How to Save Your Marriage
Did you know that self-help books are a $13 billion industry? Unfortunately, majority of the books don’t do what they are supposed to do because they are written as a generic book – and in the case of marriage, this will likely fail. Why? Your marriage is unlike any other person’s. It’s unique, different, and comes with its own set of problems. According to Fordham University sociologist, Micki McGee, “We look to self-help books for answers, but the literature only serves as a kind of balm… if they really worked, people would fix themselves and the market would disappear. That’s not happening.”
This isn’t to say that self-help books are no good. It only means you have to be picky who you read. Make sure the author has experience, knowledge, credentials, and is an expert in his chosen field.
Reason Why Some Marriage Counseling Programs and Books Fail
Deeply ingrained issues can rarely be solved by a stock answer. Marriage saving programs need to be customized in order to work. Counselors who refuse to offer their services on a one-on-one basis and prefer to maintain a celebrity status are usually in the business to make money. They give stock answers like “improve your communication” and “go out more often as a couple” without really looking deeper into what could be causing the friction.
Even standard Q&A is not going to get to the root of the problem. A couple could just “wing” the answers in order to point a finger at the other party being the cause for the marital problems. No, the reason why these types of programs don’t work is because they gloss over the process and sugar-coat everything in a positive manner. Marital problems are tough because they are times two or problems faced by 2 individuals.
Tip 1. Avoid The Negative Feelings
You don’t need to rehash every argument you had or every time you felt resentment towards your spouse. Forget all that and focus on why the marriage worked before. What was it about your spouse that made you fall deeply in love?
Tip 2. Be Willing To Commit To The Marriage
Even if just one person is willing to fight for the marriage, it can be saved. The job of the person committed is to convince the other party to consider working on the relationship. Sometimes, just by being patient, kind, and loving, the one who is not committed can be convinced to give it another try. The commitment though should be for the long term since repairing a marriage is not something that happens instantly. In fact, a marriage is a process of ups and downs so the commitment is always being renewed. Once you fix the marriage, it doesn’t mean the challenges and issues stop coming. This is a journey you are taking together; a crazy mix of life lessons that will enrich both of you tremendously.
Tip 3. Make The Other More Important
Instead of asking questions like “Why am I so unhappy?” or “Why doesn’t he/she make an effort to make me happy?” turn it around and work on making your spouse happy. This kind of exercise will rebound and give you all the reasons to be glad you worked on saving the marriage.
In summary, take it one step at a time. You don’t have to tackle all your issues now – just work on being happy together some of the time. If the love is still there, there is always a chance of saving the marriage.