If your marriage is in trouble, it can be an extremely stressful time for all concerned including, not just you and your spouse, but also your children, family, and close friends.
Whether it gets to breaking point and ultimately the divorce courts, or whether your marriage can be saved, are questions that no one knows the definitive answer to right now.
However, if there is a chance to save your marriage, and more importantly, if both you and your spouse want to save it, then it is certainly worth exploring what steps and strategies are available to you in order for that to happen, which is exactly what this article will lay out.
Saving Your Marriage for the Right Reasons
Some might argue that any marriage is worth saving, regardless of why the couple is trying to save it, but in most cases, unless the reasons are the right ones, the foundations for the marriage in question are very fragile indeed. Positive reasons for saving a marriage include, but are not limited to true love, compassion, respect for each other, companionship and the genuine wish to spend the rest of one's life with their partner.
On the other hand, there are countless reasons wish should not form the basis for saving a marriage, even though some of them are laudable. One of the more common ones is where there are children, and therefore a couple, who are otherwise drifting apart, staying together solely for the sake of those children.
It is perfectly understandable that parents would want to protect their children from any fallout due to their marriage breaking up, and so they opt to continue within a marriage that has effectively ended. This prolongs the unhappiness and can breed resentment towards the children by one or both parents, which makes the family unit even more insecure.
Another situation, which should never be the basis for saving a marriage, is where the couple decides they are better off together financially, than apart. In this case, the marriage becomes no more than a business arrangement.
Staying together to avoid embarrassment, or due to pressure from family or friends are also poor reasons.
It Takes Commitment Times Two
Before looking at the many strategies and actions you might take to save your marriage, you and your husband or wife must decide together that you both wish to save your marriage and are 100% committed to doing so.
The reason for this is that no matter how strong your desire is to save your marriage, and regardless of how much effort you put into saving it, it will all be wasted if you are the only one who is that fully committed.
Likewise, if you are less than enthusiastic about making the necessary adjustments and compromises that may have to be made, then no progress will be made.
You should both agree that no matter how difficult some of the steps each of you may have to take as you move forward, both of you will promise to give each other, and your marriage, every chance to succeed, and that your commitment to it is absolute.
On that, you should also accept that it will not always be plain sailing and that you may suffer from the occasional setback. Again, if in advance you both agree to make allowances if the other falters, then it will mean these setbacks will be mere hurdles to overcome, rather than insurmountable roadblocks.
Assessing Where Your Marriage is and How It Got There
Assuming you are both committed 100% to saving your marriage, and will be doing so for the right reasons, the first step you should take with your spouse is to discuss rationally what state your marriage is in and try to identify some of the causes of it being knocked off track. You must be aware that this part of the process is often the most difficult because of the danger of each partner listing all the faults of the other, and it then descending into a blame session.
While it is essential that each of you can bring up where you feel your spouse has played a part in your marriage going awry, a degree of acceptance of a share of the responsibility is needed. In addition, be prepared to listen to your partner highlight where they feel you are at fault, without jumping into defensive mode the second they are critical of you.
A great process for assessing what stage your marriage may be at is outlined in the 'Save The Marriage’ system, which has a comprehensive array of professional guides, reports, and other advice to help you save your marriage.
Ideas and Strategies to Save Your Marriage
No matter how many tips and ideas we give you to help save your marriage, there will be dozens more you may hear from other sources. We are not saying ours are the only ones, and whether you use just one or two, use them all, or use some in conjunction with others you may have picked up elsewhere, the point is that you are doing something positive.
Put Your Marriage First, Everything Else Second
This is where we tell you to be a little bit selfish, albeit not in a nasty way. What we mean is that if you and your spouse are truly committed to saving your marriage, then for the next weeks and months, your marriage must come first, to the exclusion of everything else.
Whenever you need to make a decision, whether it be an important one, or more trivial day to day ones, you both need to make those decisions with a view to how it impacts on your marriage.
There will be many dilemmas where making a choice which will help your marriage may upset others such as your children, family, friends or work colleagues. It could be that activities that you normally undertake with your children are curtailed somewhat so that you as a couple can spend more time together.
You may have to ask the family to babysit more often so that you can have time away together. Or, it could be you spend less time socializing with friends or work colleagues
Remember, as you go through the process of saving your marriage, nothing is more important, and if this means upsetting others slightly, then so be it. If they genuinely care for you, they will surely understand if you explain your reasons to them.
Reset, and Go Back to Square #1
This involves both you, and your spouse ,setting aside some time and recalling all the positive aspects of your marriage, especially when you first got together. This could involve any number of ideas but here are some to get you thinking:
- Revisit the place you first met
- Favorite restaurant or bar you used when first married
- Vacation or day trip places you went to when first married
- Did you regularly give each other little gifts? e.g. flowers, candy, wine
- Hobbies, sports or other activities you did together
- Sending each other love texts/messages
- Did you go to the movies regularly together?
- Use pet names you called each other
This list is not exhaustive, but if any of them were things that you and your partner did in the early days of your marriage that made you feel good, then partaking in them again may rekindle some of that magic, remind you both how happy you were together, and could still be within your marriage.
Act to Ensure Your Spouse's Happiness
With each day that passes as you try to save your marriage, it can often be the case that you are focusing more on what your spouse is doing in terms of any changes or improvements, rather than what you are doing.
The danger with this is that while you are happy and pleased at how they are trying to make your marriage work, you have forgotten about the part you are meant to play, and therefore your husband or wife may start to feel that they are the only one making any effort.
What you must do from the outset is to think only about how you make your spouse happier in your marriage, and for a while at least, spend less time thinking about yourself. This is not easy as every one of us looks at scenarios, good or bad, and assesses how it makes us feel.
However, as you attempt to save your marriage, all your energies should be on pleasing and making your spouse happy. The ideal scenario is that they are thinking along the same lines, and reciprocate, which means they are thinking about your happiness, every bit as much as you are there's, which is a great foundation for saving any marriage.
Talk, Talk, Talk
It should come as no surprise that one of the top reasons why marriages fail, is that the lines of communication between husband and wife become fractured, and possibly break down completely.
It follows, that in order to try to save your marriage, both you and your partner must commit to communicating better, especially when it comes to talking to each other. You must agree that no matter how trivial a problem one of you has with the other, that you will sit down and discuss it.
This prevents any small annoyances festering, building up and becoming a bigger problem than they really are. Instead by getting these out in the open, they are nipped in the bud and forgotten.
Obviously matters to do with your home, your children, other family, work schedules, vacations should be discussed openly, but more importantly, you should both agree to set aside time to discuss how you feel, highlighting the positives and the negatives, and the progress you are making.
In the 'Save Your Marriage’ system, there is an entire section on communicating with your spouse and advice on how you can transform the way that you both communicate with each other.
Do Something Different
There's a phrase that says, 'Variety is the Spice of Life,' and these words are very apt when it comes to saving your marriage. In any marriage that is struggling it is often the case that both partners have become bored.
This does not necessarily mean they are bored with each other, but more in regard to how they live their lives, and the negative impact this has on their marriage.
The solution to this is for both of you to agree that you are going to make your lives, and your marriage more exciting. Most people may assume that adding more excitement applies solely to their sex lives, but the scope for adding excitement extends well beyond the four walls of your bedroom.
Change Your Daily Routines
- Eat out more often, and go to a different restaurant each time
- Take up a sport or other activity together
- Take a short break, and alternate where and how (camping, beach, mountain cabin etc.)
- Start doing charity work
- Buy each other a small or fun gift each week
- Invite friends round more often
- Buy a pet
- Join a local club or community
You and your spouse will doubtless be able to think of more and to help do so why not have a brainstorming session and see if you can come up with as many new things to do together as you can.
You obviously do not have to do them all, but the more you try, the more fun and excitement you will have, which can only have a positive impact on your marriage.
While we are not suggesting that simply by reading this article you will have all the answers as to how you can save your marriage, but we hope at least to have given you some food for thought as to how you might try.
Assuming that you genuinely wish to save your marriage, then you should be encouraged that, not only is it possible, but there are lots of ways you and your spouse can try to make that happen.
Having as many possible solutions available is beneficial, and a great place to find them is at ‘Save the Marriage' which will provide you with numerous reports, guides, research, and proven techniques. These have already saved many marriages, and there is nothing stopping you from using these very same solutions to save your marriage.