How To Save Your Marriage from Divorce
We have learned this last week that it takes two to say I do, but only one to say it’s over. But, let’s face it… marriage is a partnership. Both parties have contributed to the successes and failures within the relationship. A breakdown in marriage is not based solely on one person or the other.
Once a breakdown occurs, people often retreat to a married / singles lifestyle that has partners heading in two separate directions long before a marriage is over. A married / singles lifestyle has less to do with cheating and more to do with spending time away from each other, at meetings, clubs, sporting events, girls nights, boys nights, golf getaways, scrapbook weekends, PTA, Church council, work, and anything else that you do without your spouse. The busyness of life quickly changes the dynamics of a relationship. With that being said, if we change these things within our relationship, is there still hope we could turn things around? Read these marriage tips to learn how to save a marriage:
Should I Stay or Should Go?
Ironically, what often is the first step when I’m counseling such couples is to get *both* of them to spell out in great detail what they think is wrong with their marriage. In other words, I really do not want to have a situation where one person wants to divorce, while the other person is trying to argue, beg or plead ‘for mercy.’ Instead, I want both people to clearly go on record with their grievances about the marriage. Then I can summarily state, “This marriage can’t go on, at least not this way … Neither of you want this sort of marriage …” So it isn’t John (the plaintiff) versus Mary (the defendant), but both people agreeing they need to find a route to happiness.
Can we find that route together? We are finally in agreement on something! I’m glad you’ve arrived at marriage counseling! So the take home message is: Don’t let it be you against him, plaintiff against defendant. Admit it, you both have been unhappy the way the marriage has been. You both want things to be better, we can agree on that! Can we be allies in trying to make it better? If so, maybe going to marriage counseling with that shared goal would be helpful.
Success is the Key to a Happy Marriage
This topic seems to be a tragic reoccurring theme in relationships. Divorce has quickly become one of America’s hot button relationship topics. Why would a man, any man, elect divorce rather than reconciliation? There are a myriad of reasons, but I will only address the one that seems to be the most prolific. Men leave relationships because they don’t feel successful within them. If a man doesn’t feel successful within a relationship, he will eventually go do something else or be with someone else that makes him feel successful. Period!! Anything and everything will become more important than his relationship when he doesn’t feel successful. Work, friends and other women will take precedence.
The key to keeping him interested and vested in the relationship is to make him feel successful. Make him feel good about how he pleases you. When situations arise where he isn’t as successful within the confines of the relationship as you would like, frame the situation in a manner that allows him to do, say or be something that will please you. Men want to please their women. Always have, always will. All he wants is the key, the blueprint that will allow him to attain that level of success that you both want. It shouldn’t matter if you tell him or he miraculously guesses what it is that you want. Just give him what he needs and wants to please you. Your relationship will be much better if you do.
Don’t be a quitter!
If you value marriage, go down with the ship. Never agree to meet with an attorney because you’re in a rough spot, or to be party to a jointly filed divorce. If he wants it, make HIM get it, and pay every legal bill. Remember that, over the course of a 30, 40 or 50-year relationship, a couple of years of unhappiness is NOTHING. You can fix anything, given enough time. Give it enough time.
Separate if you must; give each other space to heal, time to want each other again. Beware of therapists. Meet, instead, with long-time marrieds who love you both, and who have an interest in seeing you stay together. Remember, once you leave the care of a therapist, he or she will never be in your life again. Seek advice from people who WILL be there, the rest of your life.