How To Fix A Broken Marriage

Updated March 30, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Sometimes a marriage is a good fit at the beginning, but over time, the married couple grows apart, finding they no longer spend quality time together, there is a lack of sexual intimacy, or they need to improve communication. So, what are some ways to fix the marriage or renew that spark between a married couple?

Not ready to give up on your marriage?

Marriages fail for many reasons, and fixing a broken marriage is not always possible. However, signs of trouble don't automatically mean divorce is the next step. There may be a rift, but you may not be a broken family just yet.

Many couples improve their relationships and work through tough issues together.  They figure out ways to heal from past mistakes, fix things, make space for quality time together, and get back to a healthy marriage. Keep reading to learn what you can do if your marriage is on the rocks.

What can you do to fix your broken marriage?

You never thought you would end up in a bad marriage, but now your marriage isn't working, and you're wondering if divorce is in your future.

Perhaps you tried to be careful, waited, and took your time to find a partner who had all the qualities you thought were needed for a successful marriage. Or maybe you jumped into the relationship without thinking things through. Maybe you’re worried that you didn’t see signs that your spouse is the wrong person.  Perhaps, it’s looking like you and your spouse can’t seem to overcome the many recurring problems threatening your family, home, and marriage.

Conflict may seem to arise in practically every situation, you no longer feel appreciated, and the littlest of things seem to get under your skin. Trying to deal with it feels like too much effort for too little gain.

Your wedding vows may have included promises that your marriage would be till death do you part, but now you find yourself in a troubled marriage that seems to be leaning towards divorce with every passing moment. Perhaps you and your spouse are in a constant tug of war-about how to manage your family and home. You may not want to give up or get divorced, but you are also feeling hopeless and aren’t sure how long you can hold on or if holding on is the right thing to do.

Should you be considering a separation?

separation or divorce is a significant life change. Separation or divorce will rarely be comfortable, pain-free, or seen as the perfect solution. Deciding to get a divorce is a major life decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Relationships that end in divorce or separation may still require a lot of effort, especially if there are children involved.

Many younger married couples don't realize that healthy relationships usually don’t deteriorate overnight but through consistent lack of communication and a pile up of misunderstandings. Most couples find there is a big difference between their ideas about married life and the reality of an actual marriage. A good marriage often does not come about without both partners putting in the work.

One way to improve a marriage is to spend quality time together reading and talking about how to make your relationship work.

If you prefer to fix your marriage without counseling, there are plenty of informative and helpful articles and resources on the subject and related reading books you can buy. These resources cover topics like conflict resolution, financial management, parenting styles, the importance of loving physical touch, and the different love languages people have that help them feel loved by their mates.

However, if your marriage feels broken in too many ways for self-help, it may be time to reach out to a mental health professional like a clinical social worker or a relationship coach who can help you in a safe and supportive way. These professionals know how to identify a broken relationship and may be able to help you improve your marriage. You can find a therapist or licensed clinical social worker who specializes in couples counseling to walk you through this process.

Talking to a relationship coach can help fix a broken marriage

Making an appointment with a marriage expert or relationship coach is one way to dig deeper into what exactly is wrong with a marriage and clarify whether or not the relationship can be saved. They can even give you the best marriage advice as well as some tips to handle marriage problems. You may also find that spending time with your spouse gently exploring questions about your feelings and perspectives can help restore a happy married life.

Warning signs of a broken marriage

Below are two of the most common signs that your marriage is broken:

Constant negotiation between spouses

Knowing when to compromise is a necessary technique in all relationships. However, each person in a relationship should feel respected.

However, in a failing marriage, this may be much more difficult. You may make many small compromises each day, and when a person feels like they are giving in all the time, resentment builds.

Still, when it comes to making a meaningful sacrifice for your partner's happiness, such as parenting styles and big financial decisions, successful couples will find themselves compromising to reach common ground. Learning new negotiating skills that are a win-win for both people is something a trained marriage counselor can often help with.

Arguing instead of discussing


Discussions are a crucial component of making a relationship work, but they can be unproductive when these conversations turn into fights.

Real conversations in a long-term relationship involve talking about relevant issues instead of criticizing each other. Effective and empathetic dialog requires active listening and open communication.

Having the occasional argument is by no means a sign of a relationship in trouble. However, becoming aware of the way you and your spouse conduct yourselves during moments of stress can be a crucial part of keeping your relationship on track. 

Marriage counseling and communication

Luckily, couples therapy or relationship counseling can make a huge difference in fixing relationships that are not working. For most couples, working on how to handle conflicts is a crucial step in fixing a broken marriage.

Learning healthy ways of resolving conflict can be of great help for mitigating intense emotions and strengthening the marriage foundation.

What if fixing the marriage doesn’t seem worth the effort?

The emotional tone of some failed marriages isn't passionate outrage but exhausted indifference. Indifference in a marriage can be a huge warning sign. It is possible to repair a marriage that has suffered severe damage, but this requires both people to make a commitment to effectively repair the relationship.

Once one or both partners feel that it just isn't worth the trouble to start fixing a broken relationship, they may not be willing to take any of the steps needed to repair their relationship, which is one of the signs a marriage cannot be saved.

The marriage may feel over, even if the marriage doesn't result in a formal divorce or separation.

Obstacles that often cannot be overcome, leading to divorce:


There is no excuse for physical violence or abuse, and it is always wrong and unhealthy. If one partner is physically or mentally abusive and refuses to change or get help, then there is little hope for saving a marriage.

To leave an abusive relationship, a person needs to take bold steps, with a rescue plan put in place. If you have been experiencing domestic violence, reach out for help. You can get immediate assistance at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A financially controlling partner

If one of the partners refuses to allow their spouse more financial control even after counseling, this can be a sign that fixing the marriage might not be possible.

The financially controlling partner usually views themselves as being in the right, and they likely do not consider their partner's needs and wants. A counselor might be able to help you and your spouse resolve this problem, but if you plan to leave, you'll need to consider your finances and how to manage them on your own. Even a few minutes of reading online about basic financial management can give you a start on how to do this. Consider taking a look at a free ebook or two on the subject.


If one or both of the partners in a relationship resort to having an affair, the marriage can often be salvaged with counseling and forgiveness. However, multiple affairs can cause the trust to be genuinely broken. Ending the marriage may be for the best.


If counseling and therapy do not change a spouse who lies all the time, it may be time to consider separation or divorce. Lying may start as a series of little, inconsequential lies that you can ignore and make excuses for. As time goes on, however, you may see an escalation in this truth avoidance. This may indicate a broken marriage.

Counseling for both partners is necessary to repair the eroded trust. But if one partner refuses to acknowledge the lies or refuses to change, this can lead to divorce.

Are you wondering how to fix a broken marriage?

If you're in an unhealthy relationship, and you and your partner are willing to put in the work to save your marriage, reach out to a licensed counselor to start online marriage counseling. Research has shown that online therapy can help couples refocus on their relationship in much the same way as in-person therapy.

Not ready to give up on your marriage?

If you and your spouse have busy schedules or the tasks of adding a commute and finding childcare sound like a big effort, you might want to consider online marriage counseling.

Regain can help you and your partner begin fixing your relationship. All you'll need to do is fill out a short questionnaire.

The information you provide helps ensure that the mental health professional you are matched with suits your unique needs. After the questionnaire is completed, you can be matched with a licensed therapist within a few hours or at most a few days. From there you can communicate with your therapist in a variety of ways from messaging to phone to video - whichever is the most comfortable method for you and your partner to get to work.

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