Do Something Special and Personal
Whether you’re broke or hard up for cash right now or just can’t think of anything extravagant your spouse would like, doing something thoughtful is always more meaningful.
The old saying, “It’s the thought that counts” might be cliche, but it’s really true.
Doing something that means a lot to your spouse personally is going to show that you care and might just be the start of the road to repairing your relationship.
Have a Heart-to-Heart
If you think a heart-to-heart talk about what’s been going wrong and what you both want to change going forward is overdue, it’s fine to do this on your anniversary.
There is no point trying to simply ignore the fact that you’re both unhappy right now, so use this opportunity to talk about it (while also surprising them with something nice!)
Important Things to Keep In Mind if Your Marriage Is in a Bad Place
Regardless of what you decide to do and how you celebrate your anniversary, if your marriage is in a rocky place, the things you should be focusing on are:
You need to be able to communicate with your spouse about what’s going on, what you’re feeling, and what you want to change.
As well as having them open up and tell you how they’re feeling.
If you were able to communicate openly, you wouldn’t be in the situation you’re in now – so the excuses have to stop.
Don’t use your anniversary as an excuse not to talk, use it as an excuse TO talk.
As crazy as it sounds, it often takes a reason like an anniversary for a couple who are not getting along to actually do something together.
It’s only then that most couples really realize what they want – or don’t want – from the relationship.
Use your anniversary to really connect on a deep level, no matter what you’ve planned for one another.
Plan for The Future
No matter how bad things are right now, you should always be planning for the future.
This means setting goals and making plans together as a couple, not just as individuals.
If you want to work on rebuilding your relationship so that it’s stronger than ever before, you need to communicate and make sure your future goals align
Making an effort on your anniversary is a great start – but it’s also important to keep in mind that this one day shouldn’t be the only time you’re doing something special for one another.
It should be the start of a new chapter in your relationship where you’re making more of an effort to make things work.
So go ahead and celebrate your anniversary, but also use this as an opportunity to make a real change to your relationship and repair your marriage.
Image credits – Photo by Jack Finnigan on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.