Since I often write about saving marriages and how I was able to prevent my own divorce, I’m often approached by women whose marriage has not reached the separation or divorce phase yet, but who know that their marriage is in trouble. They want advice on how to fix it / make it better so that it won’t deteriorate so far that it is impossible or very difficult to save the marriage. I highly encourage this proactive behavior and taking preventive measures because it can save a lot of heartache later on. You should never just leave the health and state of your marriage to chance. This article will discuss some things that you can implement in your marriage right away (even today) to get it (and keep it) back on track.
Do Not Address Or Try To Fix Any Major Issues Until Feelings Of Affection And Empathy Are Firmly In Place: I know this may sound backward or contradictory, but please hear me out. I believe from my research and from my own experience that picking apart the problems in a marriage can seriously back fire if you try to do it while there is distance or a lack of intimacy between you. It’s a natural inclination to want to fix or overhaul what’s wrong, but always bringing your husband’s attention to what is wrong will distract his attention away from what is right. And, a marriage that is already in trouble may not be able to withstand the scrutiny. I know that it is absolutely vital to discuss and then fix any issues between you, but I really believe that you should not try to do this until your marriage is firmly back on solid ground.
First, Make It Your Goal To Return To A Place Where Both Husband And Wife Are “In Love Again:” I want you to think about when you were first dating your husband. I’d be willing to bet you were both blissfully happy because you put a lot of time, dedication, and effort into the relationship. This was very likely reflected back by intense, strong, and positive feelings. It’s vital that return as many of these feelings as you can because people in love generally do not like to spend their time fighting or creating distance between them.
Now, I know that you have responsibilities and maybe even kids or aging parents to care for. I absolutely know that you don’t have as much time for your husband as you did when you were dating. That’s a fact for nearly all of us and we can’t manufacture more than 24 hours in a single day, but you can certainly make the most of (and put the effective effort into) the time that you do have.
Men “fall in love” with a woman who makes them feel cared for, cared about, attractive, intelligent, and competent. In order to make your husband feel this way, you have to put in the time and effort. But, you have an advantage here for a few reasons.
First, you probably know your husband better than anymore. You know what makes him tick and what makes him happy. And, you’ve already acted in such a way previously where your husband fell madly in love with and married you. Now, you just need to repeat this process.
Yes, I know that neither of you are the same people who first fell in love. I know that you may look differently and that your situation may have changed. This doesn’t really matter though, because your husband still wants to be loved, respected, cherished and appreciated and YOU are the person he has already chosen for this job.
Giving Your Husband What He Really Wants Gives You More Of What You Want: I often write about these issues and people often tell me that make a lot of sense, but sometimes women will tell me that although they think the process may work, they feel resentful at having to do these things when they are the ones doing all the work and making all of the changes.
I understand this as I felt this exact same way. I used to really fixate on the fact that my husband was wrong and I was right. Then, one day I told a counselor this and she looked me square in the eye and said “Well, Leslie, would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?”
This shook the analyzing and feet dragging right out of me. I wanted to be happy, of course. I may well have been right, but I didn’t want to be indignant and alone, holding onto my silly injustices while I was going solo.
And, I’ve also learned that if your husband is fulfilled and seeing that you are making an effort, this is almost always reciprocal. You’re showing him how you wish to be treated by demonstrating it to him.
Truly, eventually it turns out to be a win / win situation. You give a little, you get a little and you’re both happy in the end. Isn’t that what we all ultimately want in our marriage?