We all have been there. Those nights when you question your decision to spend the lifetime with the person lying next to you. Those moments when you just want to pack your things up and leave your marriage behind. Those times when all you can think of is starting a new.
Believe me. My marriage has been through a lot. I lost track of how many times I actually packed bags and turned my back on the “til death do us part” vow. My love story is a walk in the park. BUT, the park has been filled with slippery roads, danger signs and big stumbling rocks. And even in the calmest times, I still ask myself if this is really what fate has in stored for me.
We are living in an imperfect world. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, only a successful one. What makes a successful marriage is the fact that both of you decide to keep it and get through the rocky times together.
Easier said than done, huh? Surviving the constant fights and the rough patches hand in hand is what makes a marriage stronger. And you know, sometimes all it takes is a spoonful of faith and some dash of hope to keep your marriage alive.
Here are the 25 strategies that help me save my marriage when it is on the rocks.
1. Sleep together, even after a big fight.
I have heard stories of a wife kicking her hubby off their matrimonial bed due to a big fight. But if you think about it, this is the best time to spend intimate moments with your partner. Sleeping far from each other will make you more distant and will add up to the acrimony that is killing your marriage.
2. The longer your patience is, the longer your marriage will be.
Marriage requires a lot of patience from both parties. Despite being one in heart, you have two different personalities and two different mindsets or viewpoints in life. Being patient as much as possible will lessen the nonsense arguing and stressful fights that have put your marriage on the rocks in the first place.
3. Be accountable. Humbly accept your missteps and shortcomings.
Marriage has no room for pride. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. Be humble and recognise that you are not always doing or saying the right thing. Apologise because sometimes accepting your shortcomings is the key to save your relationship from falling apart.
4. Make time for each other.
No matter how busy your schedules are, make time for your better half. Also, focus on the quality of the time spent with your partner and not on the quantity. Use this special time to keep the romance alive.
5. Don’t let romance fall by the wayside.
Be spontaneous. When your marriage is on the rocks, the romance and passion that you once had can just fly out the window. Sometimes a simple out-of-the-blue passionate kiss will reignite the devotion that each of you have in your marriage.
6. Be each other’s best friend.
Romance and passion can ebb and wane from marriage, but a genuine friendship always remains and will help you survive the rough patches.
7. Be honest with your partner.
Whether if it is about the last credit card bill, or who you had lunch with, lying will only kill your marriage faster.
8. Don’t give in to jealous whims.
When you are working on the rough times, building and having a strong trust with each other is very important. Unless you have a clear proof of infidelity, then you should put jealousy aside.
9. Recognise your partner’s weaknesses and fill it up with your strengths.
My hubby is a smarty pants, but communication and decision making are not his forte. In the first years of our marriage, our fights were mostly about him waiting for me to decide even on small stuff. This would easily drive me mad. Why wait for me to decide on whether you want a cable TV or upgrade on your Internet access when you can do it on your own? Through the years, I learned to fill his weak spots with my strengths.
10. Stop the blaming game.
You are partners in crime. You are NOT each other’s enemy. Marriage makes you a team. Work together to solve the problems.
11. If you need to take a breather go ahead and leave, but RETURN ready to resolve your issues.
Yes, sometimes you just have to leave your home to cool off. Sometimes we need to be alone even for several hours to think straight. But just be sure to return, with a clear mind and ready to talk things through with your partner.
12. Relive your happy times and successes!
This is one of the things that me and my husband do when our hearts are down and we just want to give up. There are a lot of big trials that we have survived together, why would we give up now? Recalling those times when we got through a challenge together, or just a great day we spent together solidifies our connection.
13. Recognise your partner’s contributions to the success of your marriage.
Let your guard down and accept the fact that your marriage won’t last for years without your significant other helping you out. Marriage is a road walked by two people; not just YOU, which brings me to my next point…
14. Replace ME ME ME in your marriage with WE WE WE.
You surpassed your past storms because you worked together. You can do it again and ace the current trials by working hand in hand.
15. Don’t give infidelity a chance.
When you are growing away from each other, chances are the intimacy is starting to dwindle as well. You have to resist the routine and comfort of a lack of intimacy. Humans are physical beings. We need our touches, hugs and kisses. These assure us that we are still important to each other’s lives.
16. Eat up, rest well and think again about the fight.
Most marital fights arise due to miscommunications and misunderstandings. Sometimes these happen when we are too tired or too stressed out to keep our minds open to understandeach other’s point of views. The best thing to do is to call a ceasefire. Eat and get enough rest before you discuss the fight again. You will see, you will have longer patience and better understanding when you are well rested.
17. Forgive and forget.
This is important if you want to save your marriage if it is on the rocks. Once you have gotten to the end of an issue it is time to learn from it and let it go. Give your relationship another chance and start a new. Never ever bring the PAST. Take the best out of the PRESENT and move FORWARD.
18. Be organised.
Don’t let the small manageable things to add up to the tension you have at home. My husband is a perfectionist and wants everything in order. During those times when we have to work on our connection, I ensure that everything is organised and well planned, as it will only add up to the troubles we are having at home.
19. Get out of the fairy tale zone.
Be realistic. Don’t expect happiness to come in an instant. Just like marriage, you need to work on your happily ever after.