In the UK, nearly 9 out of every 1,000 married people will get divorced. That percent rose for the first time in several years in 2017, with experts blaming the rise on an increase in divorce among people over 50-years-of-age.
If you’ve ever been married, you know how challenging it can be. No matter how well you and your spouse get along, issues are sure to arise when you’re sharing a space, a bank account, and more with another person for years.
Add in children, financial trouble, or other major life changes, and disagreements, a lack of communication, and even just drifting away from one another is even more likely.
If you’ve found yourself in a marriage that seems to be rapidly going downhill, it can be scary, lonely, and confusing. But before you give up and file for divorce, there are a few things that you should try.
Keep reading to learn a few ideas for how to save your marriage before its too late.
Address Major Issues First and Put Them Behind You
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Before you can start working on how to save your marriage, you need to put any major issues behind you.
Maybe one of you is guilty of infidelity. Maybe your spouse works long hours, leaving you alone for long periods of time.
Or perhaps one member of your marriage fails to uphold their share of household chores or responsibilities to your family.
Whatever the issue is that is driving the two of you apart, it’s time to face it. Only after you accept it and discuss how you’re going to move past it will you be able to start working on other ideas for how to save your marriage.
Some major issues are tougher to deal with than others.
Overcoming a situation in which one spouse feels they are doing more household chores than the other could be as simple as assigning each person their own responsibilities. But overcoming a more serious issue, like infidelity, is more complicated.
Start by getting everything out in the open. Discuss the situation and what you both expect from the other going forward. If you can’t come to agreements about these expectations, you may need additional help, like counselling.
Accept That Both of You Are at Fault
Unless one spouse cheated, its likely that both parties are at fault for your failing marriage.
When you’re trying to figure out how to save your marriage, it’s essential that you both accept responsibility for your actions. One person’s mistakes may be more obvious than the other’s. But those mistakes are still there as well.
Even when one spouse cheated, that spouse may feel that their significant other did something that drove them to cheat. While their actions aren’t excused by this, it’s important that the spouse that cheated air these feelings. Otherwise, those same feelings are likely to arise again later on.
Figuring out where all of the issues, even the little ones, are in your marriage will allow you to start working to move past them.
Work to Improve Communication
A lack of communication is one of the most common reasons why marriages fail.
Sometimes the lack of communication is a major, obvious issue.
Perhaps one spouse makes big decisions on what to buy or where to go, without ever consulting their significant other. Or perhaps a couple rarely speaks, except to argue or complain.
Sometimes the poor communication is less obvious.
A married couple may stop talking about their feelings or what is bothering them, causing them to slowly drift apart. Or maybe a couple had kids and stopped talking about their relationship or how they feel about one another. This often leaves a marriage feeling more like a responsibility than a joy.
Whatever the cause or extent of the communication issue, fixing it is one of the best strategies for how to save a marriage.
It’s a good idea to start small. Make an effort to ask about the other person’s day or how they feel about something specific.
Trying to increase communication in all areas of your lives at once can be overwhelming, and may leave you both feeling burnt out soon after.
Each marriage is unique, just as each married person is unique. This means strategies for saving a marriage that work great for one couple may not cause any improvement for another.
If you’ve been trying to save your marriage for a while, or if you’re facing major issues that you feel you can’t fix on your own, it’s time to seek professional help.
Marriage counselling can be a great way to get to the root of the problems in your marriage.
A professional counsellor will look at you and your spouse’s issues from an unbiased perspective. They’ll help foster healthy communication, and offer ideas for overcoming any problems that you’re facing.
A counsellor can even help you create strategies for facing disagreements in the future. This can help keep your marriage from slipping downhill again later on.
Learning healthy new habits is the best way to save your marriage now and in the future. Oftentimes, the habits you need to change or learn aren’t immediately obvious to you and your spouse. But they will be to a counsellor.
Putting the Strategies for How to Save Your Marriage to Work
If you’re struggling to figure out how to save your marriage, its time to take serious action.
Addressing and overcoming major issues, accepting fault, and improving your communication are all important strategies. When those aren’t enough, or when you want to make major changes in your marriage to prevent future issues, counseling may be the solution.
If you’re suffering through a failing marriage and feel like you can’t fix it on your own, it’s time to seek help.
Our professional counselling services can help you get to the root of your problems, and help you start changing your habits and perspectives so that you can start working to move past your issues.
If you’re ready to see the difference that professional counselling could be making in your marriage, contact us today to schedule an appointment.