There comes a moment where you need to ask yourself a very tough question: is my marriage falling apart? There is no shame in admitting this, especially when you think of all the years involved in building a life together. At some point, the cracks over time are surely going to lead to a break.
The misconception of a failing marriage is how it will immediately end in divorce. There’s still so much work to be done and most of the time, there is simply too much history to be just tossed aside that easily. If you’re looking for a way to avoid divorce, here are 13 ways on how to save your marriage.
- 1. Figure Out What Went Wrong
- 2. Self Reflect
- 3. Boundaries and Rules
- 4. The Return of Date Night
- 5. Touch Each Other (Surprisingly, Not Sexual)
- 6. Show Appreciation
- 7. Get Your Negativity Out
- 8. Build A Future Together
- 9. Take A Break
- 10. Keep An Open Mind
- 11. Acknowledge That You Need Help
- 12. Don’t Be Too Quick To Call It Quits
- 13. Acceptance
1. Figure Out What Went Wrong
Something that should be done both by yourself and together with your partner— sit down and draw a map of your marriage. Go right back to the beginning of how the two of you started out as a couple, what exactly made you drawn to your partner, what led to the marriage, where the two of you are now, how the two of you got here, and where would the two of you like to go from here on.
This helps take a new look at your marriage. It’s true that things have changed and will never be the same as it was, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s a bad thing. Marriages are saved when you accept that and focus on the present, working towards a better future for the two of you.
2. Self Reflect
If you thought love was anything like what the radio and television sold you, I guess you’re in for a pretty hard time. Often at times, we rely on our partner to fulfil our wildest fantasies as a substitute for happiness. When that fails to happen, we lash out at them or end up harbouring feelings of resentment towards them.
It’s time to take a breather and ask yourself; what do you rely on for your partner to do for you? Why? Was it based on what you saw your parents doing growing up? Was it because of your fave rom-com that you saw once as a teenager?
By figuring out these questions, you will be able to understand yourself and your goals better— which ultimately will lead to you having a happier marriage.
3. Boundaries and Rules
Any good relationship has a set form of boundaries that helps nurture it. Why should marriage be any different? Sure, you share each other, heart and soul— but there needs to be mutual respect and trust if you want to save your marriage when you are hopeless.
Start by drawing up a few rules in terms of the relationship when it comes to communication. This is how you can stop any name-calling, swearing, or even snapping at each other. By doing this, you are building a boundary and a safe place for the two of you to communicate without turning it into something nasty.
4. The Return of Date Night
An underrated method of saving your marriage, date nights are essential when it comes to getting to know each other again. With how busy life is and how your roles have changed (especially when children are in the picture), it’s not uncommon to forget about the person you used to be when you first started out together.
Use date night as an excuse to spend 2 to 3 hours together a week to be nothing other than each other for a while. No talk about work, the house, or anything— just the two of you.
If you need tips on remembering what that was like, check out our first dates article for a walk down memory lane. Reminisce the good times, bring up a new show that you’ve been watching, or just comment on how dinner is!
5. Touch Each Other (Surprisingly, Not Sexual)
Being one of the five love languages, the importance of touch is not something to be shunned. A way to save your marriage could be as simple as just giving your partner a shoulder touch whenever you can.
Touch is how humans feel more connected with each other, and for others, it’s a simple action that conveys how much you care for them. If your partner’s love language happens to be touch, this is all the more reason to do this.
Hold their hand whenever the chance presents itself, offer to wash their hair, give them massages, a tight hug or just snuggle up next to them. These simple actions not only make the two of you feel the rush of hormones to your head but also bring back the intimacy that your marriage was lacking.
6. Show Appreciation
Source: Thriving Marriages
When was the last time you thanked your partner? It doesn’t have to be anything in particular, sometimes we can just be grateful that they stuck around. If your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, this is something that can truly end up saving your marriage.
Start being more verbal with your communication with your partner by showing appreciation for all the little things. Text them more often— or if you’re not a gadget-savvy person, opt for the old school method and drop them a note instead.
By going all the way, your partner will notice that you’re trying to love them better and appreciate your efforts more. After all, it doesn’t take much to avoid divorce.
7. Get Your Negativity Out
So what if your marriage problems run a little deeper than just having a few misunderstandings here and there? If you think that there’s a lot more that needs to be uncovered, well, we’d recommend doing exactly that.
Take time out with your partner to fully be mad at each other. Say everything that has been on your mind, then let them dish out what you’ve served as well. What is being said may hurt the other person but it’s far better to get it all out in the open rather than leaving it to fester more.
If your problems are the kind that can’t be solved in a day, don’t worry. Marriages have decades worth of problems, so take it a day at a time. Try planning for an hour a week where the two of you just get together and rant out everything about the other person that bothers you. The sooner the both of you talk about what is troubling you, the sooner you can save your marriage.
8. Build A Future Together
Source: Eldercare Planning For Old Age
So much in life has changed since the two of you got married. If the kids are already in college by now, what are the two of you working towards? Saving a marriage relies on hope at its core, which is why it’s important to believe in better days.
Even though it may be feeling hopeless, you and your partner need to sit down and talk about your vision for the future. Where do you see yourself in 10 more years to come? How will the two of you support each other? Has there been something you’ve always wanted to do?
Depending on what questions are asked, the answers you receive may genuinely surprise you.
9. Take A Break
If you’ve tried everything on this list but your partner refuses to want to save your marriage— it’s time to take a break. We know, it sounds pretty scary, but trust us when we say that this is the perfect way to avoid a divorce.
By taking a planned and structured break, you are establishing how you are taking this seriously. It’s a wake-up call that will make your partner realise what a divorce would truly mean— no calls, no texts, and most definitely no sex the entire time you guys are apart.
The period of this break depends entirely on you and your partner but we’d recommend four to six weeks so that they can really feel the bite of this silent treatment. The reason for this harshness is so that they will miss you and realise the importance you play in their life, which will ultimately save your marriage.
10. Keep An Open Mind
Source: Stuff Co NZ
When your partner comes to you and expresses their feelings that the marriage may not be working out, don’t panic. Be grateful that your partner trusted you enough to be candid with you instead of running away from the issue.
A way of saving your marriage can be as simple as keeping an open mind. Sometimes, the issues brought up are simply momentary and therefore, solving them is a way you can avoid divorce.
Pay attention to what your partner is saying. If they want to call it quits because you haven’t been as present in the marriage, it’s time to change it up. Consider all avenues that your partner might bring up as part of the problem as you never know if it could be the solution to saving your marriage.
11. Acknowledge That You Need Help
The human ego is terrifying. We would go to all sorts of lengths in order to save face, especially when it comes to something as personal as marriage. That being said, to save your marriage you must first admit that you need saving. Remember: you are not alone in this!
Most marriages fail because neither party wants to admit they need help until it’s too late. What can you save when everything has already been burnt to the ground? It’s time to notice when there’s a fire of hate stewing and get help on how to put it out. Asking for help, be it from a friend, family member, or a professional— is a huge step that can help save your marriage.
After all, there is only so much that self-help books and past advice can do. A marriage coach, couples counsellor or therapist will be able to identify both parties’ problems and help you two work it out together. This way, divorce can be postponed and by the time you’re finished with your therapy— hopefully avoided at all costs.
12. Don’t Be Too Quick To Call It Quits
Source: Healthy Magazine
When your partner comes to you saying how they feel that your marriage has issues, don’t shoot them down and abandon the nest at the first chance you get. Sure, it can be embarrassing and terrifying to hear your life partner admit to you that they feel this sacred bond the two of you share is now feeling more like a burden— but you must calm down.
The relationship between the two of you must be improved and prioritised when this happens. Think about it, have you been putting the same amount of effort into the relationship or are the two of you just living parallel lives? When you answer these questions, you will know how to save your marriage.
Perhaps the toughest one yet, a huge part of saving your marriage is accepting that it will never be the same again. A mistake that most people make is thinking that everything can be solved after going for couples counselling.
It’s okay to admit that your marriage has gone through something irreparable, it is very likely that even after your marriage is saved, you two are not just going to go back as though nothing happened.
Avoiding divorce sometimes means letting go and accepting that the relationship between the two of you is now going to be different. Take your own time with this new change, and slowly learn to embrace this new normal between the two of you.
If none of these tips resonates with you, well, the truth is that some marriages aren’t meant to be saved. It’s a good thing though because this means that you’re finally free to make your own decisions to be happy again. If you think that this is a ship that is meant to sail on its own, you might want to check out our article on signs you need to break up.
However, if you’re looking ready for other avenues for your romance, let us point you in the direction of Sugarbook! After all, we know best about keeping things discreet and with no strings attached.