7 Ways to Save Your Marriage
Updated: Jun 12, 2019
By the time you reach the point of divorce, you may feel like you’ve fought your best fight, or you may wonder where you went wrong and if there’s anything more you could have done. Well, as a couples therapist, I’m here to tell you that chances are, you haven’t done everything you could to save your relationship, not yet.
By the time divorce comes around, the majority of couples have yet to scratch the surface of techniques that could save their relationship. And to be fair, it’s not totally their faults. Most people that don’t work on improving relationships for a living have no idea of the multitude of things, both big and small, that can help their relationship stand the test of time.
But worry not! If you are in this position, I’m here to help you out.
So, for today’s post, let’s talk about ways to save your relationship. So, without further ado here’s a list of 7 ways to save your marriage:
Put your marriage first-- Often this is easier said than done. However, your marriage must take the utmost priority in your life. Not your job, not your children, not your personal wants, but your marriage. I realize this is a tough one for some parents, as many parents feel their children should be their number one priority. These parents are often also the ones that find themselves going through a divorce after 20 years of marriage because they realize, once they are empty nesters, that they don’t even know each other anymore. Putting your spouse and your marriage first doesn’t mean you neglect everything else. It just means your partner and marriage must hold the highest honor in your life. Just like when you were dating, you must continue to put forth the energy and effort. Just like children, your marriage is a living entity, and it is your responsibility to keep it alive.
Give it your all-- Don’t be too quick to jump to divorce. Before even considering divorce, make sure you “leave to all on the field”. Chances are you’re not even close to having “tried everything”.
Stop talking about divorce-- Seriously. Stop. Right. Now. The “D” word should be treated as the most foul of derogatory terms. Instead, put all of your energy and all of your focus into saving your marriage. You must be emotionally invested and mentally in the mindset that you are still fully committed to your marriage. Realize that divorce is not a quick fix solution. You very well remain unhappy while going through a divorce as well as after. Instead, work toward a happy life with the person that you once knew was the love of your life.
Stay off the defensive-- Marc Sadoff, MSW (2015) suggests what he refers to as the “power response”. When we react with defense, we are really showing weakness, insecurity, and/or guilt. Sadoff proposes that instead you should respond with power. Taking the high road and owning your mistakes. The power response sounds like this: Own what you said or did (That’s right, I didn’t do what I said I would), Acknowledge the other’s thoughts or feelings (I can understand why you’re upset), Say what you’re going to do about it (Sorry, I’ll get it right now). You can read Sadoff’s full article on the subject here.
Accept what you cannot change, change the things you can-- Accept that you cannot change your spouse. Only your spouse can do that. Instead, work on giving your partner what they need from you instead of vice versa. Work on bettering yourself and getting back to the essence of you- the you your spouse fell for. But here’s the catch. Do this with no expectations of your spouse. I know it may be hard, but trust me on this. Besides, at a minimum, you come out on the other side a better you!
Practice a baby steps philosophy-- Remember, it was a series of small, negative decisions or actions that led to the thought of divorce. It’s going to take a series of small positive decisions or actions that will lead to saving your marriage. Trust the process, it will take time.
Get outside help-- This is my final, and possibly most important tip. As I said in the beginning, unless you work on relationships for a living, it’s highly likely that, even with this blog post, you won’t really scratch the surface of the tools that can help you save your marriage. So, get outside help. Put all your resources into saving your marriage. Time, energy, and finances. Find the best marriage counselor you can possibly afford and meet with them regularly. Put in work during sessions and do your homework outside of session. Your marriage is worth it. So, stop fighting each other and start fighting for your marriage!
Would you like to work with me? Reach out via phone at 910-745-0303 or fill out the contact form on the website.