Save Your Marriage: Simple Steps to Bring You Together Again
Or even if you both are wanting to work on these steps, having a counselor to guide you can help you even more. Want to read this article later? Subscribe to our newsletter and download the free pdf here.
10 Ways to Save a Struggling Marriage
When you were dating, you were friends. You made time for each other. You made your relationship a priority. When you talk, you never talk as friends, but just talk about issues, or the kids, or stuff that has to happen. In fact, the first principle in Dr. Make time to talk as friends. Put it on the calendar.
Start going on dates again. Find someone to watch the kids, get outside the house, and do something together. Set time to talk just as friends. Make it a rule. One reason you may not talk as friends is that every time you do, an issue is brought up and you fight. Save and protect that time from conflict. Start dating again. Make alone time with your spouse a priority. Find a babysitter and make the time. No one gets married to be able to handle conflict well.
They want more than that. They want a friend. Be that to each other again. Never put down, judge, give unwanted advice, or be critical. There are a lot of great questions that can spur some great conversations. In the same way you used to talk as friends when you dated, you also had a lot of fun together — and you made it a priority. Too often in marriages, couples put fun to the back burner. It can be easy to take our relationship for granted. When you were dating, you worked hard to get married. Once you get married, it can be easy to let things slide.
Make time for fun again. Set aside time on the calendar every week to go on a date, alone, out of the house, and have fun. Brainstorm together activities that you can do together that you both will enjoy. It can be as simple as going for a walk in the park, visiting local gardens, or having a cup of coffee at a local cafe.
Be the person that your spouse can always go to when going through a rough time. Be the person they can come to without judgement, criticism, or unwanted advice. This may mean that you are just around without even saying anything, being there to hold your spouse, letting the other person know you are there for them, letting them know that you are available when they need you and be there , and so on.
When your spouse is going through a tough time, you can do things to help take the load off your spouse. You can help more with the housework, make supper, and help with other tasks to support your spouse while he or she is going through the tough time. Letting your husband or wife know that you believe in them, that they can do it, cheering them on, and, that, though it may be tough, you two will get through it as a team are all ways to encourage your spouse. Giving is another way to show support. Instead of listening, we jump in with advice, judgement or criticism. Or we interrupt with a story of our own.
Often, when someone is going through a tough time, all they need is someone to be quiet and really listen to them. Let the majority of your talking be you paraphrasing what your spouse says to make sure you understand what he or she is saying, and that your husband or wife feels understood. Markman and the others said:. Be there for your spouse and touch one another. Hold hands. Give hugs. Sit by each other. If you know your spouse is struggling, be there for them. Check in with them to see how they are doing. Be there to listen if they need to talk. Men, especially, can be quick to give advice when all his wife wants is for him to listen.
Or maybe one is doing a lot for the other when the other one just wants him or her to be there for them. Instead of being critical, be thankful that they are trying to show you support — and then ask them for the kind you want. Make your spouse feel safe talking to you. Practice listening. Practice paraphrasing. Let your focus be on understanding your spouse, not to fix the issue or tell them how you think it should be. One reason relationships go south is because the couple does not handle conflict well. When someone is stressed, hungry, irritated, or tired is not a time to bring up and talk about an issue.
Right when someone gets home from work or right before bed is also usually not a good time to talk either. When you are spending time as friends, having fun, supporting one another, or being romantic with one another is another bad time to bring something up. Talk to each other about when and when not to bring up issues. If someone needs to decompress after work or when other things happen, make it a rule not to talk during those time. This can help relieve each other from the pressure of dealing with issues throughout the week knowing that you will have a time to talk about it at the meeting.
We start getting negative with each other and keep upping the ante. We move from trying to solve an issue to hurting one another. We may make sarcastic comments toward the other person. Instead of dealing with the issue, we attack and criticize our partner and their character. Instead of listening, we quickly try to defend ourselves, often putting the blame back on the other person. We focus on winning instead of understanding.
We physically, verbally, and emotionally withdraw from the conversation. We exaggerate what our spouse does and diminish what we do. Always be kind and respectful toward one another. Treat each other as you would like to be treated. Too often the mentality becomes you vs.
Instead, see yourselves as a team working together to solve an issue, not against each other. In most cases, everyone has some fault in the issue, to some degree.
10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship Instantly | Time
Acknowledge it and apologize where necessary. Truly listen to what your partner has to say. Just listen. With the Speaker Listener Technique, each person takes turns with one person being the speaker and the other a listener. There is an object that the speaker holds or a spot on the floor where the speaker stands that represents the speaker. Only the person with the object or standing in that spot is allowed to talk.
The speaker talks, and then the listener paraphrases what the speaker said to make sure he or she understands. They go back and forth until the speaker is understood, and then they switch who has the object or spot. Or they can trade throughout to discuss the issue. The core message is another option to use. I call it the core message because, once you melt down most of the messages different conflict books give, this is the core of it.
The facts are least controversial. Start with what happened — not why you think they did it. You only start this once everyone has said everything they need to say, and everyone feels understood. First, you brainstorm for ideas. Get a piece of paper or a dry erase board and write every idea down. Then you decide who is going to do what. And then follow up. Make sure to set a time to check to see how the solution is working. Make sure to get with your spouse and talk about when is the best and worst times to talk about issues. Decide how you want to start handling your conflict talk, if you want to do the Speaker Listener technique or something similar.
It takes time. Mistakes will happen. Be quick to forgive each other, laugh at your foibles, and move on.
2. Have Realistic Expectations About Relationships and Romance
Your sensuality and sexuality are very important to the overall health of your relationship. While sensuality can be a part of and lead to sex, sensuality can include the touching, seeing, tasting, feeling, and smelling that may or may not be part of lovemaking. Restore the sensuality and romance in your marriage. Stop focusing on the performance and focus on the intimacy and pleasure between you two. Talk about these issues with your spouse. Talk about what romance is to you. Ask your spouse the same. Then start doing things for each other, to please each other.
Send notes. Kiss more often. Do the things you used to do when you first got married and were excited. Just start being sensual and romantic once again. The little things can add up. It takes personal dedication and sacrifice to make a marriage that works and is satisfying.
Do the little things that show you are dedicated. Be romantic. Be friends. Send the notes and flowers. When conflict is handled poorly, the relationship is hurt, and over time, dedication can diminish. Make the choice to be dedicated — and show it. Make your marriage a priority and base decisions on that. Stop looking at the other options around you. All that will do is erode your relationship.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence…above the septic line. Think as a team. If you want a happy marriage, you will have to sacrifice. If you are focused only on what you want and what you can get out of it, your marriage will suffer greatly. Always speak, talk, and act as if you plan to be together for the long-run and mean it. Plan together. Dream together. Start looking for those little acts.
Talk to each other about your commitment and your long-term view. Ask how you can show your dedication to your spouse better. Reaffirm your decision to be committed for the long-term. Side note: This is in most cases. If a spouse is abusive or being unfaithful, there are more issues there.
It would be wise to seek outside help, such as the police or domestic violence organization if being abusive or a marriage counselor. One of the big killers of relationships is assuming the negative about your spouse and focusing on the worst in your spouse instead of the best. When we gain the negative mentality, nothing our spouse can do is right, and your relationship is damaged. In fact, the second principle of Dr.
Otherwise, as negative events happen, those events will just tear you more apart.
- Marriage Problems? Here's an 8-Step Rescue Plan | Psychology Today.
- 10 Ways to Save a Struggling Marriage - iMom.
- The Games Trilogy.
- Remembering Victoria: A Tragic Nahuat Love Story!
- The Z Factor?
Do you assume the negative? Are you focusing on their weaknesses and failures? When you think about your spouse, do you dwell on the negative or the positive? When you catch yourself focusing on the negative or assuming negative motives, focus on the opposite. Think about positive aspects of your spouse. Assume the best of intentions. Every day write down the positive aspects of your spouse. Go over the list when you start thinking negatively.
Sometimes what attracted you to your spouse later becomes a point of annoyance. Remember what about those aspects you appreciated on focus on that. Tell your spouse every day something that you appreciate about them. Compliment them. Encourage them. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses. Instead of focusing on what your spouse is weak in, focus on the areas they are strong in. One reason arguments can turn so negative is that we assume negative intent by our spouse.
Give the benefit of the doubt. Think about and focus on the positive qualities when you think about him or her. Recognize when you are negative and switch it around. Every time you start thinking negative, think of the positive. Be quick to apologize and forgive each other. Every day work on seeing your spouse in a new and positive light. But if you are willing to put the work in, encourage each other in it, and forgive each other when you make mistakes, you have a solid chance of restoring your relationship and having a happy marriage.
Continue to practice them until death do you part. Again, depending on your situation, you may also want to get the help of a marriage counselor. They can help guide you in saving your marriage. If you would, please share this with others you can use the share links below. Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.
Maybe you are two people living lonely lives in the same house. Maybe you feel you are heading toward a divorce. Know this: In many cases, you can fix a broken marriage. You can learn how to save your marriage. I don't mince words when I say, "We're addicted to our phones. Those who reported poor sleep were much more likely to argue with their significant other. Something as simple as a shoulder rub after an exhausting day of work or making a cup of coffee for your partner before he wakes up is a relationship booster.
Terri Orbuch, a marriage researcher and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great , studied couples for more than 28 years and found that frequent small acts of kindness are a predictor of happiness in a relationship. Ever sat and reminisced about an event that made you and your partner laugh uncontrollably?
You should do it more often. One of the study's authors, psychologist Doris Bazzini, said, "Laughter reminiscence packs an additional punch because people relive the moment by laughing again. Note: This article contains affiliate links that may earn Inc. They do not influence Inc. And both partners benefit from the celebration: "The positive effects emerge not only for the partner doing the disclosing, but also for the listener," says Finkel.
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post. The opinions expressed here by Inc. More from Inc. Sponsored Business Content.