Follow these five easy steps to mend your marriage, on your own.
You’re happily married and things are going great. Then, out of the blue, your spouse hits you with some shocking news: They want a divorce. Devastated and unwilling to call it quits, you scramble for ways to make your spouse reconsider.
Whether your spouse has already said they’re no longer happy in your marriage, or you suspect that they may calls it quits soon, it is possible to save your marriage ... even if you’re the only one trying.
A common belief is that it takes both partners to save a marriage, but many divorces have been prevented when even just one partner steps up and takes action. Of course, it requires hard work and dedication to be successful, but by following these five easy steps, it is possible to mend your marriage.
1. Accept the Situation
Accepting that your spouse wants out of your marriage is tough, and it’s normal to have a hard time coping with the news. In more instances, the likely reaction is to cry, beg, and try to convince your spouse that things can get better. Unfortunately this type of behavior will only push your spouse further away, while making you appear weak and out of control.
Despite the roller coaster of emotions that you’re probably feeling, you must stay calm. It’s okay for your spouse to know you are upset, but you must keep your emotions in check. Remember, at the end of the day you want to be proud of your actions, not ashamed of them.
Once you have accepted the situation, you can then get started on acknowledging the role you played in your marital issues and making any necessary changes.
2. Make a Plan
Once you have overcome the initial shock and accepted that your spouse is unhappy, you next need to create a plan to save your marriage. The first step should be to take care of yourself emotionally.
In this type of situation, it’s important to find a bright outlook and balance your dignity. Without positivity on your side, you’ll have a much harder time showing your spouse that change is possible.
It’s also important that you focus only on how you contributed to the decline—now is no time for blame. While your partner may be done with trying to work on your marriage, this is your chance to start working on your flaws that pushed them away.
Your spouse needs hope and evidence that your marriage can change for the better, and getting started on you is the most effective change you can make.
3. Commit to Change
You know that popular saying, “Be the change you want to see,” well that’s exactly what you need to do to save your marriage. Focus on the biggest issues and commit yourself to resolving those matters.
Look closely at your behavior in the relationship. Ask yourself in which ways you can change to create positive responses from your spouse, and what behaviors or habits cause your spouse to react negatively. Over time, the two of you have built a pattern of actions and reactions.
This means that your actions influence their reactions, and vice versa. By changing your behavior, your spouse will also change their behavior. If your new actions are positive, the entire relationship can take a turn for the best.
Communication skills are powerful tools for overcoming issues in your marriage, however it can be tough to put these skills to use if your spouse is done with talking. No matter how hard or frustrating communicating with your spouse may be, remember that your words and actions are your greatest allies; keep them in check and in control.
A good way to set the tone for communication is by reminiscing about when you and your spouse first got together. Doing this can recapture your spark and reset your focus on what’s important in your marriage.
Keep communication simple. This means no prodding for motives or pressuring your spouse to reconsider their decision. Instead, let your spouse know that you want to work on your marriage and that you are willing to do what you can to make it more satisfying.
It’s unlikely that your spouse will reconsider the divorce right away, but that’s okay, at this point your goal is to reintroduce pleasant and positive communication. Positive communication will help your spouse open up to you, which also sets the stage for rebuilding your relationship. The initial communication can be the most difficult part, but also the most important.
5. Be Dedicated
Saving your marriage can be a battle, and it’s tough when you’re the only one fighting to revive your relationship. The most important puzzle piece for saving your marriage is to be dedicated.
The task at hand isn’t easy, but if you stick to your plan and make the necessary changes, you’ll eventually see small successes and it will get easier. Often times, when one spouse does commit to making changes and showing dedication, the other spouse becomes more willing to work on mending the marriage.
If your spouse doesn’t rise to the opportunity, don’t worry. In fact, your partner’s unwillingness to participate in saving your marriage is not a handicap; working alone can actually be more immediate and effective than working together.
Since you’re the one calling the shots and making the changes, you won’t be wasting time trying to get your spouse to cooperate. Still, remember to always be patient with your spouse and give them time to heal. The difference between the impossible and possible lies in a person’s determination.
If you are interested in learning more about preventing divorce or saving your marriage, click here to watch the full length video presentation. There you can also learn about my "ABCD System", which is designed specifically for strengthening and saving marriages. I also offer personalized, one-on-one coaching to a limited number of clients. Visit my website to learn more about my availability and the coaching service.