There are many reasons why a marriage fails.Cheating is amongst the most common reasons, and it is perhaps the most difficult to resolve. This is because the loss of trust amongst people is very difficult to restore.
Marriage goes downhill when a couple loses respect for each other, does not share the same goals or plans anymore, and simply just grows apart. Of course, there are many more reasons why marriages end and some of them are more complicated and might require professional help.
However, it only takes dedication and hard work from you and your partner to save your relationship. As difficult or even impossible as it may sound, you can fix the problems you have and get your life back to normal. As they say, if there is a will, then there is a way!
However, the key here is that both you and your spouse are willing to re-invest in each other and your marriage. The process of repairing a marriage requires effort and commitment from both partners.
This guide will walk you through ten essential steps you need to take to instantly help your marriage and save your relationship as it is falling apart. Read on if you are wondering how to fix a broken marriage.
Here are the 10 steps on how to fix a broken marriage
1. Talk to each other
Effective communication is key when it comes to any successful relationship. If you want to save your marriage from breaking down, it is essential that you always understand and talk with your partner.
In fact, a lot of problems are caused by miscommunication or lack of communication entirely. Some people naturally talk less than others, but for a successful marriage, you must be willing to share your feelings and thoughts with your partner.
To save your marriage you need to take practical steps. Depending on where you are in the relationship, start by asking your partner to talk honestly and sincerely with each other. If you are starting to get annoyed by a certain habit that your partner does, then a quick talk will do. However, if things have been building up for a while, then ask for a long talking session to get everything out and see how you can solve your problems.
Moreover, try to get into the habit of always talking with your partner to avoid any misunderstandings that might occur. If you want to save your marriage, you should make sure that you both open up to each other frequently.
This helps prevent any negative thoughts that might lead to fights or resentment. Talking helps build strength, love, and respect in a relationship, all of which are essential to restoring peace to your marriage.
2. Restore trust
Broken trust is the first issue that must be addressed when it comes to saving a relationship. When you hear about a breach of trust in a marriage, cheating might come to mind straight away. But infidelity is not the only way for trust to be lost in a relationship. Other possibilities include not being there in times of need, being dishonest or withholding information, and constantly not keeping your promises.
If a married couple does not mutually trust each other, their partnership will most likely come to an end. This is why both partners must take serious steps to restore trust and therefore security, safety, and ultimately love in their relationship.
Fortunately, restoring trust is possible, but usually takes a long time and hard work from both partners. The following points summarize what you can do to rebuild the trust that was in your marriage:
- Take full responsibility for your actions. This includes admitting not only your mistakes but also how you hurt your partner. When you openly admit that what you did was wrong, and vow to not do it again, your partner will start to believe in you again.
- Explain your motive. Discuss with your partner what made you act that way. Were you hiding something from them to not hurt them? Explain your motive to your partner and make sure you get it all out for them to regain their trust.
- Apologize and give them the chance to trust you again. A sincere apology goes a long way. This is why you should give one to your partner and also prove to them that you are still the trustworthy person that they fell in love with.
When you do as discussed, you let your partner know that you still care for them and prioritize their relationship. Trying to get them to believe in you again after they have been hurt is a long process, but is essential to saving your relationship.
3. Do not listen to any external influence
If you want to repair your struggling marriage, then you must shut out any external influences. This means that you should keep your marriage as private as possible and share as few details as possible with others.
Sometimes, out of good intention, you might want to take your best friend’s opinion on a private matter between you and your spouse. While they may give you good advice, they might also see things from their own perspective and heat you against your partner, seeing only the negative side of the equation.
Therefore, it is best to keep your personal problems between yourself. Chances are, your friend or family member does not hold the answer to your problem. Instead, it is best to communicate your issues with your partner directly and come up with a solution. This will minimize the conflicts and make you communicate better with your spouse, which is essential to saving your marriage.
4. Set clear boundaries
Setting clear boundaries in your marriage is a great way to build respect and understanding between you and your spouse. Boundaries are a cornerstone of healthy relationships and help avoid toxicity and dysfunctionality.
The earlier you introduce boundaries in your marriage, the better it is for both of you. For example, do not be afraid to say no, ask for exactly what you want, or sticking up to yourself early in your marriage to get your partner used to that. Similarly, be ready to understand your spouse’s boundaries and accept them as well.
The key is to find the right time to communicate your expectations with your partner. Moreover, you need to choose a tone that is loving but also assertive in discussing the boundaries that would make you comfortable in your relationship.
For instance, if your partner was late to a meeting that you have scheduled, talk to them to show that they have crossed a boundary and that you would not allow or tolerate that kind of behavior.
5.seek marriage counseling
Nowadays, there are professionals who are experienced in couple problems. If you and your partner feel like things are going out of hand, marriage counseling might be the answer you are looking for.
Seeking professional help can be a good option at any point in your relationship. However, the sooner you start your counseling, the better the results. Sometimes, when a marriage deteriorates, the couple stops communicating effectively.
This leads them to fall into vicious cycles of having the same arguments again and again without reaching a solution. In this case, marriage counseling has the potential to offer new and effective solutions and save the relationship.
Marriage therapy offers effective plans based on the couple’s personalities to help save their relationship. It offers many benefits, such as improving communication, restoring physical intimacy, and providing an opportunity for the couple to heal and rediscover their relationship.
6. Remember why you got together
Relationships need work and maintenance. The longer you stay in a relationship, the more you get used to each other.
While this may seem like a good thing, married people usually slip into routines that soon become boring and negatively affects their relationship. As a result, the spark in the relationship is often gone.
When you feel disconnected, it helps to remember why you first fell in love with your partner. Start by writing down a list of things that you are grateful for in your partner which highlights their positive qualities. It could be their maturity, openness, or sense of humor.
Every time you get a negative feeling about your spouse, go over your gratitude list. This will help minimize fights and resentment.
Moreover, relive your romantic memories together to remind both of you of the happy times you have shared. For instance, arrange to visit the spot where you’ve got engaged or where you’ve had your first date. This will help you both remember why you chose each other in the first place and rekindle the love that you had.
7. Spend quality time together
One of the best ways to save a struggling marriage is to spend quality time with your partner as much as possible. This does not mean just being around your spouse, but actually being present physically and emotionally and enjoying your time together.
You do not have to do something out of the ordinary to spend quality time as a married couple. In fact, a movie night can do the trick and get you both cuddling, literally restoring the warmth in the relationship.
Another simple activity you can do together is cooking your favorite meal and enjoy the teamwork that has been put in preparing the dish. There are many activities that you can do to strengthen your relationship and therefore save your marriage. The key is to find something that you both like doing.
8. Solve financial issues
Financial problems can negatively impact your marriage, so it is best to solve them as soon as you can. Money almost always places stress on an individual, and even more so on a married couple.
To navigate this, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page and share the same financial goals. For example, decide where your savings are going to go, whether it is buying a car, a new place, or traveling somewhere new.
Openly discussing and agreeing on your financial plans as a couple will dramatically decrease financial stress. Another way to manage your money is by setting budgets. Prioritize what you want to spend on and stick to your budgets to help navigate problems between you and your partner.
However, remember that even with proper budgeting and planning, financial problems still occur. Don’t let that take away from the happiness in your marriage. Talk together, manage your spending, and set goals together to keep your marriage successful.
9. Be ready to forgive
Every couple goes through their own problems, fights, and disagreements. Learning to forgive each other is essential in saving a failing marriage. In fact, couples who forgive each other enjoy more satisfying and romantic relationships than those who do not easily forgive.
To save your marriage, keep in mind that you need to forgive, forget, and move on. No one is born perfect, and as human beings, we all make mistakes.
If you expect your partner to always be perfect, you will definitely get disappointed. Both partners need to accept this fact and be ready to let go of the small differences between them instead of turning them into fights.
However, that is not to say that you should endure too much from your partner just because you are forgiving. It is also important to explain to your partner when something is bothering you and make sure no red lines are crossed. A healthy relationship requires forgiveness and also respect for each other. Forgiving your partner for the same mistake over and over again might be a red flag that something needs to be addressed.
10. Display your affection
It is important for a married couple to show their affection, love, and care for each other. In fact, it is considered an important way to save a relationship, as it shows that both partners still love and will fight for each other.
Couples who always display their affection share a stronger connection and therefore enjoy a healthier and happier marriage.
This is because showing affection for your spouse fulfills their basic need for important feelings such as security, acceptance, and harmony. There are countless ways to show your partner the affection that they need, including a tight hug, a quick kiss, or even just a phone call to check upon them.
Remember that in order to save your marriage, you and your partner both need to show each other positive emotions. Physically showing your affection releases good hormones which can help bring you and your spouse closer.
Signs of marriage trouble to look out for
Marriages can be complex, and unfortunately, there is no magical alarm that signals the start of marriage trouble. Instead, unresolved problems pile up until they become major issues that greatly endanger the partnership.
This is why you should always be on the look for any signs of problems, as the faster you resolve your issues with your partner, the better it is for your marriage.
Every relationship has its ups and downs. Even the most romantic couple have their fights and go through a tough time. While this is completely normal, there are red flags that signal that your marriage might be in trouble. Watch out for the signs below to know if your marriage is going in the right direction or whether it requires immediate help.
Lack of proper communication
Proper communication is an essential cornerstone for success in any partnership, especially in marriages. If you can not effectively communicate your feelings, thoughts, and ideas to the person you are living with, then that is a red flag that immediately requires your attention.
Lack of communication will slow the growth of your relationship. Not being able to talk freely to your partner can lead to fights, arguments, and misunderstandings. Because there is no mutual understanding between you and your spouse, you always tend to see only the negative aspect of things. This makes it harder to focus on the good side of your partner, which builds a barrier and makes you become distant from each other.
Moreover, long-term relationships where partners do not communicate very well, are much more likely to end. This is because both partners will ultimately feel lonely and misunderstood, and might look for acceptance in another person. Therefore, it is important to improve your communication skills with your partner to keep your relationship steady and healthy.
Spending less time together
Time is the most valuable thing we have, and as adults, we have to spend it wisely. In the midst of working, paying the bills, responding to the children’s needs, and social events, giving your spouse your undivided attention can be difficult. However, not prioritizing (or enjoying) spending time with your significant other is definitely a warning sign to look out for.
In order for your marriage to thrive, you need to spend quality time with your partner often. Fortunately, there are many ideas for activities that you can enjoy with your spouse to encourage you to spend more time together. Going on a short vacation, eating out, or enrolling in a fitness studio together are all good options.
No matter how you decide to spend your time together, the key is to enjoy each other’s company. If you go on a 6-hour road trip just to spend your time fighting, or you actually enjoy the trip but do it only once a month, you haven’t done much to fix your problem. On the other hand, consistently setting aside as little as 30 minutes of your day to do something that you and your partner both enjoy will strengthen your bond and get you closer.
You are always fighting
Another red sign in any marriage is constantly fighting and bickering with each other. While everyone has their bad days and fights do happen in every marriage, always fighting and disagreeing with your partner is not a good indicator.
Fighting over the same thing can mean that you and your spouse are failing to understand each other and get over your differences. It also means that one or both of you are becoming stubborn and unwilling to reach agreements with your partner.
This greatly hurts your marriage, especially if you are fighting over major issues such as how you spend your money, how you raise the children, or how you treat each other.
Fortunately, most fights can be resolved or avoided. However, you and your significant other need to put more effort into understanding and respecting each other.
Start out by picking a suitable time and place to discuss the issues that are bothering you and see how you can put an end to them. The next time you are about to heat up against your partner, try to remain calm and remember what you have both agreed on.
Moreover, how you handle your fights can also say a lot about your marriage
. If you criticize and stonewall- remain silent and refuse to discuss the issue- your partner, it could mean that you are losing interest in the relationship. Instead, try to understand the root cause of your arguments and solve them in a mature, respectful manner.
You are always criticizing each other
Criticism is a habit that destroys marriages. It means belittling your partner’s thoughts and beliefs, disrespecting their feelings, and making fun of them constantly. Instead of criticism, couples in a healthy marriage explain the way they feel to their partners and make direct requests.
In a healthy marriage, negative comments such as, “How come you never help me around or do the dishes,” are replaced with clear requests such as, “I do not prefer coming home to a messy place. Can you please help me by putting your dishes in the dishwasher as soon as you are done?”
Another example of how you can not criticize your partner would be like this: “I am upset because you haven’t told me about your text message from your ex. We both agreed to be completely honest with each other” instead of saying “How can I ever trust you? You are always hiding things from me.”
However, if you feel like all you are receiving (or giving) is criticism in your marriage, then that is a red sign to watch out for. If you want to get rid of criticism, practice asking your spouse directly for what you want.
One of you is either extremely jealous
Jealousy is often a sign of unhealthy relationships. In normal marriages, both partners give each other the space necessary for their relationship to remain comfortable and steady.
However, jealous partners can be exhausting, and being married to an overly jealous person is not easy. Typically, such partners are also possessive, controlling, lack trust in their partners, and question them all the time.
It is important to understand that a degree of jealousy is normal in a relationship. In fact, it might be necessary to keep the relationship safe.
For instance, a wife might feel jealous when she catches her husband laughing with his beautiful coworker, who he sees almost all the time. Her feelings of jealousy stem from her love for her husband and will help her keep an open eye on how things are going with that coworker.
On the other hand, excessive jealousy can easily become toxic and damage your marriage. Instead of one partner constantly smothering and questioning the other, it would do help to try and control this negative emotion.