We often get the question, ‘how to save my marriage’ but it comes with many different factors. Saving a long-term relationship or marriage can only be possible if both partners put in effort. It is also important to understand that the effort you are making needs to be aimed in the correct direction. As marriage coaches we understand the intricacies of relationships and realize it is hard work that doesn’t just occur overnight.
There are many essential principles that you may be missing out on, which led you to Google ‘how to save my marriage’. At Marriage Means Moore, we have worked with hundreds of couples every week so we have outlined some basic principles that you should know. The following tips should help you make your marriage healthier and stronger than ever.
1. Understanding Differences
The first thing that you should do to save your marriage is to understand that every individual has different needs. Marriage coaching can help you understand why even your best efforts may not be enough if they aren’t aimed in the right direction (Harley, 2011). You may be ignorant of the needs of your partner unintentionally or intentionally. It can lead to a failure in your relationship since you may not be caring for your partner the way you need to be. By attempting to understand their needs and preferences constructively, you can actually have a positive impact on your marriage.
2. Meeting Gaps
Once you understand that your partner may expect or value different needs than you, you will be able to bridge the gap. These gaps in the relationship can worsen the marriage since both individuals may feel as though their needs aren’t cared for. The risk of unfulfilled emotional needs can increase, which can lead to a sense of unhappiness. Through marriage coaching, you will be able to understand the needs in a better way, which can help you narrow down the gaps in the marriage.
3. Do More than Just Talking
Communication is not the only thing that you need to work on if you are looking to save your marriage. Communicating properly with your partner is definitely a vital factor, but it is not the only thing that leads to a successful marriage (Love & Stosny, 2008). Love isn’t just about talking too much about your problems, but also about the connection you have. You should try and come up with solutions that help you solve issues and show affection in many different ways, rather than just relying on communication.
4. Indirect Effort
There are lots of ways to tackle an issue, and being direct about everything doesn’t always work. While being transparent and open about your feelings and effort is necessary, being too direct too quickly can also hurt the relationship in some cases. You can also find connections through other behavior, such as activity, routine, touch, and sex. Finding comfort and establishing a connection through such measures can help you stay close to your partner too.
For example, your partner may not want to get into a deep conversion after a long day at work. Instead of asking or nagging them about it, you can simply offer them some comfort through a hug or treat them to a nice dinner. It can make them feel better without having to spend unnecessary time on holding a conversation they are not prepared to have.
5. Finding the Right Ways to Express
During marriage coaching we share that one way to save your marriage lies in the expression of respect or love. If you want to show your partner that you love them, even small gestures can go a long way. There are ways you can use to show your affection and love to someone (Chapman, 2015). To find out what your partner prefers, you need to understand how they express love themselves. If you focus on the way they show love, you can narrow down how they would like to receive it too.
For example, you may think that cooking your partner a nice dinner or doing house chores is the way to show your partner that you care for them. However, your partner may not see this as love since they expect you both to do your part in maintaining the home; it isn’t a gesture of love for them because it is a behavior they expect from you. For your partner, the primary way to show affection to them would be through direct verbal admission. If you notice that they are vocal about their love, you should try doing the same.
You should keep an eye on how they show love. A lot of times, we are so focused on not receiving affection the way we want to that it may make us blind to their everyday efforts of showing affection. Do they stay up late with you until you are done with work? Do they reach out to hold your hand often? Do they go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable? Do they try and do things that may make you happy? Look out for the small things they are doing for you every day.
6. Explore Different Ways to Show Love
If you are trying to save your marriage, you should explore all the different ways to show love. This will help you narrow down the method of displaying the love that your partner expects from you.
Here are some common ways that people show love that you can try too:
- Quality time away from anyone else is important, especially if you have kids. Spending some time together doing something you both enjoy can help to make the relationship healthier.
- Verbal affirmations are also vital. While small gestures are important to every relationship, affirming your love through words is also really important.
- Gifts can be a way to show that you are thinking about your partner. It shows that you care for and appreciate them, even if the gift is really small.
- Acts of devotion or service to your loved one can also show that you care about their needs and preferences. From simple things like cooking or foot massages to throwing them a surprise birthday party, you should try doing it all once in a while.
- Physical touch is vital to make sure that your partner knows that you want to be near them and are attracted to them. Even small, intimate gestures like stroking their hair or hugging can be vital to make the relationship stronger.
7. Focusing on the Correct Issues
As marriage coaching experts we encourage you to focus on issues that can be solved when you set out to save your marriage. Every marriage has problems, but some issues can be solved easily if you choose to focus on them. For example, a partner may become too focused on unsolvable issues that may make it challenging to solve others also. By staying distracted on such problems, you may end up creating more issues. By the end of it, the immense load of the problems may become overwhelming.
8. Solving the Smaller Problems
If both partners in the marriage work to resolve the issues together without resorting to personal criticism, you will be able to go really far. By showing tolerance and compromising, you can actually solve problems in a healthy manner. When you begin to focus on and solve smaller problems, you will find that you have the determination and confidence to deal with the more prominent issues as well. This will help make your marriage stronger.
9. Overcoming Gridlocks
When you begin to focus on solving the smaller issues in your relationship, you will find it easier to escape from gridlock situations. Gridlock situations can be hard to deal with since you might feel like you’re putting a lot of effort into solving a problem, but you’re getting nowhere with it.
As time goes on, partners can also become more and more stubborn. After a certain point, egos can also clash, which can hinder your ability to compromise. This can turn small arguments into more significant issues. Before it develops into a gridlock, you should address the issue.
You can also talk to a marriage coach on how to save your marriage which can help you come to a solution for the gridlocks.
10. Seeking Help
There can be many problems with the marriage that cannot be solved alone. Couples may not be able to see an obvious answer or even be aware of their own stubbornness or rigidity in the matter.
In such instances, seeking help from marriage coaching experts can be the way to go. You may learn some practical ways to come up with a solution to your marriage problems. It is okay to hesitate when it comes to involving a third party into the equation since these issues can seem intimate. However, having an unbiased expert option can be an excellent first step to improving your marriage.
11. Taking Practical Steps
Many partners may not know the active steps they can take to save their marriage. Even if you know the exact issues that you should be working on, actually working on them can be hard. There are many actionable ways to address such problems.
Some marriage coaching experts suggest taking on a challenge to better the relationship. For example, The Love Dare gives each partner a different dare for the day. One day, you will need to stop saying anything negative about your partner. Another day, you will have to thank them for every meaningful gesture they may make.
This can open your eyes to many gaps in the relationship and can help you become a better spouse. You will be able to note down actions that can seem trivial at first but have a detrimental effect on the relationship.
12. Work as a Team
Lastly, both partners need to realize that being in a marriage means that you are part of a team. You will have to make an effort as a unit so that you can overcome any issues that you may be facing. The effort and determination needed to make a relationship stronger and healthier need to come from each partner. If you stay individualistic and selfish, the issues will continue, and you will not be able to save the marriage.
At the end of the day, you should focus on what is important. There was probably a real reason that made you Google ‘how to save my marriage.’ By focusing on the solutions rather than the problems, you will be able to save your marriage. Marriage coaching is always an open door that you can choose to make your relationship stronger. Need to talk with a professional relationship coach? Contact Marriage Means Moore for a FREE Consultation!
Let us help save your relationship and make a fresh start.
Chapman, G. (2015). The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.
Gottman, J. M. (2000). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert.
Harley, W. F. (2011). His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage.
Love, P., & Stosny, S. (2008). How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It.