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Heartbreak recovery programme

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7 ways to save your marriage

How to Save a Failing Marriage!

You and your partner may feel as if you are “living alone together“, which is often the first sign of a failing marriage or relationship. One that has lost its way. A relationship which is broken lacks communication and so you may feel misunderstood and unappreciated. These factors mean both you and your wife/husband/partner may begin to emotionally shut down from each other and here lies the key issue. You see each person feels disconnection and emotional unresponsiveness as if they are in a standoff with the other and the sense of a gap between you can breed resentment, disappointment, disengagement, blame, judgement and jealousy, all of which are damaging to your relationship.

4 Signs that your relationship/marriage may have lost its way:

  1. You no longer feel like friends and are unable to manage conflict. As a result distance, silence, and irritation grows between you.
  2. One of you wants to be right and the other wants to be understood. You fear not being heard, considered, validated and taken seriously, which can lead in to a “power struggle” as you both feel that your needs and wants aren’t being met by the other.
  3. A lack of compassion, understanding and kindness begins to affect the atmosphere between you both. This can often result in a war of words whereby a culture of criticism and blame arises. You may become withdrawn, rational and dismissive and they appear over emotional and irrational. Or the roles may be reversed.
  4. Resentment and frustration can occur as one person in the relationship/marriage may feel they are shouldering all of the household responsibilities, utility bills and overall running of affairs.

7 Ways you can save your relationship/save your marriage

1. Communicate

Effective Communication is a key component of any relationship. Healthy relationships can only exist when both sides/opinions are heard and respected.

2. Listen

Listen closely to each other with empathy, warmth and respect. Remember, after many years of being together, a deep emotional attachment will have formed between you. Because of this attachment the ability to empathise is key to building a warm and close relationship

3. Talk openly and ask for what you want and need

Express your feelings if you want something, or are unhappy in any way. Encourage your partner to do the same. It’s very easy to bottle thoughts and feelings up inside, without expressing why you might be unhappy with something that your partner has  said or done. Your partner may not even be aware that what they said or did has caused you to be hurt. But telling them gently gives them a chance to learn and change. It also means you don’t bottle it up.

4. Nurture and cultivate emotional responsiveness

Naturally, both of you want to feel appreciated and liked as a person, so reassuring the other that the relationship is secure and safe will help you both to maintain an emotional response that is mutually balanced.

5. Being able to surprise one another

Paying close attention to what you feel your partner likes and choosing something no matter how small, that you know s/he will appreciate, you don’t have to wait for birthdays and special occasions

6. Find time for each other

No matter how busy your weekly schedule may be, find time for one another; go out to dinner or lunch and experience communication and closeness “together” – just the two of you. I say just the two of you because if you have children, as well as spending time together as a family you also need to spend time with just your partner. Make it happen.

7. Share the load

It is advisable to keep a diary or a checklist of all the things that need doing around the home on a daily/weekly basis, and whose responsibility it is. This helps to avoid one person feeling as though they are shouldering all of the household responsibilities.

Remember there is a reason you came together.

In this modern age dominated by the internet, iPhones, iPads and other technological devices, it is incredibly important to “switch off” and spend quality time together.

If you are watching TV or simply lounging together on the sofa, turn any devices off and spend time actually “in contact” with one another. This will help to build warmth, intimacy and a closer connection.

All the things I have spoken about it this short blog are for couples to cultivate a safe and emotionally responsive relationship to resolve underlying resentments, disappointments, and hurt that may have been accumulating over several months or even years.

In the video below I also discuss how to save a failing relationship or marriage.