In many ways marriage is a metaphor for life. There are days when your married life seems perfect and then there are days when you reach your breaking point and feel like throwing in the towel. As you ponder what to do, including wondering if your marriage is over, you first need to decide if it's worth fighting for. If that answer is yes, try these five tips on how to save your marriage.
Photo Source: Flickr/Vincent Diamante
Knowledge is Power
Susan Heitler, Ph.D., wrote an article for Psychology Today that detailed seven steps on how to stop a divorce. One of those steps is to acquire the skills necessary to be a good life partner. She makes the analogy that a lawyer wouldn't attempt to try a case in court without the necessary schooling and training so married couples also need to learn to be good partners to each other.
Heitler writes that there are four skills necessary to foster a loving relationship:
- Talk together cooperatively
- Make win-win decisions as a couple
- Don't let anger ruin your relationship
- Accentuate a positive attitude towards each other
Stop Hurting Your Partner
Heitler also recommends examining what resentments you carry towards your spouse. Both partners need to make a list of those hurt feelings. Once your lists are complete, time to have a heart-to-heart. Civilly discuss exactly what the misunderstanding that lead to the resentment was all about. That means you both acknowledge the role you played that lead to hard feelings. Use this discussion as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes.
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All About You
Fixing you, that is. A piece in Woman's Day details eight steps to implement in order to save your marriage. One of those is getting to work on you. It's human nature in any conflict to blame the other person for failures and breakdowns. There's probably a lot of that in divorces. But instead of focusing on how you wish your partner would change, the only change you can bring about is in you. Having a support system of family and friends – not your spouse – is crucial during this trying time. They're the ones you call if and when the emotions of a potentially failed marriage overwhelm you. Focus on self-improvement strategies for you and, hopefully, your partner will notice the positive changes.
No human is perfect, that's for sure. Flaws are plentiful in people from all walks of life. You're probably apt to notice them the most in the person you're married to. Men's Health recommends looking past flaws as opposed to trying to fix them. Instead of dwelling on your partner's flaws, accentuate the positive qualities you love the most.
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Your spouse is your equal partner. Period. You didn't say "I do" to enter into a working relationship where one spouse is the boss and the other is the worker bee. So you shouldn't feel as though the way you live your life and the decisions you make aren't up to you notes Men's Health. A marriage should allow you to thrive as opposed to feeling trapped.
If you've been wondering how to save your marriage, don't wait to implement these simple ways to spice things up.
Featured Photo Source: Flickr/Mark Lord Photography UK