Learning how to fix your marriage is an overwhelming commitment. According the American Psychological Association, about 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Working through a marriage requires equal commitment from both individuals, to salvage their union. The reconstruction is undoubtedly a lengthy process, which will entail many bumps and setbacks in the road. However, it is not impossible.
Before you embark on the journey of repair, it is crucial that the couple accept that there isn’t any definitive answers or solutions written. Everything, including our advice, is a working resource that serves as a baseboard but isn’t the end all be all – you can cultivate the advice to fit your own dynamic without changing the core value.
Here are our tips to save your marriage.
Stop Keeping Score
Stop pointing fingers. It doesn’t matter who did wrong. If you are agreeing to fix your marriage, then both parties must ditch the blame. Each person’s slate is wiped clean and the couple must agree to not bring up past events. It is impossible to move forward, towards the future if you continue to hold onto the past. This can be tricky depending on each situation, but our next tip will reinforce this strategy.
Seek Out a Counselor
Everyone has something to work through. No one is perfect. Seek out a counselor. First, each person should seek out an individual counselor. Talking to an unbiased third party, such as a counselor or mediator, will allow the individual to better understand themselves. Maybe they’re blaming themselves. Maybe they’re holding onto guilt. Maybe they’re lost and unconsciously placing their baggage on their spouse’s shoulders.
Second, attend counseling together. Once you’ve worked on yourself as an individual, then it is time to come together and fix your marriage. Discussing frustrations with a licensed person will allow things to be checked and balanced. In many cases, words can be lost in translation; therefore, both parties being present will alleviate any potential misunderstandings. Furthermore, having a fresh outlook will be extremely helpful.
Date Each Other, Again
Do you remember when you first met? What did you like about your spouse? A lot of couples, especially if they have children, get sucked into the monotony of their daily grind. It’s easy to get lost within that and take your spouse for granted. Carve out time for your spouse on a weekly basis. The time can be as simple or elegant as you’d like. Turn off the TV, silence your phones and rid yourself of distractions. Take this time to reconnect and date each other again. Some simple ideas are: cook a meal together, go to the movies, take a walk or hike together, play a board game, bond over a mutual hobby, or go out to eat at your favorite restaurant.
Communication can be tricky because couples take their spouses for granted. Oftentimes, they’ll have excuses such as: we live together, I see him/her every day, I thought you’d know that by now or they just don’t talk. Talk to your spouse about everything – your fears, your goals, your hopes, your dreams. Communication is the most effective way to connect with each other. Set aside time, at the end of each day, to just talk.
During this journey, it’s important to always put God first. Oftentimes, we think that we have the power to solve our problems; however, this is the furthest from the truth. As a couple, be vulnerable and pray for each other. Not only will you build a stronger relationship with the Lord, you’ll also learn how you can be a better spouse through the power of prayer. All in all, this constant communication with God will contribute to your ability to be patient and levelheaded.
Here is a prayer for a broken marriage: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Ditching the scoreboard and reevaluating your marriage will help both parties learn what it really means to compromise. Be honest, is someone carrying the majority load of a certain task? Is someone responsible for something that they absolutely hate? Is someone being close minded because they don’t understand all of the moving pieces? Compromising, as a couple, is an essential way to fix your marriage.
When working through compromise, take the time to really see each other’s point of view. Talk about your concerns and be honest. Assess the strains and ways you can bend for each other to make things align and improve. However, take it step by step and try things out one by one before you try to check off compromising an entire list.
Do Something for Yourself
Self-care is very important. Oftentimes, self-care is confused as being selfish or indulgent; however, that is not at all the case. Doing something for yourself will help build your confidence, self-esteem and reinforce a positive mindset and/or outlook. Additionally, taking care of yourself will translate to a healthier relationship between you and your spouse.
As you continue your road to marriage repair, be intentional with your self-care and schedule the time to boost yourself. Your marriage will benefit from you being the best version of yourself.
Repairing a broken marriage is not easy but forever isn’t meant to be easy. Things that are built to last and stand the test of time take a long time. There will always be bumps in the road and setbacks. Even though these disappointments can detour us from our big picture, it is very important to understand God’s plan and be willing to put forth the work.
No matter how bad it seems, you can still save your marriage. Repairing a broken marriage is not easy but forever isn’t meant to be easy. Here are 7 steps to take to fix a marriage headed for divorce.