You're looking at a picture of you and your spouse holding hands. Your smiles are from ear to ear, and you look like you couldn't be happier. That was the day you vowed never to leave each other's side - till death do us part. The ring on your finger, placed there on that beautiful day years ago, has stayed on tight and firm all these years, and you'd look at it every so often and smile as you thought back to that special day. But now the ring is loose. The house that once electrified with laughter and romance is silent and dull. There used to be endless conversations about everything and nothing, and now even a "hello" seems forced, let alone "I love you." Does this sound familiar? Has the idea of divorce ever crossed your mind? Well, there is hope in saving your marriage, restoring the love and passion you once had and make it even stronger than it was before.
According to the American Psychological Association, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. These are staggering statistics! How could this possibly be? To look at ways to save a marriage on the brink of divorce, it's just as important to look at how your marriage declined to where it is today. So what happened? Marriages don't fall apart overnight. It's a slow and gradual deterioration of the very things that once made you fall in love and marry your spouse. Here are some common things that can change for the worse in marriage.
Communication: Communication is one of the most important aspects of a successful and sustaining marriage. This includes verbal and non-verbal (behavior, facial expressions, gestures, writing, etc.) communication. Most marriages go through rough times, which can change the way spouses communicate with each other. Many couples develop bad habits and create destructive patterns when communication isn't going well, which can directly affect your marriage.
Spending Time Together: The time spent with your spouse has diminished. What once was a priority to each other is now more of a struggle, even a chore. The number of time spouses spends together is only half of the picture. Quality time spent together is also crucial to the health of a marriage.
Mutual Respect: In most marriages, respect is more crucial than love. Why? When one partner loses respect for the other, the marriage and the love for each other subsequently crumbles.
Supporting One Another: This includes showing faith in your spouse, respecting your spouse's personal decisions, and being there for your spouse physically, emotionally, and financially. When your support system deteriorates, it's likely your marriage will follow suit.
Trust and Honesty: Trust and honesty go hand in hand in a marriage and are rooted in feeling safe with your spouse. Broken trust and honesty, such as infidelity lie, or broken promises, can severely damage a marriage structure.
Now that we've looked at some of the causes of the decline of a marriage, which can lead to divorce, let's look at how to save a marriage on the brink of divorce.
How To Save A Marriage On The Brink Of Divorce
You're at a place in your marriage where the very structure and foundation appear shattered and non-repairable. But rest assured that all is not lost, and a marriage on the brink of divorce can most certainly be restored. Here are some steps to start the healing process toward a marriage that can be even better than before.
Remember Why You Fell In Love In First Place: This is a great place to start. When you've settled into the rhythm of a marriage, the memory of your first date is overshadowed by other milestones such as the birth of your first child or your 10th anniversary. Taking the time to relive the earliest days of your courtship and romance can help revitalize those falling-in-love feelings. Daydream about those first dates to remind yourself that your spouse is still that same person deep down inside. Reflecting on what brought you together and looking at the life you've built together is a great first step and is extremely important toward restoring your marriage.
Take Care Of Yourself: The mere stress of having your marriage on the brink of divorce, let alone the daily responsibility with kids, finances, and work, and emotionally and physically, take a toll on you. You can't effectively rebuild your marriage and be a healthy partner if you don't first take care of yourself. Maybe it's taking a long bath each night, enjoying your favorite hobby, reading a novel at the park, or taking a day trip alone. This is not the time to try and figure out how to save your marriage. This is the time to be patient and gentle with yourself. This is your safe place to regenerate, relax, and heal.
Listen When Your Spouse Is Talking: Although this may seem obvious, truly listening to your spouse is very different than merely standing next to them while they talk. This communication skill is vital to the restoration and healthy maintenance of your marriage. Active or deep listening is at the heart of every healthy relationship. It's also the most effective way to bring about growth and change. Your spouse will feel heard, appreciated, and valued when you listen to them with undivided attention.
Spend Quality Time Together: Find a babysitter, say "no" to your golf buddies, or movie night with your girlfriends. There's too much to lose not to. There are four critical ingredients to spending quality time that enables a marriage to thrive: regularity (weekly dates, weekend getaways), variety (doing different and unique things each week), adventure (trying new things, being spontaneous), and fun (being silly, laughing together again). Be sure to incorporate all four into your time together. Take the time and effort to plan special quality time with your spouse. They will feel appreciated and needed and begin to remember what it was like when you first fell in love.
Make Your Spouse The Priority: This encompasses more than spending physical time together. Making your spouse a priority is both physical and emotional. Sometimes the reason for arguments or misunderstandings in your marriage is simply not making your spouse the priority. Maybe your spouse needs the same level and quality of attention you gave them when you were newly married. Let them know that they are still your priority and that nothing has changed how you view them or feel about them. Give them a surprise call in the middle of the day, tell them how much you love them and how much you need and appreciate them. Making your spouse feel important and making them the priority can positively change the mood of your marriage.
Take Accountability: Don't blame your spouse for all the wrong things happening to your marriage. Marriage consists of two people, and when there's a problem, it's more likely both of you are responsible to some degree. Soul search yourself and be honest. What have you contributed to the state your marriage is in? Once you find the answer, communicate it to your spouse, ask for forgiveness, and change that very thing about you. If your spouse admits to you what they've caused, listen to them with no judgment or blame. Ensure to them that you hear them, that you're thankful, and that you'll support them in any way possible to help them and your marriage heal.
Take A Break: Sometimes, just getting away from your partner for a weekend, or even a week or 10 days, will help you gather your thoughts and emotions during this stressful and confusing time. You'll be able to think clearly and independently, focus on yourself, and be able to objectively evaluate the condition of your marriage, including your hurts, regrets, and needs. You'll also be in a much better place emotionally when you return to your spouse as you both begin rebuilding your relationship.
Seek Professional Help: Accepting that your marriage is struggling and being honest with yourself is crucial. Seeking professional help both individually and as a couple from a mental health professional can be a tremendous asset for your marriage's survival. There could be issues that have not been dealt with, which could be a contributing factor. A mental health professional can also give you additional helpful ways to rebuild and strengthen your marriage based on the information you give them. Unfortunately, many married couples who can benefit from mental health services delay or avoid seeking help because they see it as a sign of weakness or feel embarrassed to admit their marriage is on the brink of divorce.
Be assured that seeking professional help is a sign of strength; you are willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how vulnerable or scary it may feel, to save your marriage. ReGain is always available to those in need of help. Know that you are not alone and that we at ReGain are here to help you work through it. With ReGain, you can speak with a therapist 24/7, seven days a week. With chat, text, phone, and video chat options, you can speak with a therapist in a way that is most convenient for you.
You can contact ReGain by clicking here.
“Cris Roman saved my marriage. His approach to therapy taught my husband and I the skills we needed to change the way we communicated and the way we understood each other. He is very non-judgemental and helps each person make sense of the others' feelings and actions without taking sides or placing blame. His ability to make you feel heard while helping you to see and understand why your significant other is acting a certain way is phenomenal.”
“My wife and I decided to give online couples counseling a go after finding traditional methods weren’t all that suited to our busy working and parenting lifestyle. Our counselor Donna Kemp has been amazing! We both feel she’s listened to us and given us the confidence to step out of our comfort zone to deal with problems that are easy to avoid. She is encouraging without being pushy. We’ve both responded very well to her and her methods and look forward to continuing on with Donna. Highly recommend!”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you want to save your marriage from divorce, the first thing you need to do is listen to your spouse. Truly listen so that you can learn what they think the problems in your failing marriage are. Once you know why your spouse wants to get out of the marriage, you can start taking action to change any behaviors that played a part. Acknowledge the fact that you hurt your significant other and apologize.
Do your best to act the way you did when the two of you were still falling in love. You can also suggest going to a marriage therapist together to address the best ways to save your marriage from divorce. A professional can help you learn how to save a marriage from divorce by working through your issues and teaching you effective communication skills. These methods can be helpful in many situations, but at the end of the day, you must realize that you cannot force your spouse to stay in the marriage if they have made up their mind about heading for divorce.
If you’re feeling a lot of doubt when you begin to consider divorce as an option, that could be a sign that your marriage is worth saving, even if it is an unhappy marriage at the moment. If you still feel respected, can’t picture your life without the other person, and you enjoy spending time together, then it’s definitely worth it to try to save your marriage, either through couples counseling with a marriage therapist or other methods.
Other reasons that your failing marriage is worth the effort it will take to restore it are if your problems aren’t specific to this relationship, if you feel that it’s possible to bring the spark back, and if both of you are ready and willing to put work into your marriage. As long as both partners are ready to change their behavior, there’s potential for a happy marriage and no need to be heading for divorce.
Since marriage is between two people, one spouse can’t save a marriage if the other doesn’t want to. You must remember that you don’t want to save “my” marriage; you want to save “our” marriage--it belongs to both you and your spouse. However, you can take action to show your spouse that they should care about saving the marriage as well. You can do this not by begging your spouse to stay with you but instead by practicing empathy, catering to your spouse’s love language, and working to improve yourself as a person.
Is there a magic phrase that will tell you how to save a marriage from divorce? Sadly, the answer is no. Saving a marriage from divorce is less about what you say and more about what you do; actions speak louder than words! So if you want to save your marriage, start by recognizing and appreciating the parts of your relationship with your spouse that do work well. Next, remember all of the good times in your marriage and how strongly you used to feel about your spouse back when you had a happy marriage.
To move on rather than heading for divorce, both partners must accept anything that happened in the past and be open to the future. You must also strike a balance between taking care of yourself and keeping the marriage a top priority. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help if it seems like you can’t save your marriage alone! Couples therapy is a great and effective option, and speaking to an objective third party can help any relationship, even a healthy marriage.
It is possible to save a marriage when one spouse falls out of love, but they have to willingly put in the necessary effort to get the spark back. Many marriages end in divorce, but they don’t necessarily have to. Remember that falling out of love is a process, just like falling in love. You didn’t fall in love with your spouse overnight, and you didn’t fall out of love with them overnight either. This means falling back in love will take time and work, but it is possible.
Wondering how to save a marriage from divorce? There are many ways to save an unhappy marriage. One of the best ways to save a marriage is for you and your partner to learn how to communicate healthily and effectively, rather than expecting your spouse to be able to read your mind. Do what you can to revive the spark you once had by doing something sweet for your partner or planning a date that you know they’ll love. Remember why you fell in love in the first place, and renew your gratitude for those qualities in your spouse! These methods can help you develop a healthy marriage.
Unless you have given up on your marriage or no longer care to save it, most therapists will say that it’s not too late to save your marriage. That doesn’t mean it will be an easy process; there will be a lot of time and effort involved for both partners. However, if your marriage was once good, there’s a high chance that it could be good again if both partners are willing to change their behavior and put in the necessary work.
Many marriages indeed end in divorce, but that doesn’t mean your marriage can't be saved. An honest talk with your spouse where you tell them, “I want to save our marriage,” can go a long way! When it comes to marriage, the family can serve as a helpful support system as well. Don’t forget to take care of yourself as you work to fix your marriage.
In many cases, a toxic marriage can be saved. There are only a few situations in which a toxic marriage shouldn’t be saved. For example, if you are in physical danger or feel that you may cause danger to yourself or your spouse, it is best to separate. If you have children and your toxic marriage affects them physically or emotionally, it may be best to end the marriage. Also, if you or your spouse would prefer to leave rather than work on the marriage, it might be best not to save it.
If you feel unsafe in your marriage, how to save it is less important than your own safety. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or talk to a mental health professional who can offer help and guidance. When it comes to a toxic marriage, the family can also offer support in many cases. Don’t hesitate to reach out to someone who can help!
When it comes to marriage, how to save it from divorce, and how to know if it’s worth it, it can be difficult to know whether to keep trying or accept defeat. So how do you know when it’s really over? Well, if you already have an “escape plan” or constantly fantasize about leaving your partner, your marriage may be over. If you never communicate and neither of you is truly committed to changing your behavior, divorce may be the best choice. Other signs that your marriage may be over are if you’re not yourself anymore, if you argue constantly, and if your sex life and physical affection are nonexistent.
But if you and your spouse still love and respect each other and are willing to put in the work to save your marriage, then it does not have to be over. There are tons of great resources online, books you can read together, and professionals that provide couples therapy. All of these options can help you work through your issues and improve your marriage.