If your marriage is being tested by a teenager, you're at risk as a couple. No matter how strong your marriage or how capable you feel as parents, this is going to be a tough time for the whole family. Don't be afraid to reach out for the help you need, and don't hesitate to reach out for each other to get through these challenging times as a couple.
1. Discuss Boundaries And Punishments Before They're Needed
If you wait until your teenager actually does something that calls for punishment, only to discover you're not in agreement as a couple, this shows a chink in your armor. As tough as it is, get together as parents before anything hits the fan to determine the best course of action to hold your teenager responsible and, hopefully, curb that behavior:
- Set up boundaries and regulations for your teen, with consequences for violations.
- Agree to not disagree in front of your child.
- Arrange to take turns with things like punishment and stern discussions.
If you and your spouse are not on the same side and the same page when it comes to dealing with your teenager, a wedge is created between you and there's no telling how far it could push you apart as a couple.
2. Sit Down With A Marriage Counselor
Most marriages could benefit from counseling, since it's a healthy and effective way to communicate feelings and work through problems. As a couple with a teenager or two, though, you have extra need for the guidance a marriage counselor can provide.
Seeing a marriage counselor is also good for venting stream and stress, along with learning how to improve your communication and coping skills in any area of the marriage. A counselor can offer you exercises to engage in as a couple, as a family, and as individuals; these exercises should strengthen the bonds between all of you, but especially between you and your spouse.
3. Seek Counseling For Your Teenager
Your teen may have anger issues and triggers that seem impossible to control right now, and that's something they may need professional help with. Many families with teens go through periods of adjustment where professional help is needed. A counselor can help identify your child's triggers for anger and acting out, along with finding better ways to release the anger, confusion, and other perils of the teenage years.
4. Take Time For Yourselves As A Couple
No matter what's going on with your child, it's imperative that you and your spouse or partner are able to set aside time for yourselves. Take a weekend away once in a while to talk, strategize, and rebuild your energy reserves. While it's good to formulate a plan for the home front, it's also beneficial to dedicate some time to each other, reconnecting with the intimacy of your union.
5. Call On Your Values When Times Get Really Tough
Even with counseling and the patience of Job, times will likely still get tough in your household. If your family attends a church, look for help there, too. Other parents might be able to advise and support you, and other children can talk to your teen. It's a good place to build quality relationships, especially if your teen's troubles mean they're hanging out with all the wrong kids in school. Sometimes it takes a village to help raise a child, but sometimes that village can help hold a marriage together, too.
Most marriages are tested in one way or another over the years, but when faced with the challenge of raising a rebellious teenager, your backs can really be up against the wall as a couple. You can all make it through, though, if you reach out for the support and services of friends, family, community, and the professional counseling that makes you stronger together.Share