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With Valentine’s Day just round the corner, how could I not write about love and marriage?
What better topic than how to strengthen your relationship and ways to save your marriage, when it runs out of love!
I’m sure the young readers would also love to learn about love, relationship, and how to save a marriage from breaking up, so they know what to do when they’re married.
Remember, it’s your relationship and marriage, and you can save it. I mean that you can really save your marriage, if you really want to!
Yes, all it takes is a simple belief that your marriage is worth keeping. Well, may be a bit more.
When spouses start believing in each other, the bond becomes inseparable, and you start believing in your marriage.
After all, when the heat of trust is strong, it melts the glaciers of ego and lets the rivers of love flow again.
Ah, this is very poetic and sounds far away from reality. But it isn’t so – if faith can move mountains, marriage then becomes a miniscule task.
The same goes for just any other relationship problem. Do you agree?
Ego is undoubtedly the leader of the pack of problems followed by lack of communication and understanding.
The absence of these obstacles lets love arise in a relationship or saves your marriage.
Once you sort out yourself, you can surf amidst the turbulent waves of relationship problems without getting wet. All you’ve to do is go to the depths and get hold of the problem by its roots.
You need to attend to even the seemingly smallest of problems to save your relationship. Don’t let the problems take deep roots and save your marriage by understanding it’s working.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person” ~ Mignon McLaughlin
What is Marriage
Marriage is the most challenging interpersonal relationship – one of the most entertaining and enjoyable relationship that you have. But it has certain rules, and you’ve to live by them.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, marriage is an institution whereby two individuals are joined or united in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. This is a mutual relationship.
I’ve written in detail about marriage in my post titled “Why does a bad marriage happen?” Marriage is a commitment to spend the life together and share it in all aspects.
In this post, I’m not dealing with saving a marriage due to infidelity, cheating, or an affair. It’s more about the internal conflicts and issues that cripple a marriage.
Bad marriages, whether or not resulting in breakups are worse, as they often end up as abusive relationships. But you can’t blame marriage as an institution for that.
Sometime ago I wrote an article titled “Are married people really happier than singles”. While it met with a mixed reaction from the readers, the research studies indicate that the married ones remain happier and healthier!
It becomes imperative to understand a marriage, and more important to know how to save your marriage before it starts losing its charm.
“A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers” ~ Ruth Bell Graham
Key Elements of A Marriage
Marriage is a vehicle with both the spouses as its wheels. The strange fact about this machine is that it comes without a manual. Even if there is, people hardly bother to read it.
But if you know the ingredients of marriage, understand its nature and working, and the rules you should follow, you can learn the ways to save your marriage.
The key elements that make up a marriage are friendship, love, communication, understanding, respect, and trust.
You can read about these in detail in my post about bad marriage.
What you need to know is how you can keep these elements intact and fresh in a marriage or just any relationship.
“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Save Your Marriage by Working On the Basics
Let’s face it. You’re thinking of saving your marriage because it’s full of problems. Know that you are not alone, as all marriage experience problems some time or the other.
I’ve my share of problems in my marriage, but it comes and goes, just as in any marriage.
The first year of most marriages is a rocky affair, as both individuals try to settle in the new environment. They lose some of their freedom and have to adjust and compromise on certain things.
If the person has lived alone for a long time, such adjustment becomes difficult. But it all depends on the nature of emotions and the type of person.
Many marriages come again at the same rocky crossroads after a decade or so. That is perhaps the time when you’ve to rebuild your relationship and start doing the same things you did before your marriage.
However, relationship problems can occur at any stage, and when you’ve them, you need to face them. Remember, you too are part of the relationship and probably of the problem too.
You don’t hear the sound of one-hand clapping in a relationship problem. It takes two to tango, and to create a problem too.
Here are the basic elements and ways to save your marriage.
If you want to save your marriage, you need to take the first step towards its resolution and communicate. No ifs and buts. This is the time when ego steps in and tries to take you into confidence.
You then remember the hurts and insults caused to you by your spouse. You strongly feel that if you take the first step, it’ll be regarded as if you’ve given up and it’ll indicate your submission.
But what happens if you don’t do that. You and your spouse continue living with differences, and make hell of each passing day.
If you don’t intervene and take reconciliation measures, the relationship problems only aggravate with time.
The pent-up volcano may erupt in the form of fights, verbal or physical, and create deep wounds in the relationship.
Many couples find it difficult to continue and decide to separate, break up, or end in divorce.
But think that if you had taken the first step and communicated with your spouse, you could’ve avoided the melodrama.
No communication goes waste. In comparison to no communication, it at least has the probability of going ahead with the resolution of the relationship problem.
Sometimes, when much time has passed by, you don’t even remember what went wrong and what the original cause of differences was. Talk to find what went wrong.
Listen to your partner’s woes. Stop trying to prove that you’re right. Just listen and don’t defend yourself against the complaints from your spouse.
Of course, you too get to express your agonies, and you’ll notice that your spouse too will listen and get less defensive. Try it.
Take into consideration also the non-verbal communication, and try to read between the lines. Ask for clarification, when in doubt.
You may not reach to a complete solution at one go, but at least some head way is made. The odds are that things can go awry if your partner is aggressive, stubborn, and abusive.
If that’s the case, which you only best know, then you need to seek help of family, friends, or a professional relationship counselor.
Check out this wonderful video that tells you how best you can communicate and save your marriage, it surely is worth watching, even though it’s a little long 🙂
COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUES: How To Save Your Marriage ~ Bruce ~ YouTube Video
Over the period when you’re experiencing problems, you tend to forget the past good days you spent together. You get obsessed with the negative feelings for your partner.
Your heart-throb becomes the throbbing pain in your head.
You start assuming things and your mind assists in creating a different picture of your spouse. Does that happen with you sometimes?
You see your partner differently now, and lose the reverence that you once had in your heart and mind. You start reacting with cold eyes and voice, and the sweetness and warmth vanishes.
The lack of respect often gets spilled in the casual conversations you’ve, which even the ones around you notice.
If you have children, even they are quick to sense something is not right.
You should not give up on mutual respect so soon. Often the circumstances make people appear arrogant, insensitive, and disrespectful, while they may not really be so.
For old times sake, keep up the respect and talk to your spouse. Probability is that your partner too will mellow down, loosen the defenses, and take the soft approach.
Some people do change with time, but they’ll change more if there’s no understanding between them and their spouses.
There’s no use talking only about your problems all the time. It may fall deaf on your partner’s ears.
When your relationship and marriage is in trouble and there’s lack of understanding, you both need to strengthen your bond with deep understanding.
Remember that as you feel you’re suffering, your partner too feels the same.
The problem is that you both are suffering, whether it’s for real or due to a misunderstanding. Ignoring the other person’s viewpoint will be a setback to the reconciliation process.
Empathy is the best tool to use, and it may bring to light your own shortcomings.
Your partner may feel you or your behavior is the problem, but you may not accept that. If there’s such a standoff, the road leads to nowhere.
Nevertheless, it’s best if you can try to understand each other face-to-face. Give each other the space and time to talk, control your urges and reactions, and don’t interrupt each other while talking.
Make mental points or jot them down if you want. That way you won’t be repulsive and won’t miss any vital point of your discussion.
When it’s your turn, put your point of view across, and answer to the questions or points raised by your partner, in a non-vindictive voice and manner.
You both might come to know of your own mistakes. This is the best time to be the first to apologize and feel sorry to have hurt the other, intentionally or unintentionally.
Probability is that your partner will respond accordingly and take a step back from the vindictive position. You may come to a resolution on all issues at one go or in different sittings.
If you and your partner indulge in understanding each other, accept your own mistakes, and forgive each other, it builds confidence in the relationship.
More of such confidence building measures helps restore the trust in each other, like you had in the beginning of your relationship.
However, there may remain a fear of re-occurrence of the problem, so initially both of you might tread the path cautiously, and it’s okay to go slow.
Don’t make haste and make sure every thread is untangled. Uproot the problem completely.
Acceptance of hurting the other, owing up your mistakes, apologizing for the errors, and sympathizing with your spouse by saying sorry and meaning it sincerely will heal the relationship wounds faster than you can imagine.
The trust you’ll develop after resolving problems this way will help you bond better. You will develop internal respect and praise for each other.
Once you and your partner have faith in each other, you’ll always be open to communication, be respectful, and understand each other.
“Marriage, ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends.” ~ Harville Hendrix
Friendship and Love
Friendship is the foundation on which any personal relationship works. To save your marriage, you need to be friends again with your spouse.
This is how you started, isn’t it? The most important characteristic of friendship is sharing and trusting each other.
Friends have your back and support you in your difficult times. They join you in your joys and sorrows, and open up with their secrets.
Some friends are forever. You and your spouse also need to be like that.
You never knew when your friendship transformed into a loving relationship, right? Your relationship becomes more passionate and intense.
You start missing each other, do wild things together, develop complete faith and surrender yourself to the person. You need to rekindle the same feelings for your spouse.
You need the same chemical reactions to pump up the adrenaline in you and your spouse. Be the ideal lovers, and do everything that rekindles the love in your marriage.
Well, communication is the only key to open this deadlock in your relationship.
People have tried sex as a key, but the relationship problems boomerang if you don’t resolve your differences. Without love and understanding, sex is meaningless in your marriage.
Always communicate with your spouse. And that does not mean that you only talk, talk, talk; you need to listen, listen, listen more while your partner talks! Can you do that?
“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Start living for your spouse. Of course, you need to live for yourself too, but start showing your care and good intentions for your partner. Go out of the way, to the extent of sacrificing your comforts.
Random acts of kindness and the small things you do, make big impressions on the heart of your spouse.
Do things your spouse likes, and don’t do the ones your spouse has an objection to. Yes, this works for both sides, as far as they’re reasonable.
It’s your duty to take care of the emotions and feelings of your spouse. Happiness in your marriage lies in your own hands and no one else’s – work for it!
Your spouse will notice and reciprocate by showering love and care. But if you feel your spouse is taking you for granted, cordially convey it. There’s no substitute to communication.
Eventually, you need to let go of the past, embrace the present, and work and hope for the best in the future.
Letting go will reset your memories, flush out the bad ones to make space for the good ones.
One thing you should do when you try to save your marriage is to not have an option for quitting. It is only then you’ll make harder efforts to make your marriage work.
Once you’re through the rough patch, remain committed to your spouse. Commitment, communication, and care will certify that your marriage will never be on the rocks again!
So, with Valentine’s Day coming up, are you going to rekindle the love and try to save your marriage, if it’s in doldrums? With all these tips, there’s no reason not to!
All my young friends now know how to save a marriage from breaking up, so go ahead and search for your valentine!
Wishing ALL of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂
Over to You –
What do you do when you’ve relationship problems? If you ever had to save your marriage, what did you do? What are the things you didn’t do and feel others should try? Share in the comments.
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