Feel like you’ve exhausted every option you could think up on your own and you just want to storm into some marriage counselors’ office as shout, “Help me save my marriage? Please!” Except for the shouting part, you’re actually on the right track looking for advice from some place other than your own head.
Friends! If you have any friends who’ve managed to dodge an impending divorce, ask them how they did it. Don’t just think about friends your age, either. Older couples can be a goldmine of advice on working through marriage troubles. Even if they seem to have a perfect relationship now, you might be surprised to hear what they’ve gone through. Of course, the problem with asking friends for advice is their experience is limited to what worked for them.
What worked for them won’t necessarily work for you, though. Online forums! The Internet is great place to find information on just about everything and marriage is no exception. The advantage of getting advice from forums is that you can ask questions anonymously and get opinions from a variety of people who’ll most likely have very different view points from you.
The drawback is that you won’t get a truly useful response from one “help me save my marriage” post. The lack of real-time interaction means you don’t get the back-and-forth dialogue you’d need to really get to the root of your problems and find a workable solution.
Marriage counseling! It’s one of the first thing well meaning friends ask when you admit your marriage is on the rocks: “Have you thought of counseling?” There’s good reason for that. A professional marriage counselor has training in resolving marital conflicts and many years of experience working with different types of couples and problems. The trouble you usually run into here is that one spouse doesn’t want to go.
Usually, that partner believes the marriage has already flat-lined and any attempt to revive it is a waste of time and energy. If you’re partner feels that way, don’t give up just yet. While you want to avoid pressuring or begging, simple logic can work wonders. Counseling can help, of course, but it’s not a cure-all. Did you know the average marriage councilors’ success rate is only around 30%? That’s hardly enough to make it worth shouting “Help me save my marriage!” at the counselor.
Self-help books! If you’ve been looking online for tips, you’ve probably run into a few of those ebooks that provide guidance for working through a rough patch in a marriage even when one partner is ready to call it quits. They may not seem like much, but in reality, the best of these can be surprisingly effective. Most of these plans were developed by highly experienced marriage counselors who found a “formula” for what works, so they usually have a success rate higher than that of most marriage counselors.
Whatever you do, don’t delude yourself into thinking the problems between you and your spouse will disappear of their own accord. It’s not enough to sit and wonder “Who can help me save my marriage?” You need to decide where you’re going to go for sound advice and act on that advice as soon as possible. The longer you put it off, the harder your problems will be to solve.
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