Let’s face it: knowing how to fix a broken marriage is confusing enough without having to actually do it!
But despite the overwhelming nature of this feat, the truth of the matter is, you absolutely can fix a broken marriage.
In fact, there was a time when my wife and I were feeling completely helpless in our marriage and were both seriously considering getting a divorce. Now, we are quite happy today and thankful we put in the time and effort to save our relationship, but it took a lot of work.
Bottom line: If both you and your partner are committed to making the right changes, then you can save it from divorce.
Here, we’ll walk you through what you can do now to mend the damage and start the healing process, as well as other key components to fixing your marriage that are often overlooked.
1. Determine What Made You Fall in Love in the First Place
First, let’s get back to basics. What about one another do you adore the most? What was it about your spouse that made you initially interested in them?
It is important to the mending process that you make a conscious effort to reflect on such things, now! Writing these reasons down may even prove to be more helpful to you.
Chances are they’re still that same person deep down, but it is easy to become desensitized to the traits and qualities you love most about one another over the years.
2. Reflect on What Has Made Your Marriage Feel Broken
Have you grown apart? Has life gotten in the way? Where did things go wrong?
Identifying the cause of what made your marriage feel broken will help you to more quickly tackle the root of the issue.
If you need a little help in determining where things went south, consider if any of the following four reasons that commonly contribute to broken marriages have played a role in your struggles:
- A lack of communication
- A Lack of care and affection
- A crisis
A lack of communication can oftentimes act as a “gateway” issue so to speak. For instance, when communication breaks down, other issues often follow…such as lack of care and affection and in some extreme instances infidelity.
In terms of a crisis (i.e. death in the family, sudden illness or financial issues, etc.), the couple’s love, patience, and support of one another will be tested. It is not uncommon for one or both spouses to feel let down by their partner in such situations.
3. Practice Effective Listening Skills
Perhaps you have heard this one before, but are you giving it your sincere and best effort? The truth is only you will know the answer to that.
The better listening and communication skills we possess, the more equipped we are to develop healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationships.
Carefully listen to your significant other and expect the same from them. Hone this skill by:
- Showing genuine interest. Very few people will share their inner thoughts or emotions unless they feel the listener truly cares for them.
- Commenting occasionally. Give brief summary statements as you listen which will assure the individual that you’re listening and understanding their message.
- Reading nonverbal messages. Since the majority of our communication is expressed through nonverbal cues, being able to decipher these signals will benefit your relationship.
- Setting aside your own emotional reaction. In order to listen successfully, it is important to set aside your own emotional reactions and concentrate on comprehending your partner’s message.
4. Never Let Distractions Hinder Your Progress
It’s all too easy for children, careers, and other responsibilities to get in the way of your marriage. Life is busy!
It is imperative for your success that you and your spouse make time for one another and keep the right attitude, despite how hectic your lives may be.
5. Find a Way to Reconnect
Consider what it would take for you to rekindle a connection.
Make each other a priority and reconnect through a date night or a planned event solely for the two of you.
Commit to exclusively spending some amount of time together every day, even if it’s just ten minutes before bed. This may just help to fix your issues.
Even after separation, finding ways to reconnect again is crucial when fixing a marriage.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Fixing a Broken Marriage
While the steps above are helpful and will put you on the right track, they are not enough by themselves…
Instead, practice the steps above and incorporate the following strategies to create a healthier relationship between you and your spouse.
DO: Pull Your Weight When it Comes to Responsibilities
Running a household and marriage is a dual effort. This includes everything from cleaning the house, running errands, to helping out with the kids.
Anything that you can do to help your spouse shows you that appreciate them. Even if you have a stay at home wife, your wife works too whether you see it or not, so it is important to still contribute on weekends or days off.
Not contributing and pulling your weight is an easy way to build resentment.
DO: Learn to Take Accountability and Say “I’m sorry” When You’re Wrong
Learning to be accountable for your mistakes is a huge component to any healthy relationship, not merely marriages.
Even if your partner doesn’t take accountability for his or her mistakes, it is important that you do.
Perhaps you taking responsibility and being the bigger person will ignite the same response in them.
Plus, admitting when your wrong and offering a sincere apologize will show that you want to make things right. Overall, this sends a great message.
DO: Practice Continuous Self-improvement
Whether you’ve let yourself go, picked up some nasty habits, or have become short-tempered from a job you dislike, it is important to strive to be the best version of yourself in all aspects.
If you start taking better care of yourself your spouse will notice.
It is so much easier to be with somebody who is happy and respects themselves compared to someone who is lazy and doesn’t work to be the best version of themselves.
Self-improvement is far more than physical attraction. In fact, you can grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually too.
Not sure where to start with self-improvement? Check out this post for 42 practical ideas.
DO: Spend Time Alone Together
Spending time alone together is a crucial key to a fulfilling marriage.
Couples need their alone time to bond and be intimate with one another. This alone time allows for you to bond and focus solely on one another, if even for just twenty minutes!
If you and your spouse are committed to working on your issues, then you and your partner would greatly benefit from checking out some of the best marriage counseling books that you can read together.
With your relationship falling apart, being alone with your spouse may sound uncomfortable, but you must be open to it. Get back to basics and recommend an activity you both enjoyed before the tides turned.
DO: Invest in a Proven System (Accept Help)
Although not an absolute “must”, Emily and I had great success after incorporating the guidance of an online marriage course into our healing process.
We needed something to help get the ball rolling after the momentum from our biweekly counseling appointment had worn off.
Instead of spending twice as much money on counseling, we decided to first try an online course that would offer counseling from home.
This approach wasn’t exactly orthodox, but we were willing to try anything and everything if we thought it might help fix our marriage.
Learning how to fix a broken marriage isn’t enough – you both must be dedicated to putting those teachings into practice and this system can help achieve that.
DON’T: Make a Mountain Out of Molehill
If your spouse and you are heading towards a divorce you likely aren’t seeing eye to eye on things.
If your main priority in your marriage is to save it from divorce, then it is crucial you create a peaceful and healthy energy between you and your spouse.
Next time you’re arguing ask yourself “Will this matter a week or two from now?”.
When things are rocky is when we tend to be the most critical and sensitive.
This can lead to us blowing things out of proportion and cause more fights.
Remember that healing a broken marriage does not happen in a microwave, but rather in a crockpot.
It will take time and commitment to resolve your issues, so don’t expect a miracle to happen in only a month’s time!
Put these tips into practice to take the right steps to not only saving your marriage, but rebuilding the love between you and your spouse.