How To Save Your Marriage: 8 Steps For Success
Updated November 28, 2019
A marriage is a commitment that you make for a lifetime. Even when problems arise in a marriage, it can be very hard to let go. Sometimes divorce is the best answer for everyone, but it is always worthwhile to try to save your marriage first, especially if you have children and other considerations. While not every marriage can be saved, there are some steps to take and things that you can do to save your marriage and give it every possible chance.
Can My Marriage Be Saved?
You may be asking yourself if your marriage can even be saved. Sometimes the problems in a marriage go unchecked for so long that it seems like marriage is over, and there is nothing that you can do. Yet in most situations, marriage is worth fighting for. Here are some ways you can tell if your marriage can be saved.
Signs Your Marriage Can Be Saved
There are some definite signs that your marriage can be saved. If any of these signs apply to your relationship, chances are that with hard work from both sides and as a team you will be able to save your marriage.
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 still in love with your partner. As long as that foundation of love is there, you will probably 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 are consciously making time to spend together alone without the kids or other friends and family, you are choosing each other at that moment. If you can choose each other for dates, you can choose each other for life.
Feelings Of Trust And Communication
Even if you are having some trust issues with your spouse, you may be able to still 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 simply stops. If you and your partner are still having sex, even if it is more infrequent than in the past, then you still have a connection that you are willing to share. As long as sex is still in the cards on occasion, then you have a chance of saving your marriage.
Signs Your Marriage Is Lost
Unfortunately, not every marriage can be saved. According to experts with Verywell Mind, some marriages are not worth saving. It is important to recognize when a marriage is too far gone to be saved. And, some things are deal breakers and should not be tolerated.
Whether the abuse is physical, emotional, or mental is irrelevant. Any abuse from your partner should not be tolerated. Especially if you have pointed out the abuse and it continues to happen, you should not try to save your marriage. You have to protect yourself and your wellbeing first and foremost.
Behavior Warning Signs
If your partner displays any of the following behavior, 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
- Unwilling to apologize
- Shifting priorities
These types of behaviors and warning signs are those that either leads 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, there are a lot of steps you can take and tips that you can try to help you save your marriage. These things are 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, most couples when they are given time to really think about their relationship and daily lives 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 be helpful to sit and remember the good times. You can stop for a moment to 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 each of you come up with a memory of one of the best times you can remember.
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 together to move past the transgressions, you need to accept them for what they are and offer your partner forgiveness. If you are not able to accept these things and forgive each other for them, you will not be able to move forward.
Be Open Minded
It can be very difficult to see things from someone else's point of view, 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 to take care of all of your needs. Self-care is important, and it will help you be more independent, which will 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 be able 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 will have to put your concerns of career, social life, and family on the back burner while you focus all of your attentions on your relationship.
Acknowledge Not Everything Can Be Fixed
Some psychologists believe that every couple has some unforgiveable 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.
Ask for Help
If you have tried everything you can think of to save your marriage and you 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 are unable to afford traditional marriage counseling or therapists, or if there aren't any in your area, you can go with an online counseling service like ReGain. ReGain has a network of licensed counselors and therapists that can help you and your spouse get your marriage back on track at any time and place that is convenient for you. 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.