Learn How to Save a Marriage
If you are currently struggling to figure out how to save a marriage, you may feel hopeless and alone. You may wonder what you can do or if you should even try to salvage the relationship. Everywhere you turn, different experts are giving different advice. The same is probably true of your friends. Some say to stay no matter what while others will encourage you to leave at the first sign of trouble. When you are constantly bombarded with advice of every kind, it can be difficult to know if and how to save a marriage.
Avoid a Divorce
First, it should be made clear that divorce is not in the best interest of most married couples. While some situations, particularly those involving physical abuse, may require a separation, the majority of couples are better served by fighting for their marriage. Studies show that unhappy couples who divorce are no more likely to report being happy after their separation. So if divorce doesn’t make people happy, what does it do?
Well, divorce breaks apart not only our families but also the foundation of our communities. If children are in the home, study after study has demonstrated that they will be negatively affected in profound ways by their parents’ divorce. They are more likely to fail at school, develop behavior problems or become depressed and anxious. For the parents, divorce can lead to a financial crisis, emotional distress and chronic physical ailments. All this and more is well-documented by years of research. When taken together, these facts provide a resounding YES, it is in your best interest to learn how to save a marriage.
Rebuild Your Relationship
I don’t need to tell you that dealing with marital problems is overwhelming. And it is even worse if your spouse doesn’t seem interested in working with you to heal the wounds. That brings me to the key ingredient to rebuilding your relationship….
Trust me, this can be the hardest thing to do when your spouse has been acting like an inconsiderate jerk for months on end. When he or she seems to purposely push all your buttons and take delight in making you feel bad, it is natural to want to get revenge. But this is the downfall of many a marriage.
How to save a marriage is to be loving and kind even when your spouse doesn’t deserve it. It is remembering that a marriage isn’t a 50/50 proposition and right now, it might have to be 95/5 with you shouldering the burden if you want the relationship to survive. No, it’s not fair. But it is necessary. In the long run, it means both you and your spouse will be happier.
So no matter what, treat your spouse like they are a king or queen. That doesn’t mean letting them walk all over you! It just means that when you feel like ripping into them, you bite your tongue and when you have the perfect comeback, you keep it to yourself. And when they treat you disrespectfully or without love and affection, you remember that ‘this too shall pass’ and take the high road.
Of course, in all marriages there is room for improvement on both sides. Regardless of whether your spouse is responsible for the majority of the marital problems, there is likely something you could be doing better too. When determining how to save a marriage, you need to take a close look at yourself as well. Are you…
- Listening as well as talking?
- Treating your spouse with respect?
- Acting as though you are better than him or her?
- Respecting his or her feelings and opinions? Giving your spouse the space they need?
- Demanding that everything in the marriage be done your way?
- Being flexible and open to change?
Once you take a look at yourself, you will be able to pinpoint exactly what concrete steps you can take. When determining how to save a marriage, remember that you can not change others, you can only change yourself. However, as you adjust how you react in a relationship, your spouse will likely respond accordingly.
In difficult situations, it may be helpful to attend counseling or find other resources that will help you learn how to save a marriage. One program that has helped a lot of couples is Dr. Lee Baucom’s “Save Your Christian Marriage“. Rev. Baucom is not only a minister, but he has been trained in marriage and family therapy and has over 19 years experience counseling marriages and families. He also walks the walk and has been married to the same woman for almost 20 years. But above all else, Dr. Baucom really cares about helping husbands and wives restore their relationships. Even if you are not a Christian, the tried and true principles in this course will help you learn how to save a marriage.