With divorce as common as it is these days, it’s easy to understand why so many with marital troubles start to wonder, “Is there hope to save a marriage once it really hits the skids? Is there really no turning back?”
The good news is that there are realistic reasons to believe that you can bring your marriage back from the brink of divorce. Not only that, but you can use the opportunity to build an even closer and richer relationship than you had before. So the answer to the question, “Is there hope to save a marriage?” is definitely “Yes!” Second chances work!
In the late 1980’s, the National Survey of Families and Households in the US tracked 645 spouses who rated their marriages as “unhappy.” The survey found that those who agreed to put off divorce and give the marriage a second chance rated their marriage as “happy” five years later. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking a deep breath and agreeing to invest some time in working through your problems.
Where’s the love? Marriage counselors rely on the fact that no matter how much some couples argue, most still have a basic respect and concern for each other. After all, unless you’re in an arranged marriage, you chose your partner because you saw a good amount of positive qualities in them. Those qualities are still there, even though you might not see them as clearly today or other less appetizing personality traits have cropped up in front of them.
If you can remember the good times, you stand a good chance of reviving the positive feelings you had for each other and using those as a springboard for making up. You can change things by yourself! One of the biggest misconceptions about rescuing a marriage is that both sides have to want to save it. While it’s true that both sides have to give up the idea of divorce eventually, one spouse alone can still take steps to turn things around and buy a little time while the other reconsiders.
The reason is that if you change your approach to your spouse, they’ll naturally change their behavior, too, and you start a positive cycle of improvement. Right advice helps! The trouble with relying on your own judgment alone to make up with your spouse is that you’re too close to the problem. To make matters worse, this is such an emotionally charged issue that even the most stable, logical person can easily overreact. That’s why having input from a knowledgeable, neutral third party is so invaluable.
A marriage counselor is the obvious choice, but if you can’t afford one or your partner refuses to go, there are other sources of advice such as the marriage self-help ebooks available online or at your local bookstore. Before you start thinking the only answer to the question, “Is there hope to save a marriage?” is “No,” take a deep breath and look at the realities. If you can get your spouse to agree to work out your problems together, you stand an excellent chance of avoiding divorce. Even if you’re the only one who wants to stay together, though, you can still turn things around just by changing your own behavior.
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