If your marriage is feeling less than perfect then I have some good news for you. Even though your marriage is made up of two people, it only takes one to save it.
I am Brad Browning, relationship coach and author of the bestselling, “Mend the Marriage” program.
Today I want to talk about a question that I often get asked, and that is, “Is it possible to fix your marriage on your own?” well the short answer is yes.
Since your marriage is based on a chain of actions and reactions, a change in the way that you behave and interact within your relationship will in turn effect the way that your spouse behaves and reacts.
If your changes are positive, then the marriage is going to improve as a whole.
To get started, focus on making changes to the following aspects of your relationship. Before you know it, you will have fixed your issues on your own. So let’s get started and talk about some of those things you can do to fix your marriage.
1. Surprise your spouse with praise.
Remember back to the early days of your marriage when you and your spouse were constantly singing each other’s praises? As time passes, it’s easy for those praises to wane and for the small acts of love to go unnoticed.
So, to fix your marriage, make a point of surprising your spouse. Especially at times when they may be expecting criticism. Once you get into the habit of praising them, your partner is likely going to follow suit. Voicing your appreciation for the things that they do will work wonders in your marriage. And it will also motivate your partner to keep up the good work.
2. Show your spouse that you are listening.
Everyone loves to be heard. When your spouse talks to you, show them that you are actively listening. Free yourself off distractions. Make eye contact and use encouraging conversation fillers such as you know, “I see” or “I understand” to show signs that you are paying attention. When they are done speaking, summarize and validate what your spouse has said to you.
When you do this kind of thing, your spouse is going to believe that you are engaged in the conversation and appreciate your attentiveness. The positive effects of active listening will be seen in other areas of your marriage as well.
3. Speak respectfully to your spouse.
During a heated argument, it can be tempting to blurt out hurtful words or accusations. If this happens repeatedly, it can put a damper on your marriage.
Instead of jumping the gun and spilling out the first thing that comes to your mind, calmly think about what it is you want to say and choose your words carefully. You can still speak your mind and express yourself. Just do so in a constructive way that isn’t going to hurt your partner.
A major sour spot in many marriages is when one spouse constantly feels that they are being blamed or put down. To avoid this and to work through this weak spot, avoid using “You” statements.
For instance, sentences such as ‘you never’, or ‘You always’. Instead replace the you with I, and say things like ‘I feel’, or ‘I would appreciate’. This will help remove any agitation between you and your spouse.
4. Focus on changing yourself.
Humans are funny creatures. They like to try and fix other people’s problems and behaviors instead of focusing on their own.
When this happens, they are usually met with resistance and the outcome is rarely productive. So instead of looking at the areas your spouse needs to work on, focus on your own issues and work towards becoming a better you. Once you do so, you’ll see some of those changes reflected in your spouse.
If you are interested in finding out more about how you can change to improve your marriage, and do that on your own, please watch the free video presentation here.
5. Commit yourself to improving your marriage.
One of the most common reasons couples get divorced these days is a lack of commitment.
To help fix your marriage, find reasons to be dedicated to your relationship, and establish a sense of “We” that you can both work towards building and strengthening.
To get started on this, recall the good times that you have shared and focus on those aspects of your relationship. Once you have this romantic mindset, sit down with your partner and lead a conversation aimed at setting goals for your future. Nothing brings couples together like making exciting plans with one another.
6. Avoid being competitive.
Competition has its place in life, but your marriage is not one of them.
Beyond playful competition, if you and your spouse find yourself turning everything into a contest, then it’s time to put an end to that behavior. There is nothing more frustrating, belittling or rude than when your spouse boasts an, “I am right” or “I am better than you” kind of attitude. Discussions and arguments with your spouse should aim to solve problems, not win them.
If your competitive streak is a result of feeling insecure, then work on improving your own self-esteem. In turn, that will improve your marriage.
Remember, you and your spouse are on the same team. Quit competing against one another.
7. Make decisions together.
If you try to make all the decisions in your relationship then it’s likely that your partner is going to feel disempowered and undervalued.
A major part of being a happily married couple is being involved in what is going on in your relationship. Take a look at where you currently stand and whether you need to get more involved in your marriage. Also, ask your spouse their opinion on how things are going and then make those changes.
8. Stay positive.
Positivity is infectious. There is nothing like being around somebody who radiates happiness.
When your marriage is struggling, it can be tough to keep it positive outlook but by choosing to seek the good in every situation, the problems you are facing are slowly going to start to fade and your marriage will improve dramatically as a result.
Remember, when we surround ourselves with positive people, even the worst situations have a way of making themselves better. Be that positive person when your marriage needs it. It’s a great key to fixing your marriage on your own.
I hope you are feeling motivated and ready to go make some of these changes you need to fix your marriage.