All marriages go through cold times. But, that does not mean your marriage has to be doomed to an ice age. Here are some steps to identify and fix, before it is to late that marriage that you both wanted so badly.
Many people experience this, whether their spouse has had an affair or hasn’t broken off an affair, or the marriage has simply grown stale.
Your spouse may not have reached the point where they’re capable of putting in the effort to save the marriage, while you may be a lot further along than they are in recognizing what’s worth having.
In this post, I’ll give you the steps for changing and saving your marriage when you’re on your own. Read on…
Saving Your Marriage with a Reluctant Spouse
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A marriage can be torn apart by betrayal such as an affair, or the emotional connection between two people erodes to the point that their marriage falls into crisis (more on that topic in tomorrow’s blog).
If you find yourself in the position of saving your marriage but find you are alone in doing so, know that you’re not along: many spouses find themselves wrestling with this same dilemma.
Saving a marriage in crisis isn’t easy—especially when one partner isn’t committed to making changes. And there isn’t a way you can force your spouse to want to cooperate and do the marriage-saving work with you. You can’t control your spouse’s actions or what they’re willing to give to the relationship. In fact, trying to force them could make things worse, serving to push him or her even further away.
A spouse who is reluctant to work on the marriage may be in a place where he or she has lost hope that the relationship can be salvaged. Your spouse may feel the marriage is too far gone for any efforts to actually result in a positive outcome and think, “Why waste my time?”
The only thing that is within your power is your commitment to the relationship, and the actions you take.
Save Your Marriage by Setting the Example
If you find yourself alone in working to save your marriage, there are steps you can take to move forward on your own.
Step 1: Strengthen Your Own Commitment
Regardless of the effort your husband or wife is or is not making in working to save your marriage, you can strengthen your own efforts in committing to salvaging the relationship.
You may have already been pulling double-duty in terms of giving your marriage everything you’ve got. Now, if you want to save your marriage, you may need to draw on your inner reserves of strength and give a little bit more.
No one can decide for you what your relationship is worth, and what measures you’ll go to in order to save it. But if you feel strongly about saving your relationship, the resolve in deciding that you’re committed to do so will help you feel empowered.
Step 2: Be a Good Friend
A lot of couples find that as their relationship has gone on in time, their roles have become more adversarial than supportive. If you have a best friend outside of the marriage, think of times when that friend has been down. What type of support have you offered them?
It can be easy to forget that your husband or wife may need a friend—in you. Examine your relationship and see if both of you have forgotten how to be a friend to one another.
Again, you can only control your actions, but this is a way to lead by example. Your actions, such as making positive changes in how you talk to and behave with your spouse, may be the catalyst needed to get your husband or wife to want to make changes, as well. Taking a more friendly approach can create a “safe” environment, one where your husband or wife may begin to trust that things really can improve.
Step 3: Work on Rebuilding Yourself
You may wonder how you can give your “all” to the relationship and still have time for you. Part of giving in a relationship is being strong within yourself. You need to nurture yourself as much as your relationship, because a healthy relationship requires healthy partners.
Many couples become adversarial because one or both spouses can become resentful, feeling they’ve given up everything for the relationship and there has been nothing left to give to their self. It’s critical to carve time for yourself, examining your thoughts and emotions and working through your own internal struggles, as well as nurturing your own hopes and dreams.
My best to you as you work to save your marriage.
Are you alone in wanting to save the marriage?
If so, why do you think your spouse is reluctant?
How are you finding the strength to do it alone?