Adults need to realize that all relationships have both good and bad times. When a marriage is in trouble–and one of the partners has spoken about a separation or divorce–it is still not too late to save the marriage. There are many things that can be tried in order to get the marriage back on track. It is important not to lose sight of the things that brought you together as a couple in the first place.
When a marriage is “stuck” and going nowhere, it is likely that there is a major problem with communication. Now is the time to take a step back and look at everything from your partner’s point of view. In her book “Divorce Busting: A Step-by Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again,” Michele Weiner-Davis says, “Diagnosing one’s spouse as the source of the problem, a common antecedent to divorce, doesn’t take into account the roles both partners play in the deterioration of the relationship.” Don’t constantly try to fix every problem, but listen and be empathetic. Empathy involves seeing the world through your partner’s eyes. Try not to forget that even though two people may disagree on an issue, it’s quite possible that they both can be right. There really isn’t one “best” way.
If a marriage is in trouble, it is not the time to sit back and let things happen. Take an affirmative action to involve a counselor or therapist to help you work things out before you are no longer able to listen to one another. Involving a third party allows each partner to air concerns in a neutral, supportive environment. If necessary, agree with your partner that the troubling issues will only be confronted in the safety of the counseling environment. If your partner refuses to go with you, go alone. Since you can’t ever change another person, the therapist may be able to help you change in ways that will help save the marriage.
Live in the Now
Always try to stay in moment. If you are having an argument, don’t allow yourself to throw old hurts or wrongs into the conversation. Don’t bring up things that happened in the past to make your partner feel guilty. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Try to remember and acknowledge what you love and admire about him. Above all, avoid blame. If you live only in the moment (and see each day as a new opportunity with the old hurts gone and the possibility of renewed love), you will give yourself and your spouse a valuable gift.
Teke a Time Out
A time out from the marriage could last minutes, days or weeks. Sometimes when partners take a time out from one another and use the time to reflect on what is happening in the relationship, they are better able to acknowledge all the good things. By being apart, partners have the opportunity to miss one another.
A time out can also be used during an argument. Rather than say things you’ll later regret, it is wise to take yourself out of the situation until both of you have had an opportunity to calm down and think things through rationally. Be sure to work on the topic, even if it means you need to stop the conversation and continue it at a later time.
Think back to the things that first attracted you to your partner. Ask questions of your partner as if you were just beginning to get to know her. Take the time to enjoy something your partner likes, especially if you haven’t recently done so. Make yourself attractive to your partner by taking better care of yourself. If your marriage is in trouble, it is likely you are stressed. Make sure you eat healthy and exercise daily. When your physical being feels better, your mental outlook will be clearer as well.