There is no question marriage is work. It can be the greatest, best, most difficult work you ever do and when you have a good partner it is absolutely worth it. However, even the best of friends and companions can be tested by trying to parent a troubled teen.

Trying While Being Tried

On top of the work of keeping your marriage alive for at least the past decade and a half, now your teens are presenting a new challenge. For this challenge you and your spouse are going to need each other but finding the time to stay connected isn’t the easiest when just getting through dinner and homework is such a chore. This is when you will need to dig in your heels and hold on to one another for dear life. Here are a few rules you could follow to keep your relationship a top priority—and yes you both should consider them rules under the circumstances.

  1. Avoid Blame - The Blame Game; this is a game that cannot be won so agree to avoid playing it. No one parent is solely responsible for their troubled teen’s issues. You both bear some responsibility but trying to assign a percentage of blame is not healthy for anyone. Avoid this game at all costs but should one of you slip, resolve to move past it as quickly as possible.
  2. Patience - Of course it is always better to practice patience but there are going to be times when you are at your wits end and your supply might be short. If this is where you find yourself with your partner, remember perfection is not the goal of patience but consistent practice is.
  3. Teamwork - Remember you are in this together. You were a team before this unruly child and your goal is to stay strong through it. Working as a team will help keep your stress lower and your satisfaction with one another high. A strong team is your first priority! The more you and your spouse can work together through your troubled teen’s issues the better it will be for your entire family.
  4. Time Out - Know when it’s time for a time out. You have been married long enough that you can take one look at your sweetheart and know they need a break so step up and give them one. However, do not expect your spouse to read your mind so if you need a little time to yourself ask for it. This goes hand in hand with teamwork. If one of you needs to step away, the other should be willing to spend time dealing with the troubled one alone. And, there may be times you might both need a break at the same time so in that case call in extended family or friends for support. It is perfectly okay and even necessary to spend time alone as a couple.

These tips will help you and yourpartner stay strong and connected while you are managing challenging parenting situations. But what about your teen? What happens to him when everything you have tried just doesn’t seem to be working?

Well, you actually put all these same relationship rules into play.

It’s not your fault. It’s not your teen’s fault.

You are practicing patience without expecting perfection.

You are functioning as a team except your teen is more like an injured player at this point.

So the last step is accepting that you all might be in need of a time out in the form of a therapeutic intervention. If that kid of yours just isn’t latching on to all the things you are trying then it is time to bring in reinforcements. For difficult teens equine therapy’s unique power is a great option to reach the unreachable. Horses have that gift and it has been used throughout time as a therapy tool.

No parent wants to send their child away but when it comes to issues so deep they seem unsolvable then it is time to add this tool to the toolbox. If your relationship was at its brink, wouldn’t you seek an intervention? Of course! A therapeutic boarding school especially equipped to help your teen is no different. Give your teen the gift of equine therapy. You two will keep working while he is gone so it is the best hope to pull your family back together.

Author's Bio: 

Tyler Jacobson is a freelance writer, with past experience in content writing and outreach for parent and teen advocate organizations. His areas of focus include: parenting, education, social media, addiction, and issues facing teenagers today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | Linkedin