Are you worried about your marriage falling apart?
Are your problems so overwhelming that you can’t imagine how you can salvage your relationship?
Do not despair. There are ways to turn things around.
The following are some tips on how to save your marriage.
- Make a conscious commitment to work on your marriage. This may seem like a given, but you’ll be surprised by how many couples seeking counselling aren’t actually sold on the idea of staying together. Do not leave room for thoughts of what your life would be like if you’re finally rid of a spouse—or worse, if you were with somebody else.
When you think of divorce, focus on the negative consequences on your children and finances. This is not the time to be a quitter and to have a defeatist attitude. Fight for your marriage. Look at the challenges as growth opportunities. Conflict can actually be transformed into a connection. Understandably, such an effort does not apply to abusive relationships.
2. Close your marriage exits. There are things that seem innocuous, but if you turn to them to check out of your marriage and its problems, then you’re just trying to avoid facing your problems head-on. A couple of common exits for troubled marriages are alcohol/drugs and extramarital affairs.
Even if you’re not abusing harmful substances or committing infidelity, it’s still possible that you’re trying to check out of your marriage. Other possible exits are work, food, exercise, the Internet, and even your kids. Close your relationship exits and put your attention and effort to the problem at hand.
3. Get rid of toxicity. There are things in a marriage that people think may be hurtful, but are negligible in the general scheme of things. For instance, name-calling and finger-pointing may seem like a simple way to express yourself in anger, but they have the power to inflict deep wounds and lasting damage.
Blaming and shaming are unattractive habits that are responsible for the demise of many relationships. Such things are toxic and must be eliminated to allow a marriage to thrive.
4. Practice empathy. It is easy to dismiss the lack of understanding to the position that men and women are from different planets. And of course this logic doesn’t apply to same-sex marriages. Whatever differences you have between you, it doesn’t preclude harmonious cohabitation.
Listen. Put yourself in your partner’s place. Use your imagination. These are the ingredients of good empathy. When you remove your focus on yourself, you’ll be able to understand where the other is coming from, perceive how the other is feeling, etc. These are things that make for a more peaceful relationship.
These marriage tips are just some of many ideas on preserving your marriage, but practice them and you’re sure to see a vast improvement in your marital situation.
Do you need relationship help?
Since 2003, Clinton Power has helped thousands of couples and individuals as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney and online in Australia. Clinton regularly comments in the media on issues of relationships and has appeared on Channel 7, The Sydney Morning Herald, and ABC Radio. Clinton’s eBook, 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship is available through his website or Amazon. Click here to take Clinton’s relationship checkup quiz to find out how well you know your partner.