It’s easy to feel distressed when your marriage is in trouble, but there are 10 things you can do to try and save your relationship.
Can you remember the last time you were happy with your spouse? If the answer is no, you’re probably worried that you and your partner are heading down the road to divorce. But don’t be discouraged, it’s easy to feel hopeless when you’re experiencing marriage troubles, but there are practical ways to restore your connection and avoid becoming one of the 50% of couples who head for divorce.
Research shows that the most common reasons for divorce often include infidelity, substance abuse, arguing and conflict, and growing apart. If you or your spouse can relate, you are both in need of divorce advice.
Here are the best tips for avoiding separation and reconnecting with your partner to save your marriage.
- Be Faithful
Since infidelity plays such a large role in marriage troubles, it’s important that you and your partner stay faithful to one another.
Cheating affects every single person involved. From the “other” man/woman getting their feelings entangled in a marriage, the unfaithful partner dealing with guilt and shame, and the betrayed spouse feeling hopeless and disrespected. There is never a good reason to cheat, no matter what is going on in your marriage.
Infidelity breaks marriages. It shatters trust and makes it extremely difficult to restore. Gaining back the trust of a partner who has betrayed you can take years to fully recover from. If you are already in an affair, break it off for good.
Choose to stay faithful to your spouse, through good times and bad.
- Build Physical Intimacy
If you are seeking divorce advice then your relationship is likely not in a good spot either emotionally or sexually. It can be difficult to want to share your body with someone you aren’t happy with but reconnecting on a sexual level is wildly beneficial for your marriage.
Sex connects couples on an emotional level and makes couples feel closer and more trusting of one another. Some research also suggests oxytocin may be one of the hormones responsible for monogamy.
Studies show that pleasurable behaviors reduce stress and boost the feel-good hormones released by the reward center of the brain.
Physical intimacy is more than just getting together in the bedroom. Oxytocin works similarly with skin-to-skin contact, such as hugging and holding hands. When is the last time you cuddled? Those who are experiencing marriage trouble do well to make time for physical intimacy.
This is the biggest piece of divorce advice you will ever read: if you want to save your marriage, you need to learn how to communicate.
Honest communication will keep your relationship alive. Tell your spouse your wants, needs, and desires. Tell them about your day, about something that made you laugh, or talk about your dreams.
Remember that in order to truly please one another you must first know what is wrong, and you can’t do that if you don’t talk to each other.
- Forgive and Forget
A slip of the tongue, a betrayal, a cutting argument. When a couple is married for a long time, feelings of hurt are inevitable, and forgiveness is difficult, especially if you’ve been hurt deeply by your spouse.
So long as they are taking positive steps to correct the wrongdoing, try focusing on gratitude, look for the good in your partner, and work on reconnecting as a couple.
When couples forgive one another, it means they’ve put the issue behind them, not that they squirreled the memory away for future use. You cannot lord a mistake over your spouse’s head at an opportune time and expect to have a healthy marriage.
If you truly want to move past it, you will need to learn to forgive and forget for good.
- Show Respect
When couples experience marriage trouble they often cite not feeling appreciated as a contributing factor to their unhappiness. Research shows that a lack of respect is another common reason why couples get divorced.
Show your spouse respect by consulting one another before making decisions, communicating regularly, never badmouthing one another to friends or family, and by expressing your respect verbally.
- Make Time for Each Other
Don’t let work or parenthood get in the way of having a healthy, happy marriage. Couples benefit from regular weekly date nights. The more romance and excitement is in your marriage, the better.
Spending time together as though you have just started dating will help rekindle sexual chemistry and rebuild your emotional connection.
- Be Appreciative
Sometimes the smallest things are the most important in marriage: a kiss goodbye, a thank you, a quick expression of gratitude.
Don’t let this be the case in your relationship. Give your spouse the respect they deserve each day by showing appreciation for one another, being considerate of the other’s feelings, and looking for ways to be kind.
- Have Fun Together
One piece of divorce advice for avoiding separation is to start having fun together. When you were first dating, likely your whole relationship was about having fun. You couldn’t wait to see each other after school or work, because that’s what made you the happiest.
Go back to how things used to be and start making more time for laughter and fun recreational activities.
- Go to Therapy
Some couples aren’t eager to share their deepest problems with a complete stranger, but marriage counseling can be therapeutic for those in marriage trouble.
A counselor can give you an unbiased look at your marriage and help you pinpoint troubled areas in your relationship. They will also help you learn how to resolve conflict in a way that is healthy and beneficial
Your counselor can also offer divorce advice, communication and trust activities, and will help you look toward the future of your relationship instead of living in the past.
- Make Goals Together
When you and your spouse were first dating, you likely had a mountain of goals you wanted to achieve. Perhaps the goals of getting married, buying a house, or starting a family were important to you both. Pursuing your dream jobs, learning a language, getting fit, or traveling to a different country each year are also great goals to have as a couple.
Now that you’re married, why not set new goals? Whether it’s the goal of being more honest with one another, having a regular date night each week, or scaling a mountain, having something to strive towards means that you’ll always be growing. More importantly, you’ll be growing together as a couple.
If you’re looking for divorce advice about keeping your marriage alive, you need to work on re-establishing your friendship and your emotional and physical connection to one another.
Stay faithful, have fun together, show empathy, and always make time for each other. By using these 10 strategies you will have a chance to prevent a divorce in your marriage.
Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages. Rachel on Twitter; Rachel on LinkedIn.