How To Save Your Marriage: 8 Steps For Success

Updated August 17, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

A marriage is a commitment that you make for a lifetime. When problems arise in a marriage, it can be very hard to let them go and move on.

Sometimes divorce may be the best answer for everyone but trying to save your marriage first might just be worthwhile, especially if you have children or other common items to take into consideration. While not every marriage can be saved, there are some steps to take and things you can do if you want to give your marriage every possible chance to succeed.

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A Therapist Can Help You And Your Partner Save Your Marriage

Can My Marriage Be Saved?

You may be asking yourself "Can I save my marriage"? Sometimes, marriage problems go unchecked for so long that it seems like the marriage is over, and there is nothing that you can do. Yet, in many situations, the marriage is worth fighting for. Here are some ways you can tell if your marriage can be saved.

You Know You're Not The Perfect Spouse

If you can recognize your faults and your contributions to your marital problems, then you have a much better chance of saving your marriage. When both people can actively see their faults and try to make positive changes for each other, you will have a good shot at saving your marriage.

Little Reminders Make You Feel Good

If little things throughout the day remind you of your spouse and make you feel good, that is a sign that your feelings for your partner are just as strong as ever. If you look forward to seeing your spouse at the end of the day or can't wait to tell them a piece of news from your day, you are likely still in love with your partner. As long as that foundation of love is there, you may be able to save your marriage.

You Still Go On Dates

If you still make time to spend with each other, even if it's just dinner or a movie, then you have a chance at saving your marriage. When you consciously make time to do something together without the kids or other friends and family, you're choosing each other at that moment. If you can choose each other for dates, you may be able to choose each other for life.

Feelings Of Trust And Communication

Even if you are having some trust issues with your spouse, you may still be able to trust them with your thoughts and feelings. When you can trust your partner with your thoughts and emotions and communicate them effectively, you have a much better chance of saving your marriage.

You Still Have An Active Sex Life

Sometimes when a marriage is on the rocks, the sex stops. As long as sex is still in the cards on occasion, then you may have a chance of saving your marriage.

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Signs Your Marriage Is Lost

Unfortunately, not every marriage can be saved. It is important to recognize when a marriage is too far gone to be saved—and it's worth noting that some things are deal-breakers and should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Abuse

Whether the abuse is physical, emotional, or mental is irrelevant. Any abuse from your partner should not be tolerated. If you have pointed out the abuse and it continues to happen, you should not try to save your marriage. It's time to move on.

Behavior Warning Signs

If your partner displays any of the following behaviors, it could be that your marriage is beyond saving. These behaviors often lead to abuse of some type. The warning signs are:

  • Inability or unwillingness to compromise
  • Different goals or outlook on life
  • Repeated issues even after discussion
  • Compulsive liar
  • Is controlling
  • Plays the blame game
  • Lacks empathy
  • Has no sense of responsibility
  • Lack of sex and intimacy
  • Constant criticism
  • Unfaithfulness
  • Unwilling to apologize
  • Shifting priorities

These types of behaviors and warning signs are those that either lead to abuse or lead to the total dissolution of a marriage. These behaviors are often either not recognized by the offending partner or they are aware of the problems but are unwilling to do anything about them. In either case, your marriage will never be better than it is right now.

Steps and Tips for Saving Your Marriage

Once you have decided to try to save your marriage, you can take steps and consider tips to help you do so. These things are usually easy to incorporate into your lives together. It is important to note that you will not be able to save your marriage on your own. You need to communicate with your partner and let them know what steps and tips you want to put in place and why. When you are both on the same page, you will have a much better chance of saving your marriage.

Recognize What Is Working

When there is a lot of discord in a relationship, it can be difficult to see the good things. Yet the chances are good that your relationship isn't all bad all of the time. In fact, when they are given time to really think about their relationship and daily lives, most couples find that there are more good times than bad. It is all a matter of perspective. When you can recognize what is working in your relationship and communicate that to each other, you will have a foundation to build from.

Remember The Good Times

When you start thinking that nothing will ever be great again, it can help to sit and remember the good times. Take a moment for yourself and think about the best times of your relationship: how you met, your first date, the moment you knew you were in love, your wedding, etc. Another alternative is to sit with your spouse and take turns coming up with a memory of one of the best times in your relationship that you can remember.

Getty/AnnaStills
A Therapist Can Help You And Your Partner Save Your Marriage

Accept the Past

There could be transgressions on both sides of your relationship, and it is important to recognize those and deal with them. On the other hand, if you have decided to move past the transgressions, you need to accept them for what they are and offer your partner forgiveness. If you cannot accept these things and forgive each other for them, you will not move forward.

Be Open-Minded

It can be very difficult to see things from someone else's perspective, especially if you seem to be in complete disagreement. You must remain open-minded and able to listen to your partner's thoughts and feelings. Practice listening without judgment or response, then validating your partner's thoughts and feelings even if you do not agree with them. This kind of open-mindedness leads to better compromises and improved communication.

Don't Ignore Self-Care

You should not rely on your partner to be your everything and take care of your needs. Self-care is important, and it will help you be more independent, which will, in turn, strengthen your relationship. Self-care can look different for different people. But it should be something that recharges your spirit and your batteries and helps you cope with all the things in your life.

Put The Relationship First

For you to move forward and start working to save your marriage, you and your partner are both going to have to put the relationship first. All of your decisions should be focused on what is best for the relationship. You may need to put your concerns of career, social life, and family on the back burner while focusing all of your attention on your relationship.

Acknowledge That Not Everything Can Be Fixed

Some psychologists believe that every couple has some unforgivable conflict that will never be resolved. Sometimes things arise in a relationship where you and your partner are so conflicted that no compromise or understanding seems possible. It is important to address these conflicts in a way that engenders a deeper understanding of each other's position. Then you must agree to let it go and move on.

Takeaway

If you have tried everything you can think of to save your marriage and aren't ready to give up, a great option is to ask for help. There are a lot of options out there for marriage counseling. If you cannot afford traditional marriage counseling or therapists, or if there aren't any in your area, you might want to consider online therapy. Online therapy is often less expensive than traditional therapy, and it can provide access to many more options in terms of therapists to choose from.

Regain is an online therapy platform that offers a network of licensed counselors and therapists that can help you and your spouse get your marriage back on track at a time and place that is convenient for you. You can work with a therapist via text, telephone, or video chat. 

There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. If you and your partner want to save your marriage, marital counseling can sometimes be your best choice when you're ready to get to work.

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