A lot of marriages are going through a storm right now and the woman is thinking all hope is gone about saving what is left of the marriage. Please, I urge you not to be in a hurry to give up on the hope of a fantastic union. It might just be that you need skills on how to salvage your marriage.
Feel free to add your comments. No one knows all the answers to saving a hopeless marriage.
1. Make a list … of all the issues you argue about. Treatment will be complete when you have found mutually agreeable solutions to these issues, and have learned the skills to resolve new issues as they arise with similarly win-win solutions.
A lot of women don’t do this and that is why progress is usually not made in solving situations or problems in the marriage.
2. Focus on yourself. Attempts to make your partner change invite defensiveness. Instead, use your energy to figureout what you could do differently to stay loving and good-humored when he does things you hate. Become “self-centered” in the best possible sense.
A lot of women enter the marriage contract hoping to change their husbands! Mehn, na die you dey O! Behaviors can only be modified just so that you guys meet somewhere in the middle. You can leave the rest to God.
3. Cut the crap. The negative muck you give each other is totally unhelpful. It only taints a positive relationship. So, no more criticism, complaints, blame, accusations, anger, sarcasm, digs or snide remarks.
No one is perfect so really, cut all the negativism. A lot of spouses are full of it!
4. Express concerns constructively. A simple way to do that in sensitive conversations is to stick with the following trio of options for sentence starters: “I feel [followed by a one-word adjective]”; “My concern is …”; or “I would like to …”
I still believe in the old saying that ” It is not what you say that matters but how you say it!”
5. Make decisions cooperatively. I call that the “win-win waltz.” The goal of the win-win waltz is to reach solutions that please you both. No more aiming to “get your way.” Instead, when you have differences, express your underlying concerns, listen to your partner’s concerns and create solutions that respond to both.
The key is ‘listening’ and not just ‘hearing’! A lot of couples hear each other but actually do not listen to each other. Shouting at the top of your voices will not help your communication skills and then the problem will end up not being solved.
6. Eliminate the three As that ruin marriages. Affairs, addictions, and excessive anger are relationship dealbreakers. They are out-of-bounds in a healthy marriage. If you are indulging in one of these self-defeating and relationship-destroying habits, get help and get it out of your life pronto. If your spouse is the one with the problem, trying to save the marriage may be a mistake. Either build a new kind of marriage where these do not occur, or end the marriage.
7. Radically increase the positive energies you give your partner. Smile more; hug more; have more sex; be more appreciative; spend more time dwelling on the things you like about each other; help each other out more; praise each other more; laugh more; agree more; do more fun things together. The best things in life really are free. And the more positives you give, the more you’ll get.
8. Learn the skills for a successful marriage. Would you expect to drive a car without first taking driver’s test? Find books and marriage education courses to learn the communication and conflict resolution skills for marriage partnership. Then in, addition to saving your marriage, you’ll make it a loving success.
Turn to God for support – Ask for wisdom, understanding and knowledge to handle problems in the home.
God bless our marriages.