How To Fix A Broken Marriage (Before It Leads To Divorce)

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couple sitting on the couch, facing away from one another

When couples get married, they are so in love and believe that there is nothing that is going to come between them or cause them to be unhappy. Though most believe that initially, the bottom seems to drop out of that belief pretty quickly. How could this person that you married be so incredibly uncaring or messy or self-centered, etc?

You begin to question what you ever saw in this person or why you ever thought that your marriage would be so wonderful. Every day you find yourself becoming more and more frustrated and angry at him. You become resentful of his very presence in your life.

How can he not see what you need and want, especially if you are now pointing it out to him?

Before you begin to throw darts his way, it’s time to take a close look at what YOU have been doing that has contributed to the brokenness you are experiencing in your relationship. Did you know that each of you contributes good things to your relationship and bad things? It is possible to fix this relationship before it ends in divorce, but you have to be willing to do some work on yourself. 

RELATED: The Glaring Signs Your Marriage Is An Unhappy One

How to fix a broken marriage (before it leads to divorce):

1. Identify the problem areas.

You must recognize that there is a problem in your marriage that will not just go away and that you play a part in it. Too often people believe that problems will just fix themselves without any initiative on their part. You may look at the problem as his to fix.

After all, you are the model spouse. You do everything right. He should just know what you need and want without you having to tell him. It’s his fault that things are coming apart in your relationship.

You make it known to him all the time that you are not happy with him. You spend your days and nights cleaning up after him and make all kinds of noise to let him know that you are not happy with doing this. He never seems to get the hint. He just gets mad! 

RELATED: 10 Brutally Honest Signs Your Marriage Is Flat-Out Over

2. Pay attention to how you're communicating.

The way you communicate with him has a huge impact on the reaction you get from him. Out of your own anger and frustration, you begin to communicate with him in a very angry, sarcastic manner. You seem to be angry all the time (at least to him).

There is nothing he can do that does not invoke an angry response from you. Every conversation he tries to have with you seems to turn into an argument. Learning to talk to each other in a respectful and civil way can begin to turn things around.


He cannot and never could read your mind. You and your spouse need to talk about what is important to you and to him. You make decisions about how to treat one another based on your communication that is clear, open, honest, and respectful; and don't use sarcasm!

RELATED: I Almost Gave Up On My Miserable Marriage — Until My Husband Changed This Behavior

3. Check your negativity levels.

Your attitude about your spouse also must change from negative to positive. If someone is always negative in how they approach you, you would become discouraged and angry too. Your spouse may have come to the place of believing that it doesn’t matter what he does or doesn’t do; you are always going to find fault with him.

If that is the case, then why should he even try to please you? Something that might help you is thinking about what are the annoying things that you can choose to live with. There are some things in relationships that are just not worth creating brokenness, such as, which way someone puts the toilet paper or where that person squeezes the toothpaste, etc.

If you have an issue about something, it would be important to think it through and if it is important enough to you, talk about it. But remember that neither of you is right nor wrong.

You are just different in how you do things. Some may be gender differences and some may be because you come from two different families and two different ways of doing things. As you begin to approach the differences with a more positive attitude about your spouse, you may find that both of you begin to be less annoying and more loving toward each other. 

4. Don't just point the finger outward.

You must be willing to make changes yourself if your relationship is going to change for the better. You may have decided that it is not fair that you have to make changes while your spouse just goes about his life doing what he wants. However, you can only change yourself and your spouse can only change himself.

If you desire for things to be different and especially desire that things be much better, then you will need to be open to getting the ball rolling and making some changes yourself. Think before you speak. Ask yourself if what you are about to say is really true.

Next, ask yourself if it will be helpful to say it. Then, consider if it will really inspire change in your spouse or if will it just be plain hurtful. Ask yourself if it is necessary to talk about it and think about how you need to approach it so your spouse hears you (not at the top of your lungs or with an attitude).

Then consider whether what you are about to say is truly kind or if you're about to blow up out of anger.

5. Learn to be patient.

Remember that changes take time. You will need to keep doing things differently on a consistent basis if you want these changes to become a part of your marriage. It is always easy to fall back into old patterns of thinking and behavior so you have to be intentional about making the changes and continuing to make those changes. 

If you are struggling with a “broken marriage” that seems to be heading for divorce, don’t give up. Get the outside professional help you need before it is too late! We are here to help you to make your relationship better than it has ever been. Please contact us and we will help you get back on track in your marriage. 

RELATED: 11 Blunt Reasons Why You're Stuck In An Unfulfilling Marriage

Drs. Debbie and David McFadden have master's degrees in education and social work. They are relationship and life coaches specializing in helping struggling and distressed couples improve their relationships.