Making a Mental Shift: Saving your Marriage from Divorce
Marriage counseling is like going to the doctor. You go every year for a checkup, even if you’re feeling fine. This is important because you don’t want a problem sneaking up on you.
Keeping your marriage healthy and saving your marriage from divorce entails paying attention and working on it.
There are a number of cultural and personal influences that have given the idea of getting counseling a bad name. Let’s look at them and see what they’re really all about.
- “Counseling means your about to get a divorce.” – Not if you’re smart. The reason that this might seem true is simply that that’s how long everyone waits. If you get counseling when things are pretty good, but not great, you’ll find that you’re much happier.
- “Only wimps get counseling.” – Right. And only wimps get their leg set by a doctor when it’s broken. Your marriage is more than just a sacred vow; it’s the most important thing you’ll ever do. Don’t treat it lightly.
- “Tough guys (or gals) don’t get counseling.” – That depends, who are you considering ‘tough’? The divorced dad who sees his kids every two weeks and is paying half his income into a house that he doesn’t live in. The divorced mom who is struggling to take care of her home and her family because she’s having to fly solo, even when her ex is nearby because he’s her ex. That sounds more stupid than tough.
- “My parents didn’t get counseling. They stayed together.” – Yes, and were they really happy or did you just think so when you were a kid? Your parents also had a rotary dial phone and an antenna on the roof. Times change and we get better at taking care of things.
- “There’s nothing wrong.” – If your spouse is telling you that there’s something wrong, then there’s something wrong, even if you don’t believe it.
Stop lying to yourself. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’re either a spouse trying to figure out how not to get counseling or you’re a spouse trying to convince your partner that you need it. Either, follow the rules below and get counseling if one or both of you aren’t happy and save your marriage from divorce.
Considering 50% of first marriages end in divorce, these 8 tips can help save your marriage:
Saving a marriage but our personalities are clashing!
You know, pride can be one of the nastiest things in a marriage. You’re supposed to be partners; not competitors. Are you wondering about what to do to save your marriage because you two can’t agree on anything?
It’s totally normal that you two don’t agree on everything. You’re human beings and you have your own opinions. The success of your relationship will depend on the way you express your disagreements. It is more, “No, you’re wrong, how could you even think something so stupid?” or, “I see what you’re saying, but I don’t really agree. In my opinion…” ?
Sometimes I see people being stubborn for no good reason and they don’t realize what a terrible effect it is having on their marriage. That said, if the issue if important it should not be set aside; but rather discussed in a serene and collected conversation. This is once again where proper communication comes into play. I will give you some pointers on how to do that in the second portion of this article!
By the way, it’s also fine to just agree to disagree, or to set the topic aside. If you find yourself always fighting about the same little things and you can never reach common ground, and if the issue at hand isn’t a huge deal, you can always just let it go.
My ex is flirting with my friend what should I do?
Disagreeing with your partner is no cause for panic or thoughts of “Can my marriage be saved??” Exchanges just need to be healthy, and by that I mean: Calm, collected, and respectful.
Save my marriage now with these 10 Expert Tips
There are plenty of things that you can start doing today when you’re wondering how to save a marriage. I’ve compiled a list of 10 of them, so get started right away!
1. Use constructive criticism and pay attention to the way you speak to your partner. Say, “I love you,” “Thank you,” “I understand,” “ I am proud of you” “We don’t spend time together like we used to.” Avoid phrasing such as; “You just never have any time for me, do you!” Avoid starting your sentences with, “You always…” “You never,” or “You’re a…”
2. Practice mirroring. When your partner is expressing a concern or their unhappiness about something, repeat what they say back to them so that they see that they’re being heard. “So what you’re saying is that…”
3. Understand the importance of space in a relationship. Some people need it more than others, and some people think that it’s a bad sign if their partner needs some time to themselves regularly. It’s actually very healthy to have alone time. It allows you to focus on your own projects and goals, and on taking care of yourself. When you’re together, it’s even better because you have the opportunity to miss each other.
4. Don’t forget to date. One of the most common things that break a marriage apart is when the two partners don’t make time for each other. They neglect their bond and don’t do anything to make each other feel special anymore. There should always be time for the other person, even if it’s just having your coffees together in the morning before work!
5. Touch more. A lot of couples stop touching long before they separate. If things have gotten really bad, reintroduce touch little by little. Sit closer together on the couch, touch your partner’s arm when you’re talking. When two people touch a chemical is released. It’s called oxytocin, aka “the bonding chemical.”
6. Make sure things are fair. Responsibilities should be balanced so that no resentment can be harbored. Speaking of resentment, make sure that you’re both open and communicative when things are wrong. Pent up feelings are poisonous!
7. Focus on recognizing your own flaws and making improvements. Trying to make your partner change makes them become more defensive and resistant. Both of you must become better to save a failing marriage.
8. Another thing that you can do when you want to repair a damaged relationship is to reintroduce humor! I know it might sound a little odd, but think about it. Doesn’t it feel good to laugh with your partner and to see them smiling? Now is the ideal time to work on creating a positive environment and de-escalating the situation.
9. Make a list of what you feel needs to change and have your partner do that same. Share your lists and come up with solutions together.
10. Take a moment every day to remember something that brought you joy with your spouse. Remind yourself of the good times. It is human nature to focus on the negative, so don’t let it stamp out all the good things you shared and continue to share.