The greatest approach to avoid divorce is to avoid it at all costs.
Divorce is sometimes unavoidable. However, if you’re still in love and in a committed relationship, you’ll want to avoid playing the divorce card. Saving a marriage is far and away the better bet, especially if you know what you’re doing.
If you and your partner do not make intentional changes to turn things around when things start to go wrong, things can quickly spiral out of control.
So, how can you save a failed marriage and avoid divorce?
Here are several tried and true methods for doing so.
13 Ways to Save Your Failing Marriage
1. Accept Responsibility
Marriage is a partnership that both of you decided to join into, which means you both committed to be accountable for your actions as a part of that union. When things go bad, one spouse or the other may find it simpler to point the finger of blame at someone other than the person in the mirror.
From the moment you say “I do” until the marriage ends, you are responsible for much of what happens, both good and terrible. If you are being honest with yourself, you must acknowledge your role in exacerbating the problem. You don’t have to berate yourself; all you have to do is stop lying to yourself before you can start to improve things.
2. Be silent and pay attention.
We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. The more you talk, the more it’s like pouring gasoline on an open fire in some circumstances. Remove the source of ignition, and the flame will go out, allowing you both time to regroup and reconsider how you want to address your difficulties.
When a spouse is furious or terrified, they will strike out and make sure their point of view is heard loud and clear. Sometimes all they want to do is rant in the hopes of feeling better. Allowing the other spouse to do the talking and vocally sort things out while you remain silent and attentive is one technique to address difficulties.Of course, the key is to stay focused.It’s one thing to be silent and listen, but it’s quite another to tune out someone who is sharing their heart. When you don’t put forth enough effort, trying to do the right thing turns into doing the wrong thing.
And don’t be concerned about getting drowned out in a one-sided discussion. Remember that the fewer words you use, the more weight each one carries. You’ll get an opportunity to express yourself at some point. If you don’t, your marriage may already be finished and you’re just not aware of it.
3. Spend time with folks who are in good relationships.
You are the people you hang out with. Guess what if you and your spouse only get out with other divorced people or those in shaky relationships? You’ll be inundated with prejudiced and negative messages about marriage, some of which will be angry and purposeful, while others will be sad and unintentional.Your friends and happily married family members can encourage and support you, as well as serve as role models for how you can live your own married life. You’ll see a good working example from which you can learn. You’re also more likely to leave feeling optimistic about the state of marriage in general than if you listen to Debbie Downer.
4. Compromise should be rediscovered.
compromise once moreWhen married couples dispute, it can easily devolve into a “every man for himself” situation. Why wouldn’t you take steps to take all you can with you if you think your marriage is headed for the exit doors? It’s a downhill spiral that, more often than not, leads to a disastrous outcome.
You’ll have to improve your compromise skills if you want to turn things around. It can even start little (she wants Mexican for dinner, you want Chinese…. let her have Mexican!). With enough minor concessions, the appearance of desperation should begin to fade. You’ll find that being in the center is a lot better than being on the street.Will you be completely satisfied if you make a compromise? Certainly not. That’s how compromise works. But isn’t half a loaf of bread better than none at all?Pick and choose what matters most to you. Pay attention to what your spouse values the most. Then there’s a game of give and take.
It won’t go unnoticed if you prioritize your spouse’s happiness over your own in life. One of the most important steps to saving your marriage is to make the effort to compromise.
5. Seek professional help.
For some couples, this is a simple step; for others, it is more difficult. Some people are afraid of laying their troubles out in front of a neutral third person, especially if they feel guilty or at fault for most of the marriage’s failure.There is a reason, though, that so many couples seek marriage counseling. It works a lot of the time.Counseling is a process and a technique to break up emotional snags in your marriage that you may not even be aware of. There are things you do that your spouse despises and you are completely unaware of. The same is undoubtedly true of you.
Counseling is a process and a technique to break up emotional snags in your marriage that you may not even be aware of. There are things you do that your spouse despises and you are completely unaware of. The same is undoubtedly true of you.Counseling might uncover a marriage’s nastier aspects. More importantly, a therapist can discover these issues in a non-threatening manner and provide you with techniques to begin repairing whatever is broken.
When it comes to counseling, you must be committed to the process and willing to put in the effort. Why bother going if you go in with the mentality of “I’m only doing this grudgingly because my spouse is forcing me.”Therapy can be an eye-opening experience, allowing you to assign titles and meanings to harmful behaviors. It’s much easier to work on them and change such behaviors after they’ve been identified.Take a step back and examine the financial impact of a divorce if you’re hesitant about counseling because of the cost.
Although therapy may not be able to rescue every marriage, it is an excellent tool that you should strongly explore if you have any prospect of salvaging yours.
6. Re-prioritize your goals.
If you want to save your marriage when it’s in crisis, you need to make it your first priority. This means prioritizing it over your children, your job, or anything else that consumes your time.This is not to mean that you should shut out everything else because that will only build marital bitterness; rather, you should prioritize your relationship above all other layers in your life.
Rather than going out with the girls on a Saturday night, or meeting up with the guys to watch yet another game, or shopping, or leaving for the day running errands, or whatever else you do with your leisure, commit to spending time on your marriage.There’s no need to go crazy, but you should do it to the point where your spouse recognizes that they are once again the center of your universe.Another advantage of doing this with children is that it sends a strong message to them that their parents love each other, as well as relieving their stress.
7. Stop being such a jerk.
You’re aware of what we’re referring to. All of the small encounters that make up a marriage won’t doom you on their own, but when they’re added together, they can generate major anger.Sniping little comments about the other person’s appearance or attitude, forgetting to buy the right groceries, dumping the kids on your significant other when you know you should be involved, purposefully not answering your phone, criticizing his or her cooking, using too much sarcasm, making inappropriate jokes or joking, calling your spouse fat, and so on and so on.
This is frequently rooted in selfish or cruel behavior rather than the amount of unconditional love that is the foundation of a happy marriage.A certain amount of criticism is unavoidable, but choose your battles carefully and learn to deliver it correctly and only when necessary. If you’re going to play the MIA card, make sure it’s for a good reason. Early and often communication is essential.
If you’re having a horrible day, don’t vent your frustrations on the one person who is supposed to be your biggest supporter. Instead, inform them that you’re having a bad day or that something is upsetting you. Make a request for assistance. When the shoe is on the other foot, you must also take a step forward. Give as much as you take, if not more.
8. It’s better to leave an argument too soon than too late.
Any quarrel should be ended as soon as possible.When you think that a conversation is going to devolve into a fight, take a step back and either de-escalate or postpone it until you’re both in a better mood. You can never take back anything you say in the heat of fight, and your spouse has a tendency to remember everything with abnormal levels of detail and clarity in the heat of battle.You’ll have conflicts, of course. However, you must agree on how to disagree. Recognize the other person’s rage, pay attention to what they’re saying, keep your own emotions in check, and, if a fight is forming, find a way to gracefully escape.
Anger is unattractive. Anger is a damaging emotion. Anger that isn’t dealt with constructively leads to divorce.When the mudslinging begins, keep in mind that everyone gets dirty.
9. Get a handle on your addictions.
Many people use drugs and alcohol to cope with the pain of a failing relationship. If you’re going to drown your sorrows, make sure you do it in moderation.Even the strongest marriage can be quickly undermined if one spouse has a really terrible addiction problem that they can’t control. If that spouse is you, consider whether you want to continue dancing with the demons or return to what drew you to them in the first place.
Keep in mind that in many states, if drugs or alcohol are a factor in your divorce, those habits might be used against you. They can have a significant impact on asset split, alimony, and child visitation. If your addiction is severe enough, you may only be able to see your children on supervised visits or not at all.There are other dangerous addictions that might wreck your marriage as well. Being a shopaholic or having a porn addiction can also cause serious problems in a marriage.Get treatment if you have an addictive personality before it wrecks your marriage and your entire life.
10. Is your outside world causing you to become more aware of your inner self?
There are so many external influences on people nowadays that what happens at work or in your social life can sometimes spill over into your marriage. Take a step back and consider whether you’re going home from work in a bad attitude every day, and if so, how that’s hurting your relationship. If you come home trying to unload, you could be misdirecting your wrath at a person who does not deserve it.
The same may be said for familial ties. Rather than being a source of joy, family reunions can place a significant pressure on a marriage that is already under strain. If you have a relative who drinks excessively, holds extreme political views, or attempts to convert everyone they encounter to their religious beliefs, these could be triggers for a couple to become unhappy.You won’t always be able to avoid these meetings, but the sooner you recognize them as a potential source of friction in your marriage, the sooner you can separate that unpleasant area of your life from your personal problems.
11. Change your perspective from one of divorce to one of marriage preservation.
If the thought of divorce keeps coming up in your head, that’s what you’ll focus on as a plan of action. That’s how you should approach your mission if you want to save your marriage. Reframe the situation in a good, productive light.
Instead of keeping track of the things that will be used as a justification for divorce, start looking for methods to save your marriage.
Instead of asking what has to be done legally and financially to defend against a probable divorce, ask well-intentioned people for advise on how they would strive toward a positive conclusion.The more you talk about it and consider it, the more likely it is that it will happen. This is true for both divorce and marriage preservation.The importance of perspective cannot be overstated.
12. Working on tiny steps rather than waiting for the huge “a-ha” moment.
It was a sequence of tiny events that culminated in your current sad scenario, and moving forward, it will be a series of small and good measures to improve your marriage. There is no magic wand to wave, no “a-ha” moment that transports you to a fresh and fully mended relationship.Marriage is a lot of labor. And hard work entails performing thousands of small things in the greatest possible way to establish a foundation of trust between you and your partner.
Life isn’t like a Hallmark movie. It can be full of unexpected delights as well as risky actions that might set you back in a variety of ways. Every day, be aware of what you’re doing and how it affects your marriage, both positively and negatively.Any negative behaviors will eventually be replaced by positive behaviors and decisions. So crawl first, then walk. Before you sprint, take a walk. You must run before you can fly. Don’t forget to include all of the nuances and minutiae that go into making a marriage healthier. The battles are fought there.
13. Understanding the concept of space will help to ground your marriage.
the idea of distanceCouples who are together 24 hours a day, seven days a week are at risk of relationship burnout. Every individual requires time and space to recharge and comprehend the events of the world.When you smother your spouse, whether it’s because you’re needy or because you don’t trust them, resentment will eventually build up. Resentment brings up a slew of negative feelings, jeopardizing what could otherwise be a happy marriage.
Because every couple is different, the amount of time they spend apart will differ as well. You could already have a good idea of how much personal time and outlets you’ll need to preserve your marriage as an essential, but not exclusive, part of your life.On the other hand, don’t abuse the luxury of time away from each other when you ask for or provide it. Don’t make rash decisions, such as getting wasted in a club and making a fool of yourself, or going on a spending spree with money you don’t have.
Make the most of your free time. Reconnect with old friends. Take up a new pastime. Participate in a charitable organization as a volunteer. Make a point of doing activities that make you happy. The good vibes you acquire at work will flow over to your personal life.