How to Save a Marriage [Top 10 Tips]

Aug 7, 2023

No feeling is as terrible as realizing that your marriage is drifting apart.

And dealing with marriage problems is an incredibly draining process. It gets overwhelming, and unsure of where to begin.

But you’re not alone. Many couples struggle with these challenges. And couples counselling services are available to help you save your marriage.

We’ve compiled a list of the top ten tips on how to save a marriage that will help you navigate this tough time. And remember, it’s okay to ask for help and take things one step at a time.


How Do You Know If Your Marriage Is Worth Saving?

Saving your marriage is a deeply personal decision that depends on the circumstances and dynamics of your relationship.

Take time to reflect. Only you and your spouse can decide if your marriage is worth saving and if both of you are willing to put effort.

However, we have listed some factors to consider for fixing a marriage:

  • It can be a positive sign if you feel the possibility of having open and honest communication between you and your partner.
  • Assess the level of commitment to working on the issues together. A genuine willingness to put effort is crucial.
  • Even if things are difficult now, you still have an emotional connection.
  • Identify unresolved issues that may have been negatively affecting your marriage.


10 Tips on How to Save a Marriage

Infographic of the top 10 tips to save a marriage

Even the strongest relationships can hit rough patches that may seem impossible to overcome. But there is hope. With the right mindset and actions, saving your marriage and strengthening your bond with your spouse is possible.

Here are expertly curated top ten marriage-saving tips/steps that may help:


1. Take the Initiative

Taking the first step can be difficult. But, if you don’t start now, it will never resolve.

Don’t wait for your partner to take the initiative; you are equally accountable as your partner.

Plan a date night or any activity you and your partner can enjoy and discuss any unresolved issues. It will also give a safe space for your partner to bring up things they would like to address.


2. Be Aware of Your Feelings

Understand the root of your emotions and why you feel a certain way. It helps you reflect and identify any triggers influencing your feelings and work on them.

Also, being aware of your feelings does not only means identifying negative emotions; it also means recognizing and celebrating the positive ones.

Express love, happiness, joy, and gratitude to each other to enhance your marital feeling.


3. Identify What Made You Fall In Love

Take time to reflect on why you fell in love with your partner. It is always a soothing feeling to revisit the time that drew you to them in the first place.

Rekindling those feelings together can strengthen your bond.


4. Reflect On What Made Your Marriage Feel Broken

There is always a root cause for any issue.

Take an honest look at the challenges that led your marriage to suffer. Assess if there have been breakdowns or misinterpretations in communication.

Often, betrayal is the common cause of broken marriages, and rebuilding trust is extremely difficult.

Reflect on these factors that may have led to the breakdown of your marriage:

    • Commitment issues
    • Communication issues
      – Lying
      – Silent treatment
      – Frequent arguing and conflict
    • Lack of intimacy
    • Broken trust and betrayal
    • Shift in individual goals and priorities
    • Negative behaviour patterns
    • Personal challenges such as addictions and unresolved trauma
    • Neglecting each other needs
    • Financial problems

Be open to discussing these reflections with your partner. Seeking professional help, such as marriage counselling, can also be very helpful in navigating through these challenges and finding ways to rebuild your marital relationship.


5. Learn to Listen, Understand and Respond

It is extremely important to genuinely listen, understand and respond to your partner’s perspective with empathy and without interrupting.

Show that you acknowledge your partner’s feelings and understand their point of view, even if you disagree. If something is unclear, don’t make assumptions; seek clarifications before concluding.

Stay calm even in emotionally charged conversations, and respond without playing a blame game.


6. Acknowledge What You Can’t Fix

Understanding and accepting what you can’t fix is the first step to maintaining realistic expectations and boundaries in the relationship.

Some issues may be beyond your capacity to handle them. There are limitations to what you can achieve; trying to fix what you can’t will only lead to disappointment.

Learning to forgive and release resentment can have a tremendously positive impact on you and your emotional well-being.

The goal is not to give up on the marriage but to acknowledge that certain aspects are beyond your control.


7. Re-evaluate Priorities and Goals

Goals and priorities are dynamic. Be it individual goals or couple goals, they will change as life unfolds. However, it is one of the most important factors in a relationship. Supporting each other in personal growth is essential while nurturing your joint ambitions.

You may have different priorities than your partner, such as family planning or career goals. Share your thoughts and listen to theirs as well.

Have an honest conversation with your partner about your goal so you are on the same page in your marriage. You both have to find the balance between individual aspirations and shared goals.


8. Establish Mutual Respect

Respect is another critical factor for a good relationship. Always communicate with respect, even in disagreements.

Each of you, whether extroverted or introverted personality, has unique traits and characteristics that have come together. Appreciate each other’s uniqueness and perspectives and embrace the diversity that each of you brings to the relationship.

Mutual respect is an ongoing effort that requires conscious actions from both partners. You have to acknowledge each other’s feelings and view your marriage as an equal partnership.

Remember, love and respect always go together.


9. Speak Their Love Language

Speaking your partner’s love language is a powerful way to show your love and affection in a way that deeply resonates with them. Using their love language can enhance emotional connection and strengthen your marriage.

Dr. Gary Chapman, a well-known marriage counsellor, has introduced the 5 concepts of love language in his book “The 5 Love Languages”:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Infographic of the 5 love languages

Observe how your partner expresses love to you and what they appreciate most in your interactions. Once you know your partner’s love language, incorporate it into your daily interactions.

Likewise, let your partner know your love language so they can express meaningful love to you.


10. Marriage Counselling / Couples Therapy

It’s okay if you feel nothing helps. There’s always a way out.

Marriage counselling or couples therapy can be a transformative step to fixing a broken marriage. It’s amazing how much a marriage therapist can assist you in navigating and resolving challenges in your relationship.

With their expert guidance, you can work towards fixing the issues in your relationship and finding a way forward together.

As long as you’re both willing to put in the effort, there’s a real chance that things can improve for the better.


Can EMDR help a marriage?

EMDR therapy, primarily known for treating trauma and PTSD, can indirectly benefit marriages by addressing individual traumas that impact relational dynamics. Through processing and integrating traumatic memories, EMDR can lead to improved communication, reduced emotional reactivity, and enhanced intimacy between partners. It helps individuals gain self-awareness and manage stress more effectively, which can break negative interaction cycles within the marriage. While EMDR is not a direct form of marriage counselling, it can be a valuable component of a comprehensive approach to strengthening a relationship, especially when combined with a couple’s therapy to address specific relational issues. Contact us for EMDR Therapy in Vancouver.


How Do You Save A Marriage When Only One Is Trying?

It is not easy to save a marriage when only one person is putting in the effort, but it is possible.

Start by reflecting on your feelings and continue putting effort into the relationship, even if your partner seems disengaged. Keeping communication open is key, but avoid issuing ultimatums or threats, which can damage trust and create more barriers.

While saving a marriage is a joint effort, there’s a high chance that you will sometimes feel lonely. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. It may be helpful to seek assistance from a marriage counsellor to assist you and your partner in navigating this situation.


Can A Really Bad Marriage Be Saved?

Saving a troubled marriage requires both partners to be genuinely willing to work on the issues. If one partner is unwilling or resistant to change, it can be challenging to make progress. However, external help such as marriage counselling or couples counselling can provide a reality check that may be hidden from the couple.

While some marriages may be rescued with effort and professional help, others may be beyond repair. ​​In some cases, ending an unhealthy or toxic marriage might be the best decision for both partners’ well-being and happiness.


How Can You Save Marriage On The Brink Of Divorce?

A troubled marriage can be incredibly emotional when it’s on the edge of divorce. You want to continuously try to save the marriage even when it feels it won’t work.

But with the right approach, it is possible to overcome even the toughest challenges and emerge as a stronger, more connected couple.

Have open and honest communication with your partner about your worries.

One of the best solutions to mend a struggling marriage is to seek the help of a professional couples therapist. Their expertise can make a significant difference in the outcome of the marriage.

Remember that rebuilding a marriage takes time, effort, and patience from both partners. Effective communication is crucial; you and your partner should be willing to listen and address each other’s needs and concerns.


Save your Marriage at Thrive Counselling Centre

Seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards a better future for you and your partner.

If you are considering divorce or separation, we urge you to give couples therapy a chance before making final decisions. Often, couples discover a newfound appreciation for each other and a deeper understanding of themselves during counselling.

At Thrive Counselling Centre in Vancouver, we are dedicated to supporting you in fixing your marriage. We offer both Online Counselling and In-Person Sessions in our confidential and supportive environment that provides the safety you need to explore your feelings, fears, and hopes for the future.

We also provide “Individual Counselling Services” for those who prefer or need to attend counselling alone. Our goal is to help you on your journey toward personal growth and healing, whether as an individual or as part of a couple. Let’s work together and create a fulfilling, lasting relationship.

Don’t let misunderstandings and conflicts destroy what you’ve built together. Your marriage is worth fighting for, and we are here to help you every step of the way.


Ending the Year on a Positive Note: From Marital Struggles to Holiday Blues

As we explore the complexities of marriage and how to nurture these intimate bonds, it’s crucial to acknowledge the emotional rollercoaster the holiday season can bring. Christmas, while a time of joy and celebration, can often amplify feelings of loneliness and stress, leading to what is commonly referred to as “Christmas Depression.”

If you’re navigating the challenges of your marital relationship and find the holiday season adding to your stress, remember that these experiences are interconnected. The skills and insights gained from strengthening your marriage – such as communication, understanding, and empathy – are invaluable tools in managing the unique pressures of the holiday season. We invite you to explore our guidance on coping with Holiday Blues with our comprehensive post “Beat Christmas Depression with A Psychologist’s Expert Advice and Insight“, complementing your journey in marital understanding.

Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari is the Founder and Clinic Director of Thrive Downtown, with years of experience helping individuals and couples overcome anxiety, depression, and burnout. He guides clients on a journey of self-exploration and trauma release to find purpose, connection, and safety. Take the first step towards healing and contact Carson today to schedule a session.

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