You Can Save Your MarriageCORNERSTONE – The Ultimate Guyvorce Guide
Note: This article is for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice. The laws vary in each jurisdiction and readers should seek professional advice from a licensed attorney in the appropriate state.
Your Marriage is Broken
Whether it’s your fault or not, you’re now stuck in the muck of a situation you didn’t ask for, dealing with issues you never thought you’d have. You want what was to be what is — the life you built in your home with your family. And you’ll do almost anything to get it back.
That’s a start!
Believe that it is. You have to want to try to fix it. Then, you have to want it even when you’re pissed off and tired of it.
But you’re not there yet. At this point, you need easy-to-follow, actionable advice to take you from the situation you’re into one where you again have hope for the future.
While we can’t guarantee you you’ll come out of this together, or married, or even in a better place, knowing how to save your marriage, the steps you need to take, and how to bring your partner on board can make all the difference.
How to save Your Marriage If You’re Not Sure If It’s worth Saving
Before you ever put in the energy and time (and money!) you’ll need to salvage your union, you have to be sure it’s worth saving.
For any of your efforts to prove fruitful, you both have to be willing to shoulder the difficulties you’re about to face because it gets worse before it ever gets better. And if your current situation has her (or you) reaching for the doorknob every time you disagree, take a break to evaluate your situation.
If your marital problems are due to infidelity, you’ll likely need professional help in the form of a marriage counselor to move past your problems. Even still, you’ll both have to attend counseling appointments and follow the advice you’re given.
And while there’s no way to be sure that you’ll come out of this together, that you’ll succeed in saving your marriage, know that no matter how hard you try, you cannot do it alone. You’ll have to do this together if you’re to have any hope.
You’ll Have to Be Willing to Change
You both have to be. You can’t undertake the task of saving your marriage without being willing to change your behaviors. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to talk a whole lot about what’s on your mind, guess what? That has to stop. Letting someone in when you’re closed off doesn’t work. And opening up is one of the most difficult parts of saving your marriage.
Counseling can help you there, too.
Being willing to learn how to save your marriage is only the beginning. Your counselor will walk you through the steps to take to become more self-aware. By being aware of your behavior before you react to an unpleasant situation, you’ll anticipate your negative reactions. Then, you can act accordingly.
People don’t change all in one fowl swoop. We do so by making small, gradual adjustments in our actions over time.
Rinse and Repeat
Repetition is the reason you can ride a bike, drive, cook, and eat with a fork. You weren’t born able to do any of those things. You started out hardly a novice, and with some practice, you mastered these things and lots more.
The same is true with saving your marriage. You can’t apply a set-and-forget method to it. Instead, you’ll need to consciously remind yourself and decide to behave within the advice your counselor gave you, within a list of parameters.
If you set aside a 1:00 pm time to talk out your issues for an hour, stick to it! Excuses and whining won’t save your marriage. Talking out the crap between you will. Even if it’s uncomfortable, stick with the plan.
Adjust Your Expectations
Accept here and now that the finished product of working to save your marriage won’t look anything like your marriage
did before. Nothing short of a time machine will make it so.
Letting go of what was is one of the hardest parts of this process. Every time you look back, you do so through rose-colored glasses. You see the sweetness of it all — sweetness that won’t ever exist again.
That’s not such a bad thing, though. Leave the past in the past. You and your partner aren’t the same people who existed in hindsight. You’re better and smarter for what you’ve been through. Those experiences will shape who you’ll become in the end. For better or worse, you’ll change. Accept that. Let it be, and focus on being the best version of yourself you can be by doing the work.
Don’t Kill Your Marriage Before It Has a Chance to Be Fixed
Your marriage is in an incredibly delicate state right now. You can sway the outcome of your efforts in the opposite direction easier than you can sway them towards the favorable one.
Why? It’s because your feelings (and those of your spouse) are pretty raw right now. The fight or flight response is a very real thing. And it’s within our nature to flee uncomfortable situations — like a fight or an abusive situation.
Off-putting behavior will end your marriage faster than anything else will. Think about your actions in the moment. And don’t be afraid to take some time to chill out during a heated argument. Don’t just react for the sake of sparking a conversation. You won’t get anywhere by engaging in childish crap over intelligent discussions.
Accept Zero-Negativity and Stay Positive
You won’t save your marriage without adopting a positive outlook on the future. If it sounds more like mumbo jumbo than sound advice, think about all the times craptacular events seemed to follow each other in a string of non-ending shitty events. How’d you feel at the end of that? Were you convinced they were somehow related?
Positivity works the same way. What you put out is what you’ll get back, right? So think about your marriage in a positive way. Think about the good parts and laugh at what you can. Bring your spouse in on it. You’ll be paving a way for you two to bond and will open the doors to some much-needed positive energy to enter into your situation.
Tend to Your Sick Moments
When you’re sick, you know it. You reach for the thermometer, put the thing in your mouth, and wait for the beep and flashing numbers to confirm what you already know — you have a cold.
You’ve had them before. And you know a nice glass of OJ, two Advil, and some Vicks on your chest will knock that sucker right out of you.
Even while you’re trying to fix the problems in your marriage, you’ll have new ones. Fix them in the same way you would a cold.
Push the buttons that will make her feel better about herself and you. Think of three things you know she’d appreciate. Then, do them. Don’t expect anything in return, either. Do them just because. Be it buying her those stupid flowers that make you sneeze or remembering to record The Bachelor. Whatever it is, do it.
Know When to Walk Away
No one can tell you when it’s time. It’s something you feel. Couples usually start off the process ready to do whatever it takes to salvage their relationship. Still, many of them fail.
If despite all the counseling and trying your marriage fails, don’t blame yourself. Get up and keep going. Work out how you’ll proceed with the divorce, and choose an attorney who’ll have your best interests at heart.
If you have kids together, they’ll keep you connected. Make it a point to tell your children about your decision to divorce, together. Practice a script and follow it without blaming each other. Then, work on maintaining your relationship with your kids.
If saving a marriage were easy, there’d be no divorce. It’s easier to walk away and start over than it is to dig in and commit to doing what it takes to repair a marriage. Almost every couple tries to do it. Most of them fail despite their efforts.
And if you fail despite all you do, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll recover from it. You’ll change and will learn from the experience. As terrible as it might be in the moment, time will move you forward. You’ll heal from it. You’ll be okay.
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