Getting Through The Tough Times

Dear Sugar
I feel like my marriage is spiraling out of control and I don't know what to do to save it. I love my husband dearly; we have two beautiful children together, but we have been fighting so much lately. I mean we have been having these huge screaming, yelling, break up battles.

We've both been under a tremendous amount of stress. Our oldest child has been very ill involving surgeries and long hospital stays. I am aware that we are not doing a good job communicating with each other during these hard times and I feel like we need outside help. Although my husband and I make a decent living, we are still struggling to make ends meet and can't afford marriage counseling at this time.

I love my husband very much and don't want to end up divorced. I feel like I have no one to talk to. My two best friends are not married, don't have kids, and I don't see them very much. I feel like I am falling apart. Do you have any advise to help us get through this rough patch? Please help. Marriage Meltdown Meghan

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Dear Marriage Meltdown Meghan
I am so sorry to hear about your son. I wish him a fast and healthy recovery. I think it's wonderful that you've been able to identify the problem; you and your husband are definitely not communicating. This is a critical time in your family. I know it's difficult, but try to take a step back when you are angry, take a few deep breaths and count to ten.

You need to support each other. Also, please try your hardest not to fight, especially in front of your children as this is a trying time for them as well. Something I've learned that might help you (although it does kind of feel silly) is when you are angry instead of yelling, say "I love you." You do love each other, you are both just frustrated. Maybe it will help you to calm down and at least argue a little bit more rationally.

Acknowledging there is a disconnect is the first step. Since counseling can be very expensive, I would suggest trying to open the lines of communication at home and really listen to each other. You're both under a lot of pressure and need each other for support. If you feel you still need outside help, there are online counseling services and couples therapy hotlines that are available free of charge.

Do you have any family members you can talk to about this? I also suggest reaching out to your friends. Just because they are not married with kids doesn't mean they are not there to support you and to lend a listening ear. Hang in there! You have a strong and apparent dedication to making your marriage work. Hopefully love with conquer all.

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