Saving my marriage is important to me, but everything I try to do about it seems to have the opposite effect. What am I doing wrong? This is not an uncommon situation. When we are flying blind based on just our emotions, or worse yet, heeding well intentioned but bad advice, we often find we end up pushing our partner even farther away. Once I took a step back and saw where I might be making mistakes, I found I had a much better chance of saving my marriage. Are you guilty of these common mistakes?
Putting too much pressure on your spouse!
When I’m stressed about my marriage problems, I’d find myself making threats or putting a guilt trip on my spouse. When that didn’t work, I’d resort to behavior that could be characterized as begging – – not down on my knees kind of begging, but telling her I can’t live without her, asking what about the kids, and similar types of emotional blackmail.
Some people get caught up in pressuring their spouse into attending marriage counseling. While it may possibly be a good idea, the pressure leads to even more resistance. It would be better to offer it up as a logical solution, more along the lines of “Considering how much time we have invested in our marriage and in each other, isn’t it worth a few hours of counseling to try and save our marriage?”
Too much apologizing!
Genuinely apologizing for mistakes you may have made, particularly if you sincerely have a plan to keep you from making those same mistakes again, is certainly appropriate. The problem is if you find yourself apologizing for things where you weren’t at fault. This comes off as insincere and perhaps even a mockery. It shows how desperate you really are, and we all know how unattractive desperation is.
Besides, it really doesn’t solve anything. By all means accept responsibility for your part in your marriage problems and acknowledge that there are issues which need to be worked out together, but don’t take more blame than you are due. Pretending everything is your fault is a very short term relationship fix, if it helps at all.
Jumping to conclusions!
No matter how long you’ve been together and think you know your spouse, you certainly can’t read their mind, so don’t presume to always know what your spouse is thinking or feeling, or why. I found out my spouse had buried emotions not only about events in our relationship, but also unrelated things that were affecting us now. In saving my marriage, I had to allow space to discover those things so we could move forward.
It goes without saying that hiding or being deceitful about things like significant events in your past, your finances, even your feelings about things is antithetical to emotional intimacy and ultimately creates a rift between you and your significant other. We’re not talking about little white lies to bolster your spouse’s confidence or protect their feelings (“This is delicious!”), but rather lies about things directly involving your relationship, such as your needs in the bedroom, or for more time for yourself, or whatever.
Waiting it out and hoping for the best!
This is the big mistake so many people make, not knowing what to do, so just essentially doing nothing to save a failing marriage in hopes that everything will work itself out in the end. All the while, resentments are growing deeper and the couple is growing farther apart. To save marriage from divorce, you need to be proactive and seek sound advice on how to save a failing marriage while there is still time to do something about it. Saving my marriage was not easy, but it certainly was better than sitting helplessly waiting to see what happens.