If you’re going through a rocky or stagnant period in your marriage, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article I’m going to reveal some of the most powerful tips and tricks that you can use to save your marriage. Even if your spouse is unwilling to talk about the issues or to try and work things out, these tips will usually be very effective.
How can I make such big claims?
Over the past 12 years or so, I’ve worked with thousands of couples who were on the brink of divorce. Many of these clients were facing truly desperate situations where there appeared to be no real hope for reconciliation…. and yet, with persistence and dedicated, a large portion of those couples were able to rescue their marriage. There’s Still Time To Save Your Marriage! For most couples in this type of situation, where a marriage has grown stale and the passion, romance and intimacy have faded away over time, there’s still plenty of reason to be optimistic. Sure, sometimes things don’t work out, and some marriages are simply too toxic to ever be saved… and most of the time, those relationships aren’t worth saving, anyway.
But for the vast majority of you reading this article right now, things aren’t as bad as they may seem. You can re-build the bond with your spouse, bring back the ‘spark’ that’s been missing from your marriage, and put an end to any discussions about separation or divorce. Click here and take my free quiz to evaluate your current situation and find out whether you’ll be able to fix your marriage.
Of course, the topic of ‘how to save a marriage’ is pretty broad. Depending on many different factors, this can be as complicated as solving a Rubik’s Cube while blindfolded or tightrope walking with crutches.
That said, regardless of whether your marriage is experiencing money problems, infidelity issues, sexual dilemmas, or kid trouble… I do have solutions that will help to improve your situation. Marriage Problems Are Extremely Common Approximately 2.3 million couples get married each year in the United States. Of these marriages, over half end prematurely in separation or divorce.
As these rates continue to rise and sites such as Ashley Madison play host to millions of married individuals seeking extramarital affairs, you can’t help but wonder… “How do couples that stay together happily for 20, 30, 40 years do it? How do they remain loyal, committed, and in love with one another?” You’d think that it would all come down to proper communication, right? Wrong. Based on a long-term study by The Gottman Institute, researchers have identified the two most important traits for a long, lasting marriage: kindnessand generosity.
So how does this affect you and your marriage? Will being kind and generous all of a sudden fix all of your problems? Unlikely, but it will help.
Which brings us to the next topic…
Avoiding Conflict Will Help Save Your Marriage
One of the things that I teach in my best-selling program is called the Dispute Defusing System. More than just a catchy name, this system is designed to ensure that any argument you have with your spouse is handled calmly and politely, and in doing so will prevent your spouse from feeling that “Fight or Flight” response. Here’s a brief overview of the Dispute Defusing System and how you can use it to help save your marriage…
Using My “Dispute Defusing” System
Arguing is completely normal and even the healthiest of marriages have the occasional dispute. In fact, arguments can actually be productive and an opportunity for bonding if they don’t cause lingering resentment or conflict. The key is how you handle them. By knowing how to reduce harmful fallouts (what I call “Marriage Murdering Arguments”) you stand a better chance of rebuilding a broken marriage. To get you started, let’s look at some of my main Dispute Defusing tips.
#1 – Accept the fact that you might not find a resolution to your argument.
When you and your spouse get into an argument it can feel like it’ll never end. When this happens, it’s important to take a moment to stop and analyze whythe argument isn’t going anywhere.
Are you unwilling to negotiate? Do you feel like your partner is being too stubborn?
By continuing a pointless argument, you run the risk of escalating it into something bigger and more terrifying – this is how things get blown out of proportion.
#2 – Go to bed angry… sometimes.
Conventional wisdom tells you otherwise, but when you go to bed angry chances are you’ll wake up less angry than you were the night before. If you find the argument escalating into a “Marriage Murdering Argument”, simply go your separate ways for a while. Giving yourselves time to cool down means that when you wake up those smaller causes for arguments will have melted away overnight, and you can revisit the bigger issues with a calmer, more rational mindset.
#3 – Wait before you bring up issues.
This can be tough, especially when you feel that what you’re holding back is important. However, the problem with blurting out your opinions instead of waiting a while is that when something irks you, emotions can take over and you’ll say things without thinking. The correct course of action when this kind of situation comes up is to bite your tongue. By holding in your grievances for an hour or so, two things will happen. First, you’ll be able to calm down. When you’re calm, your partner will be more receptive to you and you and they will be less likely to blow things out of proportion. Second, you’ll be able to frame your argument in a more constructive manner, which brings me to my next point.
#4 – Frame your arguments better.
There are hundreds of ways to frame your arguments, but for all intents and purposes I’ll cover a few here. Changing just a few words during your argument can make all the difference. In fact, a Harvard professor advises that starting statements with “I” instead of “You” can have a profound impact on how your spouse perceives you and your argument. For example, if your spouse is always late for social gatherings and this annoys you, then you could say:
“You’re always late and our friends are always annoyed because of it.”
That doesn’t sound very pleasant though, does it?
Now look what happens when you change the way you bring up this grievance:
“I would appreciate it if we weren’t always late. I think our friends wouldn’t be as annoyed with us.”
See how the second sentence sounds much less accusatory? Again, small changes in the way you say certain things can have a big impact on how your comments are perceived.
#5 – Inject some humour into your argument.
Sometimes, a big argument can be almost impossible to avoid. In situations where you have to discuss something really important, it can be helpful to make a small joke if things start to get out of hand. For example, let’s say your spouse hates one of your best friends and never wants to be around them, but you want to convince them to give your pal another shot.
If things start getting heated, you could say something funny like…
“Would it help if I asked Rob to wear some deodorant so he doesn’t stink so much?”
Adding in a hint of humour can decrease tension and make you and your spouse feel closer. To avoid escalating the argument, be cautious of when and when not to make light of an issue.
#6 – Let go of the desire to always be right.
It’s human nature to want to be right, but when you and your spouse are fighting, there’s usually no “winner” at all. When feelings are getting hurt and ugly words are being thrown around, you both lose. The only way you can truly win is if you both come to a mutual agreement in a civilized manner. When one spouse becomes obsessed with the idea of always being right, that’s when arguments can turn into all out wars. The next time you feel like you could be wrong, take a step back and breathe. Then say something like:
“You know what, you could be right, actually.”
It’s hard, I know, but it can end a lot of pain and heartache.
Since arguments can be the backbone of marital problems, learning how to deal with them properly can make or break your marriage. Still, learning how to argue better is only part of the solution.
Sometimes, you need to learn what notto do if you want save your marriage…
Common Marriage Mistakes
When trying to fix your marriage, it’s common to get desperate and unknowingly make mistakes that worsen your situation. When this happens, it can shift your position from bad to worse, which is why one of the first things I tell my clients before trying to save their marriage is what not to do.
These are the Big Marital Mistakes.
Marital Mistake #1 – Initiating needless conflict with your spouse.
While communicating is important when it comes to rebuilding a broken marriage, what your marriage does notneed is additional arguments or conflict.
Before you try and fix things, plan your discussion in a rational and meaningful way. If you know your partner won’t react positively to what you’re about to say, think of ways to better frame your argument. Little changes in your language and gestures can have a profound effect on how your spouse perceives you.
Marital Mistake #2 – Begging, pleading, or being highly emotional.
When emotions run high, people can say or do things that they don’t mean or will regret. If your spouse makes you angry enough to want to explode or punch walls, simply don’t.
When you feel emotions growing from the pit of your stomach, it’s important to hold back, take control, and stay calm. This is easier said than done, but preventing yourself from lashing out could save your marriage.
Marital Mistake #3 – Making drastic changes to your life or work habits.
When you begin struggling with issues in life, your marriage will feel the effects. On the other hand, if you let your marriage affect your work or other areas of your personal life, your marriage will suffer even more. Do your best to keep your issues separate and don’t let your entire life suffer when one aspect of it hits a rough patch.
Marital Mistake #4 – Nagging your spouse.
Similar to mistake number one, avoid any sort of conflict wherever possible. It’s normal to get annoyed at your spouse for certain things, but small confrontations usually lead to bigger ones. If you allow these issues to build up, it won’t be long before you create massive rifts between you. Instead of nagging any time your spouse annoys you, find the willpower to hold it in for now. These are the times when you can start fixing your marriage on your own, without your spouse’s help. In the free video presentation on my website, I’ll teach you how you can change your spouse’s behaviour withoutnagging or arguing.
Marital Mistake #5 – Being negative.
A big part of saving your marriage is keeping your spouse attracted to you. This doesn’t mean just sexually, but emotionally attracted to you, too. By thinking and acting positively you’ll not only become a much more attractive person physically and emotionally, but you’ll also reduce stress, lower depression, and find yourself better equipped to deal with hardships should they arise. While this isn’t the complete list of marital mistakes, it’s a good start! Now that you have an idea of what notto do, let’s move on to one of the most powerful marriage destroyers known to man – complacency…
Complacency: Marriage “Boring Mode”
When you first met your spouse everything was magical. You thought about them all the time and could feel the chemistry and passion between you. The “spark” was alive and well. Yet with time, things began to change. The two of you fell into a routine, sex got boring, and there just wasn’t a lot happening. In short, you became complacent. You stopped putting in the effort to make your marriage new and exciting – and your spouse stopped caring too.
Humans, by nature, tend to get accustomed to their environment. Sometimes we stop appreciating the things that make our lives so great. When that happens, our spouses can become victims to that lack of appreciation. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way, and there are many things you can do to make sure that complacency never rears its ugly head in your marriage.
Consider these five tips…
Tip #1 – Force a conversation once in a while.
When you’re with someone for years on end, it can sometimes feel like you’ve exhausted every topic of conversation. Believe me, you haven’t. Having an open, intellectual conversation with your spouse every now and then can keep you feeling connected and even bring the two of you closer.
Tip #2 – Take care of your body.
Don’t just do this for yourself, but do it for your spouse, too! If you’re not going to the gym, eating well, maintaining your hygiene, or working towards bettering yourself then now is the time to start!
Tip #3 – Show love and affection on a regular basis.
Saying “I love you” isn’t always enough, so instead of using words, show your spouse that you love them. Hold their hand, run your fingers through their hair, kiss and massage them; even simply looking at your spouse when you talk to him or her sends a strong “love” signal. If you aren’t currently in a position to show your affection to your spouse, keep these in mind moving forward.
Tip #4 – Plan exciting adventures.
Many relationship and marriage experts will stress the importance of regular date nights, and they’re right. However, while going out with your spouse regularly is important, you’ll also want to plan extraordinary adventures every once in a while. You don’t have to break the bank doing it – in fact, there are a ton of really inexpensive ideas you can come up with if you let your imagination run wild. For instance, you could pack a picnic for the park, rent scooters and head to the beach, go skinny dipping in the lake… Whatever you choose, just remember that when you get outside your comfort zone things will start to feel new again.
Tip #5 – Surprise your spouse.
Since routines are boring, surprising your spouse is a great way to make your marriage feel fresh and alive. Awe your spouse with a gift, woo them with dinner, or fuel the flame by trying some new sex moves. When you do things your spouse would never expect, that’s when your marriage will start to feel like it did in the beginning. Once again, this isn’t an exhaustive list of complacency killers, but it is a good place to start.