With Valentines day looming it may seem a bit gloomy to be thinking about how to save your marriage, but those in long-term relationships will agree that it is not all plain sailing and whether married or not, it requires work.
Each year in the UK alone, more than 120,000 marriages end in divorce. This figure has dropped but does not reflect the long-term relationships, where people co-habit, that also drift apart. This impacts not only the couple but their children and other members of their family as well.
How many of those marriages and relationships could have been saved with a little help?
Can your marriage be saved? No-one knows the future but you can be sure that if your relationship is struggling and you do nothing, the outcome is pretty much assured. If you try to change something, you stand a better chance of saving your marriage.
There are four simple steps that you can follow to help save your marriage. Starting today. As I often say “simple” is not the same as “easy.” These steps take work. They will give you a path that will change the outcome of a marriage in trouble.
1) Stop blaming each other. This is the first step because this behaviour drags both people down, puts you on the defensive for yourself and stops you seeing yourself clearly. It also becomes easier to point the finger at the other person to deflect from you.
Blame does not help, even if it feels good at the time. It is very destructive and does nothing good towards saving a marriage. Blame is the fuel of divorces.
2) Take responsibility. This not only shifts to a more positive mindset but allows you to decide that will make change. You can do something to make things better. This is not the same as taking the blame (see above).
You know how to push your partner’s buttons that cause problems. What button pushing from your spouse do you react to? Take responsibility for your behaviour and stop both pushing the buttons and reacting.
What action will you take to save the marriage?
3) Find experts and use their resources. Make sure they are credible and have a history of success. Apart from being neutral experts offer an external perspective and the tools to help in these situations.
If you use an expert with a lot of experience it is unlikely that they haven’t come across problems like yours before. Most relationship and marriage problems are very similar.
To quote Albert Einstein, “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” In other words, you need to apply a whole new way of thinking to your problems, and that you get from an expert, who can give a new perspective.
4) Do something. Things can only get worse in many cases by doing nothing. Constantly thinking through the situation can lead to “analysis paralysis.” You get so caught up in their whirling thoughts and trying to “get it clear in your head” that you never take any action.
It is important to understand what is causing the problem, but you need to act! Simply understanding a problem never leads to resolution. Resolution of the situation requires action.
Will your marriage be saved? If you follow the four steps above, you have a better chance of saving your marriage compared to doing nothing about it. A marriage needs both people to make it successful, but only one to really rock the boat. You can only do your part and many times, that is enough. Decide not to keep asking the questions but to begin to act.
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