How To Fix A Marriage When It Seems Lost
By: Dylan Buckley
Updated March 03, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Stephanie Deaver, LCSW
In just about any marriage, there will eventually come a time where you will face conflict and, depending on the outcome of the situation, you may reach a point where you ask yourself whether or not you want to keep the marriage going. For some, the thought is fleeting, and they can resolve the conflicts and confidently say that they have made the right choice. For others, the thought continues to come back again and again, and they find themselves struggling to think of why they even try anymore, especially if solving the underlying issues in the marriage hasn't managed to change the partners' feelings towards each other. If you are having issues within your marriage and are feeling as though the relationship could use some severe help, take a look at the guide below to learn how to fix a marriage when it seems lost (and whether or not it is necessary to do so.)
When Your Marriage Is Struggling… Should You Fix It or Not?
Many things can happen in your marriage that have the potential to make you think that it's just not going to work. Maybe the two of you have communication issues, or perhaps you spend more of your time fighting than you do talking to each other. Maybe you don't have the same opinions or views on things, and you feel like two different people at this moment in time. No matter what the problems are, you have to fix them before you can work on improving your marriage. If you don't fix them, then you run the risk of allowing these issues to continue damaging your current relationship and adding to existing problems, which can end up with your marriage truly falling apart.
At this point, you have most likely reached a crossroads in your marriage where you need to ask yourself, should we repair our marriage, or should we divorce and move on? This is an important question as it can save you and your partner a lot of time, money, and heartache. For the most part, while there are some exceptions, it can be quite easy to tell whether or not you should save your marriage. For example, both parties must be willing and able to make changes to their relationship, and if one doesn't feel the need to or feels that the damage done is much too large to tackle, this could indicate that they would prefer to leave the relationship instead of fighting for it. There can also be an issue where a partner is repeatedly emotionally abusive or constantly cheating on their partner. If you feel as though divorce is the best way, it is important to determine this early on before you attempt to save something you don't want to save or may be unable to save.
If you are still thinking about saving the marriage and believe you are capable of it, there's still a chance to do it. Here are some tips that will help you along the way.
How to Fix a Marriage
So what do you do to fix your marriage? Well, you've already made the first step, admitting that something is wrong with your marriage in the first place. The next step is working on fixing the marriage itself, and that involves discussing things with your partner to figure out what the specific problems are that you're facing. It may be that your partner (or you) doesn't realize that you're doing something to sabotage the marriage and in that case, talking about it can clear up the problem and make things better again. However, it is often more complicated than this, which brings us to some of the valuable tips listed below.
1. Sit Down and Figure Out What Problems You and Your Partner are Dealing With
A lack of communication is often one of the major issues that are contributing to the slow erosion of your marriage. When there is no helpful communication taking place between you and your partner, and you spend your time fighting rather than resolving issues, you can't expect the marriage to go anywhere but down. To start the process of fixing the marriage, you need first to understand what issues exist within the relationship. Set aside some time to sit down with your partner in a safe, non-judgmental setting and come up with all of the issues that may be affecting the two of you. For example, are the two of you constantly fighting about finances? Is one of you feeling as though the other partner is not interested or involved in the marriage? Ask yourself what you are truly having a problem within your relationship and whether or not that problem is a legitimate issue. This first step will help give you a list of things you can work towards later on.
2. Come up with Solutions and Goals for Your Marriage Woes
Having a list of issues in your marriage is great, but it is only useful if you can take those problems and create a list of goals and solutions that help to eliminate them from your relationship. Once you have come up with a comprehensive list that covers all of the problems you and your partner could identify, you should then come up with a list of solutions and specific goals that will help you to take action on these problems and start work on the marriage immediately. Let's imagine that one of your issues was that the other partner felt that they weren't receiving enough attention from you during the week. In response to this issue, you can decide to set a goal such as making sure to do three small things throughout the week that shows your appreciation for your spouse. You could decide to set up a date night once a week that was non-negotiable, or you could make sure to set a time several times a week that allows for you and your spouse to just talk to each other and learn more about their day. Whatever issue you are having, there are most likely plenty of solutions you and your partner can think of that will help to resolve these problems.
3. Focus on Yourself and Your Personal Issues and Reactivity
When we're in a place of judgment and blame, we tend to put off all of our frustrations on our partner. In some instances, they may be doing things that are causing issues, but we may also be doing things that make them mad as well, or we may simply be reacting too harshly to what we perceive to be a problem. When you are working on saving a marriage, the most important thing to remember is to focus on improving yourself and what you can do to contribute to your half of the marriage. What issues are you capable of resolving on your own? What aspects of yourself could you improve that would help to add value to the relationship? Are there any things from your past that need to be resolved to reduce some of your reaction to your partner's actions? Are all of your reactions justified, or do you overdo it sometimes or blame your spouse for unnecessary things? Part of being a great partner is knowing yourself and making sure that your needs are met and that you are the best person you can be for your spouse. If one half of the foundation of the relationship is crumbling, it makes it simpler for the whole thing to come down.
4. Focus on the Love and Positivity as Much as the Unenjoyable Aspects of the Relationship
When you focus on saving your marriage, a lot of your attention is focused on the negative aspects of the relationship as you continue to dredge up more and more problems that you and your partner are having. This consistent look at the negative can bring down the overall mood, which is the exact opposite of what you want to be doing when you are trying to repair the relationship. To maintain balance, you must also focus on the positives of being together and put out the effort to love and cherish your partner when possible. What do you love about your partner? What things would you like to do more of for them or with them? How can you better strengthen the existing love and bond between you and your spouse? Make sure to keep the morale and positivity high and do what you can to improve the love and connection as you power through this difficult time.
Your New Online Therapist
The tips above provide you with excellent methods that you and your partner can use if you are attempting to save your marriage, but the problem is that most married couples will often have trouble implementing these pieces of advice into their marriage on their own. If you and your partner can't come to an agreement simply by telling each other what the problem is and you're experiencing issues working together, you'll want to look into other options to work on your marriage. One of the first things that you should do is seek out a professional. They'll be able to help you understand what's happening in your relationship and why either one of you is unhappy. They'll also be able to help you come up with positive ways to talk about those problems and resolve them.
By working with a professional, you have the opportunity to learn how to stop these types of problems from happening in the future as well. Learning new skills of communication and problem solving, you'll be able to discuss the problems that you're facing instead of letting them blow up into something even bigger. That being said, finding the right therapist to work with can be a bit difficult. With ReGain, you'll be able to find a great therapist, and you can do it right from your own home, which makes the whole process much simpler.
What's great about ReGain is that you can get help online and you have access to some excellent options of counselors at the same time. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable when your relationship is struggling and being able to speak with a neutral therapist will help you to build things back up. If you've gotten this far in the article, you and your partner have something amazing together, and you want to make sure that it continues. Whatever problems you may be having, they can be overcome with the right attitude and willpower provided by both you and your spouse. If this is the case for your marriage, seek counseling assistance as soon as possible to get back to your marriage and the love of your life!