40 Ways To Save Your Marriage And Avoid A Divorce
Marriage problems such as frequent arguments, infidelity and the feeling of growing apart can start to feel like there's nothing that can be done to keep your marriage from falling apart. Fortunately, there are actually many things you can do to make things better. We're going to share over 40 ways you can adapt to save your marriage and avoid a nasty divorce.
1. Make a list of problems to discuss
Writing down all the issues in your marriage can help you cover more ground
In the heat of the moment, it can be easy to forget some of the topics you want to discuss. Making a list can also help you to decide what you want to say, and the best way to express yourself so that the discussion can be constructive rather than melting down into an angry argument. Remember that even if things feel hopeless, tackling the issues one at a time can pave the way towards a solid relationship.
2. Take a little time for yourself
Taking time to care for yourself can put you in a better mindset for putting in the work to save your marriage
It may help to get out for a while or at least find a quiet place to center yourself when you start to feel hopeless. Go somewhere calming or get in a hot bath and consider what you want and how you want to go forward with regard to any problems or obstacles in your marriage. Even in the heat of severe marriage problems, taking care of yourself is still important!
3. Be honest with yourself about what's wrong
To save your relationship, open honesty is essential.
Honesty is necessary if you and your significant other are going to solve any problems. Think of it as like hiding a wound from the doctor. If they can't see the full extent of the problem, then they can't effectively fix it. If your significant other doesn't know everything that is bothering you, they won't know what needs to be resolved or to what extent they may need to go to help resolve it.
4. Express your concerns in a constructive way
Blaming or accusing your partner can cause resentment quickly
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Be open about what you're feeling, but make sure not to place blame or make it sound as though you bare no responsibility for anything that might be wrong. Otherwise, your partner may feel attacked and get defensive, which could lead to an argument that could damage the relationship rather than save it.
5. Learn to manage anger
Excessive anger can spell out doom for a marriage
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It's natural to feel angry, but there's a difference between expressing your anger in a healthy way and misdirecting anger that wasn't caused by your significant other. If you've had a rough day, it's perfectly okay to not be in the best mood and to let your partner know that you're angry but don't take it out on them.
6. Learn to manage stress
Stress can unnecessarily compound the feeling that things are falling apart
Stress can cause tempers to run short. It may leave you feeling exhausted, irritable or hopeless. Taking care of yourself with regard to stress can do wonders to save your relationship. If that means you need a few minutes to yourself so that you can relax, that's perfectly okay. It's better to take some time to yourself for emotional care than to potentially lash out at your significant other because you're feeling stressed.
7. Remember you're both only human
Banishing unrealistic expectations from one another can help you avoid a divorce
Neither of you is capable of immediately solving all of the problems in the relationship, and you shouldn't be expected to. It's important to keep in mind that human beings are flawed creatures and can sometimes behave in less than healthy ways. Don't be too rough on yourself or your partner for making small mistakes.
8. Open up the lines of communication
Secrets can be toxic to a marriage
Being open and honest with your partner is crucial in saving your relationship and allowing a trust to build. It's best to avoid keeping secrets or behaving in suspicious ways that might make your partner feel as though the relationship isn't secure, regardless of whether the secrets are small or on the level of infidelity. Trust is essential for keeping the relationship from falling apart.
9. Re-center yourself as a team
Working together rather than against each other can do wonders to keep your marriage from falling apart.
Being married means you're part of a team. This can be easy to forget when there are problems in the marriage and one of you starts to feel like you're on opposite sides. The goal is for both of you to be working towards saving the relationship, as it takes two people dedicated to that cause to keep it afloat. If one side isn't putting in the effort, things can fall apart quickly.
10. Make decisions together
Big unilateral decisions can quickly lead to divorce
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Making big decisions unilaterally can send the message to your partner that you don't care what they think or how they feel. If you're making a decision on something that will affect both members in the relationship, then it's best for you both to share your input and make that decision together.
11. Decide what's important to you as a couple
Knowing what your priorities are as a couple can help you move in the right direction
Different couples can view things a little differently, for example, one couple might decide that trust is the most important thing in a relationship while others might think it's honesty. One couple might want children and another might not. It's important that as a couple, you agree on what things are important to you. Otherwise, things can go unsaid and assumed, leaving one side to find out there are large differences later on.
12. Make time for each other
Save some time to reconnect regularly
When you have a busy schedule, it can be easy to focus in on getting your tasks done and trusting that at the end of the day, your partner will be there. This kind of thinking can lead to taking your partner for granted, even if you may not mean to. Make sure you stop from time to time, send them a text or pause for a conversation that lets them know they mean a lot to you.
13. Set up date nights
Plan time specifically to be together and have fun
Date nights are a great way to get some alone time with your partner. One night a week or so, send the kids to a babysitter and take the time to do things you enjoy together. This might include some fine dining, seeing a movie, or even letting your wild sides lose in the bedroom. A little time can really go a long way toward keeping your relationship from falling apart.
14. Remember the importance of intimacy
Spending plenty of time together is important for keeping your marriage in good health
Intimacy is what allows you to really connect as a couple, both on an emotional and physical level. Without it, the relationship can easily start to feel hopeless. If one side isn't getting the intimacy they desire, it can also lead to infidelity. It can be easy to forget that intimacy does require effort, especially later into the marriage and when you're in the midst of juggling jobs, children and other responsibilities.
15. Remember what you like about each other
You fell in love for a reason
Remember those days when you couldn't stop thinking about your significant other because you were so infatuated with them? What was it about them that made you feel that way? It helps to remember the qualities you adore in your partner so that you can appreciate them fully.
16. Learn how to resolve arguments in a healthy way
Resolving arguments fully can help keep you from feeling that communication between you is hopeless
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It can be easy to get caught up in the same arguments over and over, saying the same things and being unable to get it resolved. This isn't a productive way of handling things. It can help greatly to learn how to settle down and bring the argument to a complete conclusion so that it can be put away and the two of you can move forward together rather than allowing resentment to grow.
17. Don't hide behind humor or sarcasm
Let your walls down and experience your emotions fully
Some individuals can struggle with being open about their emotions and may use humor or sarcasm to keep from having to share the honest truth. This tends to come from a fear of being vulnerable or of being seen as weak. Remember that emotions aren't the weakness, they are each person's inner truth and it's important to share them openly.
18. Put a halt to any affairs
Infidelity can cause extreme damage to a marriage
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Affairs, either emotional or physical, can be deeply damaging to a relationship. If one or both sides of the relationship have engaged in infidelity but want to move forward together, then those extra people need to be let go. You cannot expect a relationship to last where one person is seeking someone outside the marriage for comfort or pleasure.
19. Heal any addictions
Get addiction help first
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Addictions can also be troublesome in a marriage, no matter what kind of addiction it may be. If one person in the marriage is suffering from an addiction, it's important that they are able to heal from it before further work can be done to save the relationship itself.
20. Pay attention to the energy you send to your significant other
Strive to offer positive energy as much as possible
It can be easy to be short with your significant other if you're having a bad day, or unwilling to talk if you're not feeling social. There are a lot of emotions that can run high and effect the way you talk to or behave around your partner. It's important to be aware of how you are acting towards them so that you don't send negative energy their way that they don't deserve.
21. Learn new ways to express yourself
Practice healthy methods of communication
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This can be especially difficult for those who are set in their ways or don't feel as comfortable opening up about their feelings. Sometimes changes need to be made so that arguments can reach healthy conclusions. For some, it can be helpful to learn how to express themselves without blaming or accusing the other person.
22. Come up with new ways to show each other you care
Even small efforts can carry a lot of meaning
There are a lot of little things you can do to show your significant other what they mean to you. It doesn't always have to be a big, expensive display with flowers and jewelry. You can send a quick text telling them you love them, or leave a note for them reminding them that you care. These tiny things can go a long way towards saving your marriage.
23. View each other as equal
Treat each other with fairness and respect
It doesn't do any good to be condescending to your significant other, even if you think there are certain topics that they may not have as good of a grasp on as you do. You're both different and bring unique strengths and weaknesses to the marriage. Treating each other as equals helps to solidify your position as a team.
24. Have boundaries
Excessive gross behavior can lead to a decline in attraction
Once you're married, it can be easy to get comfortable. To a certain extent, that's a good thing. However, if that comfort becomes a lack of boundaries it can become a problem. Some personal activities are better off being kept relatively separate as they can sometimes lead to one side losing some attraction for the other.
25. Let small things go
Everyone makes small mistakes
Sometimes frustrations can grow from smaller problems like having to pick up your significant other's dirty clothes, or maybe one of you often forgets to turn off the lights when they leave your home. These kinds of things are tiny inconveniences in the grand scheme of things. We all have habits that are less than desirable and it's important to remember that dirty socks on the floor are not worth causing a major disruption or potentially losing the person altogether.
26. Be thankful
Balance out the good and the bad
While it can be easy to get caught up in everything that's wrong in a marriage, it's important to remember what's right. The world and your relationship aren't black and white. It's perfectly okay to have grievances with your partner, but also make sure that you weigh them against the good things in the marriage.
27. Be mindful of one another's social preferences
Remember that not everyone enjoys the same amount of socialization
Some people enjoy being social and want to spend time with friends and family frequently, while others prefer to spend most of their time in a quiet space reading a book or enjoying other quiet activities alone. There's nothing wrong with either person's preference, and it's important to keep in mind that if you are more social and your partner is not, there's nothing wrong with them for wanting to spend time alone. Make sure to take into account your partner's preferences when making plans.
28. Be aware of any potentially abusive behavior
Don't stay in an abusive relationship
One important thing to watch out for is any kind of abusive behavior. This could be physical or emotional abuse, and it's highly recommended that you at least seek out counseling if you feel your partner is being abusive. Sometimes it might be more important to save yourself than to save the marriage.
29. Understanding any issue under the surface
Have patience with conditions that might affect your partner
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More and more, we are discovering mental illnesses that can cause trouble for people as well as their partners. While some of these illnesses can be toxic, others such as anxiety and depression often just require a little more patience and understanding. Being patient and understanding can not only help to save the relationship, but also improve the quality of your partner's life.
30. Know when to cool down
Taking a break can help you gain perspective
Arguments can get heated. It's normal for emotions to get strained when you and your significant other are having an intense disagreement, but it can be easy for those emotions to cause one or both of you to say things you'll regret later on. Sometimes it's best to step away from the discussion for a little while so that you both can calm down before returning to it.
31. Be patient with one another's limits
Don't push them to do things they're uncomfortable with
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Different people have different limits depending on the experiences they've had in life. That means your partner might feel anxious and uncomfortable about something that seems perfectly normal to you. It's important to be patient with those kinds of limits.
32. Agree on how to handle children and/or pets
Have a plan that allow you to share equal responsibility
Prior to having children or pets together, it's a good idea to discuss the kinds of rules you feel are necessary and how to address rules that are broken. The idea is to stand as a united front, rather than one parent being seen as too strict and the other being the “fun” parent. This kind of dynamic can cause resentment in many relationships. If you've already fallen into this dynamic, you can still save the relationship by working together to share responsibility.
33. Respect one another
Refrain from name calling, blaming or other rude behaviors, even if you're in an argument
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This doesn't just mean speaking respectfully to one another but also knowing when to back off. If you touch your partner in a way they don't appreciate or try to initiate sex when they don't want it and they say no, it's important to respect that and stop. Otherwise, you can risk making your partner feel unsafe.
34. Get counseling
There's nothing wrong with seeking help
If you and your partner are having a struggle that doesn't seem to get worked out, there's nothing wrong with seeking out a little guidance. A counselor can help lead the two of you in a direction towards saving the relationship.
35. Don't go looking for problems
Creating larger problems out of minimal ones can make your relationship very rocky
Nitpicking and nagging can create tension and conflict in the relationship where it didn't need to be. If you feel something is wrong, it's better to sit down and have a full discussion about what's bothering you rather than choosing smaller issues to latch onto.
36. Don't close yourself off
Your partner can't help if you don't let them
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Shutting down on your partner can lead to them feeling like you aren't willing to work with them to fix the situation, or they may feel unwanted altogether. Closing yourself off can quickly lead to the relationship falling apart. Even if it's difficult, it's important to try to share your feelings and let your partner know you aren't just freezing them out altogether.
37. Learn to listen to each other
Listening to what they have to say shows them you care
Don't tune out your significant other, even if you don't have an immediate interest in what they are talking about. This can leave them feeling like they aren't very important to you. Practice active listening and let them know that what they have to say matters.
38. Take an interest
Support your partner by showing them you care about their interests
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Along with listening, ask questions. Be an active member of the conversation. Your partner is sharing things with you because they want you to know about their thoughts, feelings and what's going on in their life. Take an interest.
39. Don't let others get in the way
The opinions of others don't dictate your relationship
From time to time, we can have family members that decide for some reason or another that they don't like our significant other. Sometimes there are good reasons for this, but there are also many who make this decision arbitrarily. Don't let their opinions tell you how to feel about your partner, that's your choice to make for yourself.
40. Remember that this is the person you chose to spend your life with
Don't let their importance to you slip away easily
You chose this person, which means that at some point they meant enough to you that you wanted to spend your life with them. While they may be flawed, they aren't villains who are seeking to ruin your life. Your significant other is only human, and a human you picked out of all the others on Earth, which means the situation isn't hopeless. Put in the effort to keep your marriage healthy rather than deciding things are too hard to try to save it.
Whether it's due to the lack of time spent together or infidelity, there's always help available and things you can both try in order to save your marriage. If you work together to resolve problems in a healthy way and learn how to work effectively as a team, you'll be well on your way to a healthy marriage. Good luck!