The statistics say it all, if you get married you have a very good chance of visiting the divorce courts at some stage. But this is not a pre-ordained future.
According to the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Missouri, the divorce rate for first marriages is already as high as 50%, while it shoots up to 67% for second marriages.
These statistics gets couples whose relationships are on the rocks asking, “how do I save my marriage?”
Divorce can be a painful experience not only to you and your partner, but also to your children, family members and friends. It can be extremely stressful and can cause deep emotional wounds which can take a long time to heal.
Before giving up on your marriage entirely, it will help to take a step back and reflect on what you can do to help your marriage take a turn for the better.
Tip #1 Don’t Criticize – Negative criticism can be harsh and it can hurt your partner’s feelings. Constantly finding fault in your spouse’s actions or words may feel like a personal attack that can cause them to further distance themselves from you.
If you’re wondering, how to your save your marriage, the first step lies in changing your communication patterns for the better. Eliminating negative comments that can bring your spouse’s self esteem down is a great place to start.
Sometimes we may not notice that the words we say are hurtful, so it helps to think about what we are going to say. This does take a conscious effort, but once you start doing it, you will find it easier to hold back on saying destructive words.
In fact, you can eventually exchange negative criticism for something positive, which can foster a more nurturing environment for you and your spouse.
Tip #2 Focus on the Positive – One reason why marriages go stale is because couples lose interest in one another. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t meant for each other, it only shows that keeping a relationship alive requires ongoing effort from both parties.
When a marriage becomes dry, boring and fragile, it can be difficult to focus on the good points. To help you see the better side of the marriage, think about the things you and your spouse loved about each other during the first year of your relationship.
Make a list of these things and read it everyday as a reminder of what your marriage was originally made of.
Tip #3 Compliment Generously – Many couples don’t really voice out how much they appreciate what their husband or wife is doing for them.
One way to keep your partner closeis by telling him or her how much you value their efforts. Be generous in your praise, even if it’s as simple as cooking a lovely meal, or fixing the broken shower. Don’t let a day go by without saying something positive about your spouse.
Think about the things you truly admire about your partner and be genuine about your praise. Appreciation that comes from the heart will truly be felt, and your spouse will soon pick up on this positive habit.
Tip #4 Be Patient – You may feel as if you’re alone in making the effort to preserve your marriage, but chances are, your spouse may also be thinking the million dollar question, “how do I save my marriage?”
Change doesn’t come quickly, and at times it may feel as if your efforts are fruitless. However, don’t surrender and admit defeat too easily. Rekindling romance takes time and patience as well as a tonne of perseverance.
Tell your spouse about your intention of making the marriage work, but more importantly, be consistent in your actions. Even if communication has ceased altogether, give your partner time to open up.
Asking yourself the question “how do I save my marriage?” is the first step in bringing back a healthier and happier marriage. It means you are willing to take the steps necessary to make your marriage work.
With more than twenty years experience in the field, Elizabeth Davis is a well known and respected relationship adviser. Through her site she offers free, no-holds-barred counseling, friendship and support to anyone experiencing difficulties in their relationship. Let her help you to a life filled with the unconditional love and laughter you deserve.