Many women ask me how to save a marriage without going to a relationship counselor. These eight tips are based on quotations about forgiveness, love, and hope for the future — because not all husbands want to go to marriage counseling and not all couples can afford it.
Since learning how to save a marriage is a process, I encourage you to read One New Habit To Fix Your Marriage: 10 Simple Steps To Put The Joy And Intimacy Back In Your Marriage by Grace Stevens.
My husband and I took a marriage course, and found that it caused more problems than it solved. These tips on how to save your marriage are for couples who aren’t interested in counselling, relationship retreats, or marriage courses. Sometimes it’s the simple, most basic actions that save a marriage.
8 “Saving a Marriage” Tips
Love isn’t a reliable emotion. You won’t always feel loving towards your spouse – so if you’re relying on love to save your marriage, you’ll be disappointed. Love is an action, a verb, a thing you do and pursue and become. Love is what you say and how you say it. And that leads me into my first tip for saving your marriage…
Do not criticize your spouse in front of other people. This is one of my pet peeves! I was walking my dog with a married couple this morning, and the wife is so critical of everything her husband does. He doesn’t hold the leash right, doesn’t know the right direction to go, doesn’t walk at the right speed, and isn’t quick enough to pick up the dog poop. They’ve been married over 40 years, and have been stuck in negative, critical communication for who knows how long. I don’t think they care about saving their marriage anymore…but their relationship is an excellent model for how I never want to be. I want to save my marriage from negativity and criticism, from a downward spiral into nit picking and growling at each other.
The rest of my tips on how to save your marriage from divorce are inspired by quotations about love.
Expect feelings of love to come and go. “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin. It’s not possible for a couple to be married for five or ten or twenty or fifty years and feel love toward each other every minute! You’ll fall in and out of love with your spouse. The key to saving your marriage without counseling is
Find the fun. “We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.” – Agnes Repplier. When was the last time you and your spouse laughed together? My husband and I had a really good laugh the other night, when we were trying to fool around. We had to stop the activities in order to keep laughing – it was fantastic! Sometimes a good laugh can be even better than a good orgasm.
Forgive your spouse. “We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love.” – Paul Tillich. Have you forgiven your husband for his mistakes, betrayals, weaknesses? That’s how to save your marriage without counseling: let go of the past, and move lovingly and deliberately into the future. If you or your spouse committed an “unforgivable act”, read 4 Signs Marriage Counseling Will Help an Unhappy Relationship.
Focus on the present. “We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.” – Marianne Williamson. Are childhood issues, experiences, memories, or problems holding you back? Are you having trouble saving your marriage because you can’t let go of unresolved emotions or experiences. Maybe counseling is the best tip on how to save your marriage because it’ll help you save yourself.
Set goals for your life together. “Love does not consist of gazing at one another, but in looking outward in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery. My final tip on how to save your marriage without counseling is an encouragement to focus outward on what you want to accomplish and who you want to be. Where do you want to be in one year? Ask your husband if he’s on board with your vision, and if you and he can walk forward together.
Choose your words and actions wisely. “Love is a choice. Make wise decisions.” – Shellie R. Warren. My dog walking friend who criticizes her husband and spreads misery and bitterness all over the world is not choosing her words wisely. She’s being careless, and her thoughtlessness is ripping her marriage apart. Knowing how to save your marriage without counseling is about watching how, when, and why you speak.
Make your home a haven, a sanctuary. “Love within a family is unconditional, and this kind of environment is necessary not only for children, but also for adults who need a space of healing from wounds inflicted in the marketplace.” – Joan Mueller. Does your husband enter your home with a sigh of relief, joy, and happiness? Is your home a place of healing and peace?
If you think you can’t save your relationship without help, read What to Expect From Marriage Counseling.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
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What do you think about tips on how to save a marriage without couples counseling? I welcome your thoughts, but I can’t give personal advice. xo