When your marriage is on the rocks, you have two choices – You can fight for your marriage and save your marriage, or you can let it continue going down that dark road.
No matter who you are, there comes a time when you must fight for your marriage – this post will help you do that.
Whether your relationship is on the rocks because of trust issues, cheating, toxic patterns, lack of intimacy, or anything else – it’s possible to bring back the love. It’s possible to save your marriage.
Related Article: 30 Ways To Save My Marriage by Myself
Fighting for your marriage isn’t so much about going to war. But instead, to rescue your marriage, you’ll need to learn new behaviors that support positivity, love, and connection.
A Word Of Encouragement
As you work to save your marriage, don’t be discouraged if things don’t change right away.
It takes time to cure a sick body. Likewise, it will be with your marriage.
Slow, steady, and daily persistence is how you change anything.
Only through consistent small daily actions can the health and well-being of your marriage be restored.
Follow the steps below; even when the going gets tough, do your best to keep your head up.
13 Ways To Fight For Your Marriage
Re-focus On The Relationship
It’s normal for couples to put their relationship on the back burner – but now it’s time to put all your efforts into fighting for your marriage.
Between kids, work, bosses, bills, chores, family, staying healthy, and everything else – it’s expected that couples let their marriage fall to the wayside. However, all couples, at some point (kids or no kids), realize they’ve forgotten to attend to the marriage properly.
With all life’s demands, it’s easy to forget that your marriage must be maintained, taken care of, and given ample energy to thrive.
To save your marriage, you need to get the focus back.
No more waiting until late at night to look your spouse in the eye. Now you do it sooner than later. No more waiting until the last hour to catch up and connect. Now you schedule it and make that time for 1-1 happen. Have regular relationship check ins.
No more telling your partner. Instead, they come after work, after the kids, or behind the daily chores. Now you put your partner on the top of your ‘to-do’ list and make time.
If your relationship is off track, schedule time for your partner.
Your relationship is where it’s at for one reason, and one reason only:
You stopped nurturing it.
Fighting for your marriage demands you to change and shift your focus.
Give your marriage the same attention you would to a wilting garden, and with some careful tending, you can save it. For many couples, it’s that simple.
Your marriage needs the proper nutrients to grow back to the beautiful flourishing love it used to be. The ingredients for any great marriage are; time, attention, words of affirmation, touch, appreciation, scheduled time together, and focused energy. Scheduling time with your partner ensures you can give that to your relationship.
Whether your marriage is in grave danger or has some leaks, prioritizing your relationship is the key to bringing back the connection.
Fight For Your Marriage With Date Nights
When marriages need saving, one of the first pieces of advice I’ll give is this:
Schedule date nights and schedule regular dinner time together.
Set a date and time aside for you two to be together.
Protect that date and time, and don’t let anyone get in the way of that special outing.
You may have heard about the importance of date nights, but you likely don’t know why date nights are so important.
Why Date Nights Are A Magic Bullet For Many Marriages
When you schedule time with your partner, you communicate that the relationship is a priority. That signal of being important makes us feel special. Being a priority brings life back into anything that is stagnating or dying.
When our partner feels nurtured, special, and prioritized, they’ll also feel the marriage is worth being in.
To save your marriage, you’ll need to re-prioritize your relationship. By putting energy back into it, you’ll start to shift the toxic and harmful patterns.
One of the best ways to fight for your marriage is by scheduling time with your partner: check-ins, date nights, and time to be together with your spouse.
By scheduling date nights, couples combat the symptoms that lead to divorce or lack of connection.
Share More Words Of Appreciation
Everything good thrives on positivity.
Studies show that healthy marriages have a significant imbalance of positivity over negativity. For example, researchers found that happily married couples say five positive statements for every negative statement they make. In the marriage research field, this is called the 5:1 ratio.
Marriages fail because more time is spent discussing what’s wrong and focusing on what isn’t right. Meanwhile, healthy marriages thrive because more attention and words are given to praise and appreciation.
You can re-balance your relationship by acknowledging your partner’s and marriage’s positives. Sharing more words of appreciation and affirmation will do wonders for any relationship.
Pick up the Appreciation Deck, a fun game for couples, and bring it to your next date night.
To help you get the hang of this, here are some words and phrases you could consider using more often:
(As you look at this list, remember that even appreciating your partner for doing the dishes, folding clothes, hammering a nail, or greeting you with kindness works well).
When you _____________ I really appreciate it.
You help add ________________to my life.
Because you _____________ our life is better.
Thank you for __________
Our life is better because you __________
My day is better because you _________
You’re really good at ___________
I noticed that you ______________and wanted to thank you
You are really S.e.xy and I love you
You are amazing
How you love me is incredible and it helps me ____________
I love and appreciate how you __________
Because of you my life is _______(insert positive)
Because of you our kids are able to ________
Since you came into my life, I have grown in this way _______
Take notice when something good happens, big or small, and tell your partner.
The point here is not to find something big; instead, the point is to change how you relate and what you express to your partner.
If your partner did dishes, walked the dog, fluffed your pillow, brought groceries home, or paid a bill. Whatever you can find, thank and appreciate your partner for it. We’re lucky to be in a relationship and teammates with our partners. And as all good coaches will tell you – teams thrive when each player is acknowledged and appreciated. So to improve your marriage, try adding more words of praise, acknowledgment, and appreciation.
Meditate On The Good Stuff
When a couple thinks and speaks ill of their marriage 50% or more of the time – it’s a red flag of a very troubled relationship. Research cites this as one of the significant markers of an impending divorce.
If your marriage suffers from negative patterns – changing where you put your attention will do wonders.
The best way to begin the internal changes of a troubled marriage is by intentionally shifting your focus.
When you notice yourself doing that ‘self-talk’ where you tell yourself how bad things are – snap your fingers and ask yourself to see the positives. Talk to yourself about the good stuff. Start by noticing the little things and let your mind see and notice the positives.
Do this enough, and soon enough, you’ll see a shift in how you think and talk about your relationship.
When you start noticing, thinking, and talking about what’s right, it spreads and moves into your outer experience. If you’ve ever been around someone who ‘feels’ like a happy person, it’s likely because that person thought and spoke in uplifting ways. And just like those people who are happy can impact how you feel around them, you too can affect your spouse and marriage.
Re-Do Your Love Maps
When couples first meet, they do something that married partners often forget to do.
That thing that makes new couples crazy for each other is something you can do with your long-time partner.
What’s that one thing, you ask?
It’s curiosity. Asking questions and doing what the Gottman research calls “Love Mapping.”
What is love mapping?
If you don’t know what love mapping is, let me share why it’s such a powerful skill for anyone who wants a great marriage.
Put simply, a love map is what you create when you learn about your partner’s dreams, fears, likes, dislikes, ambitions, and everything else. Unfortunately, when people have been together for a long-time, they forget to update their maps – therefore, they take each other for granted and make all kinds of outdated assumptions about each other.
Even when we think we know our partners, they may have changed, and their interests, dreams, fears, anxieties, ambitions, and goals have changed.
When you look at any relationship that is dying, you’ll likely find that all of them have outdated love maps. Both partners have lost touch with their significant other, so the relationship isn’t as strong.
To update your love maps, check out the Intimacy Deck. The intimacy game makes love mapping simple, and you can use my creative questions to fuel new conversations and a deeper connection. I highly recommend you bring the intimacy game on your next date night.
Asking questions and making more in-depth inquiries are vital to making a relationship thrive.
Even happy couples will find power in taking time to update their love maps.
Create New Marriage Vows
After working with nearly 1,000 couples, I’ve spotted certain similarities among the happiest of couples.
Happy couples tell me that they update their vows every few or five years.
With your vows, you initiated a powerful commitment to your partner.
If your relationship seems to have lost that connection, it’s time to check on your vows and renew them.
Updating your vows is a beautiful ritual many couples have told me that helped them reconnect and re-align their marriage.
Fight For Your Marriage With Couple’s Counseling
When people marry, no one tells them how to make a marriage last.
Most of us think that getting married is enough to make love last, but if statistics are correct – we know that marriage isn’t enough to make your relationship last.
Hiring a professional trained in the science of love is akin to hiring a trainer at the gym, a language teacher, a math tutor, or any professional who has spent their life understanding the steps to succeed in an area.
Hiring a trained professional to help unkink the knots in your marriage can be one of the fastest ways to get your marriage out of trouble.
An expert’s help will guide you on the best ways to open up, discuss the issues, reconnect, and make your marriage last. Instead of fighting for your marriage alone, an expert can be your ally and help you fast-forward through the muck.
If you’re interested in couples counseling and coaching, check out this program that has helped hundreds of couples learn new ways to communicate openly, create transparency, and increase intimacy. The couple’s Reconnection Program is popular and does wonders to save any marriage.
Try Counseling Alone
When you’re fighting for your marriage, counseling can be a huge help.
Quite often, couples fall into pits because growth has become stagnant.
If you’re not growing, excelling, and interested in your self-development, how can you expect your partner to be attracted to you?
When one person in a relationship becomes stagnant in their creative expression, emotional growth, or in some other way – it can hurt the relationship.
By working on yourself, you change the dynamic between you and your partner.
When someone asks, “Can you save your relationship alone?” I tell them that if you change, your whole world must change – therefore, by working on you, it’s possible to transform the negative dynamics in any relationship.
If you want to fight for your marriage, counseling can infuse new insight into your life.
When people complain about their relationship, they often talk about what their partner is doing.
As a coach, my job is to listen, and my work is to help empower them to make changes that they can control.
Reinventing yourself is one way to fight for your marriage.
On the surface, it may not sound like working on you, changing you, and becoming better is a direct route to saving your marriage – but it is!
Here’s why working on yourself can save your marriage.
Most relationship issues occur because we’re doing or not doing something that triggers our partner. As these issues accumulate without change, it hurts our partnership.
If you look at marriage, you’ll notice that all your issues have to do with something not working, and if you or your partner changed, the problem would go away.
When you transform yourself, your problems also change.
To help bring this home, let me give you an example from one of my clients.
When Debbie and Mike showed up, their relationship was on the rocks.
Debbie felt Mike was selfish, making her want to leave him. She was tired of pulling the weight and not being considered. Through the sessions, Mike realized that there were many times that he didn’t think about Debbie and her needs.
As he started to feel how much his relationship was jeopardized by his lack of seeing Debbie’s perspective – his eyes began to open. Then he made a significant shift. Instead of sitting on the couch for his downtime, he spent more time cleaning. He watched videos on YouTube and learned a few dishes, and asked me for relationship books he could buy.
These were all significant changes for him.
After a few weeks of contributing more to cleaning, picking up new cooking skills, and relationship books – Mike and Debbie’s marriage transformed.
As you read that quick recap, note that the most significant change was Mike.
With a bit of re-invention of yourself, you could transform your marriage. Change you, and the whole world must change too.
Maybe seeing you make bold new moves will show your spouse how committed you are to your marriage?
Spend Time With Other Healthy Couples
A teacher of mine once said:
“Environment is stronger than will.”
Which is to say, where you spend your time will determine who you are and what you become.
When you spend time with other happy couples, you can learn about the keys to being happily married.
If divorcees or unhappy couples currently surround you, find a way to get around other kinds of couples.
Let yourself find spaces where couples who are happily married spend time. Doing this will open you to being influenced and learning from people who can give you insight.
When I teach relationship classes via group coaching, couples have an excellent opportunity to learn from other couples. By spending time around happy couples, you can see what a great marriage looks like and then take those lessons and insights home.
Volunteer Alone & With Your Spouse
One of the best ways to get your mind off your problems is to help someone in need.
When couples volunteer, it helps them get some perspective. Our issues are usually significant to us until we see the real-life problems of other less fortunate people.
When you and your spouse volunteer, it can unite your energies, give you a new place to put your focus, and make you united in a good cause.
Volunteering may not seem like a direct route to improving your marriage, but it may just be what the doctor ordered.
When my wife and I put our energies into volunteering and helping our community, we find it makes us feel closer and connects us to something bigger than our relationship. So give this idea a try. You may find it does the same for you.
Fight For Your Marriage By Doing Something New & Novel With Your Spouse
Routine and monotony kill romance faster than anything else.
Doing the same thing daily makes it hard to see your partner in a new light and can quickly make your relationship stagnant.
Trying something new with your partner is a beautiful way to spice things up – and science shows that novel experiences make us fall in love again.
Doing something new and novel doesn’t have to be a big trip or some kinky thing. Your new activity could be as simple as going to a new restaurant, taking an art class, trying a dance class, or walking a new area.
If you’re serious about fighting for your marriage, you’ll want to try new activities with your partner. Volunteering could be a new thing you try once or a class or something else.
Summary Of How To Fight For Your Marriage
Saving your marriage takes time and effort.
Having a great marriage takes energy, and this list provides many insights to help you fight for your marriage. One way to help speed up the process is to enlist the help of a relationship expert with the Save Your Marriage Workbook. In this workbook, you’ll receive step-by-step support, exercises, and in-depth insight unique to your situation.
As you work to improve your relationship, don’t get discouraged if change doesn’t happen overnight. All things in nature take time. So when you set seeds, be patient, and trust that they will blossom.