Ways to save a marriage

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of How to fix your marriage

I know I can help with ways to save a marriage - yours.  I am a couple counsellor with 24 years experience. I've helped thousands of individuals and couples over all those years.

If your relationship is crumbling right now, here are some ways to repair it...

  • ... be sure that you really listen to what your spouse/partner thinks the problems are and let go of what you think they are for the moment
  • ... invest in either couple counselling or a good marriage resource to save your marriage (you can access a specialist counsellor right here)
  • ... make sure that you have five positive experiences together for every negative one
  • ... have you really refrained from using negative communication patterns such as criticism, defensiveness and stone-walling?
  • .... aks yourself if you truly have done all you can do to make the marriage work

I know... the latter is a harsh one, particularly if you are already feeling vulnerable.  However, you have no control over your partner - you really can only change yourself! Taking personal responsibility is one of the best ways to save a marriage or long-term relationship. In fact, it can be so healing of any relationship.

Think you maybe falling out of love? Not sure that you're with the right partner? Take my marriage compatibility test.

Steps to save a marriage

Here are some very basic steps - ways to save your marriage. They are behaviours and attitudes to can contribute to a happy marriage.  Below you'll find relationship advice on how to save your marriage by implementing some 'common-sense' principles.  These will not only benefit your partner, but will help you too to feel good about yourself.

In addition have a look at my pages Relationship Problems and Reasons for Divorce.  There you'll find information on the relationship issues that most commonly lead to marital strife together with links to articles with free relationship advice.  So, plenty ways to save a marriage or relationship!

Below are the most simple, but powerful, strategies for a successful relationship. Along with the advice above, they will help you when you're desperately searching for "how to save our marriage".

Be generous with compliments

Happy couple. Top tips to save a marriage.

Make more positive and personal comments to your partner or spouse, this is a great way to help save a marriage with surprising results.  We all know how easy it can be to talk about the diary entries, the chores, the house, the garden, the kids, the awful boss, the difficult colleague and all the stuff you don't like about each other.

Compliments work great if you are specific and honest.  Make sure that you can field any questions in the right frame of mind.

When you compliment, don't for example say: "You look nice", instead say something like: "I really like the cut and colour of that dress/that shirt - it so suits your shape/personality - it makes you look sophisticated/sexy."

Say something positive about your partner's accomplishments: whether it was cooking dinner, attending or speaking a meeting, dealing with a fractious child, getting promotion or sailing around the world.  Again be very specific about what you noticed or admired.

Go ahead and compliment your spouse about:

  • their looks
  • something they have achieved
  • something you are grateful for
  • a memory of a great day the two of you have had (letting them know you remembered is a compliment

This really helps you to focus on all the positive aspects in your relationship rather than the difficulties you may be experiencing.

Professor John Gottman has found through his extensive research that couples who maintain five positive experiences for every negative one have the most stable marriage*.

However, if your marriage is very close to breaking up, you need to do much more! Take action now! Have a look at Ways to Save A Marriage from my colleague Lee Baucom, PhD.

Of course, I can totally understand you'd rather speak to someone about your troubles! You can do that right here.

Listen and 'touch base'

Truly listen to your partner or spouse when he or she talks about something that interests them - you can show an interest in them, even if the subject doesn't interest you

Show interest in what your partner does, without criticism, telling them what they should or shouldn't be doing

Share your experiences of your day with your spouse, leaving out complaints which don't add anything to their day

Listen to the very music you listened to when you first met and reminisce

Create and focus on plans, they don't need to cost anything more than you would spend on any normal day: a picnic at midnight, sunrise or sundown will do.  Yes, the kids will love it too... it's an adventure.

These all very easy to do ways to save a marriage or long-term relationship.

Notice again how the focus is on the positive as a way to save a marriage?

Read on ... 'Being Physical is one of the best ways of fixing a marriage

Part 1, Part 2Part 3 of How to fix your marriage

How to save a marriage


*Gottman, J., Silver, N. What Makes Marriage Work? Psychology Today, 19 June 2012, via Psychology Today

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Elly Prior

It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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Image courtesy of: Erica firment and Ashley McKinnon