How to Fix and Save a Broken Marriage: From a Christian Counselor in Minneapolis
The institution of marriage has existed for centuries. Historically, marriage existed to create alliances between families. Rarely did couples marry for love. Biblically, marriage is referenced in the first book of the bible with Adam & Eve.
Marriage in Western culture today, however, looks much different. Men and women alike dream of that lifelong partner, the one person that they can share memories with for decades.
What do you do, though, when the dream turns into a nightmare, and your lifelong friend becomes an enemy living in your own home? How do you know if you can save your broken marriage?
There are a couple of telltale signs that indicate a marriage is broken or disconnected. It does not have to stay this way, though. Keep reading to learn about how to determine if you have a broken marriage and what you can do to repair it.
Signs of a Broken Marriage
Marriage issues become apparent when you are constantly in “gridlock” with your spouse. Certainly, some disagreements and conflicts make sense. After all, you’re two different people trying to live one life. “Gridlock” is when there is no movement forward during an issue, and you feel worse after trying to address the issue.
But there are two common indications that you do not have a healthy marriage and may benefit from some intervention.
Negotiations are part of any healthy relationship. After all, you cannot always get exactly what you want when you’re working with other people. Compromise and negotiation can actually make for a stronger relationship because both parties give up something to get something.
In a failing marriage, compromises don’t happen. When an individual feels that they’re the only one giving something up, resentment sets in. The relationship becomes a fight towards needs, versus looking to compromise and actively working to meet each other’s needs.
When you’re considering bigger decisions, such as child-rearing or big financial purchases, couples will have to compromise. Few couples find themselves on the same page completely when a decision requires multiple small choices.
If you find yourself constantly arguing and bickering, a marriage counselor can help you learn new compromise techniques. They will walk you through ways so both parties feel satisfied and resentment stays at bay.
Arguing vs. Dialogue
Disagreement is normal. Experts claim that disagreements can actually strengthen a relationship when a couple responds in a healthy manner.
There’s a significant difference, though, between an argument and a dialogue when a couple disagrees.
Loud discussions become arguments. They can lead to hurtful words, slammed doors, and lonely nights in the guest room or on the couch.
Real conversations focus on the issues at hand rather than on insulting the people in the discussion. Couples in healthy marriages understand the need for open communication and active listening.
When you’re simply trading insults rather than solving the problem, you may have a broken marriage. The occasional argument happens with all couples, but constant bickering indicates a problem.
Fixing a Broken Marriage
If you believe you’re in a broken marriage, there is hope. Here are a few things you need to do as you begin to address a broken marriage.
Begin by asking yourself why you want to fix your broken marriage. This process may take a long time and significant effort. You have to keep your “why” in mind as you move through the process so you can stay committed.
Make sure the answer to this question is the same for both you and your spouse. If you and your spouse want different things, you will both have a difficult time fixing the marriage together.
You and your spouse must be fully committed to making the process work.
Once you understand why you want to fix the relationship, you need to take time to reflect. Here are a few basic questions to think about:
Which of your spouse’s qualities annoys you the most?
Why have you and your spouse grown apart?
Did a single event trigger your marriage troubles?
Did marriage troubles stem from recurring events or habits?
Broken marriages typically end because of neglect to their relationship. There becomes a perpetual feeling of powerlessness to do anything to address the pain. Identifying the problem is the first step to fixing the problem.
This part of the process is one of the most painful parts. It’s humbling to identify the problem and admit your part in it. But there’s hope at the end of the process.
As you go through this process, focus on Scripture that encourages both you and your spouse. You can’t get to the glorious parts of marriage without the cross. It’s time to start a renewal of spirit and the relationship.
Learn how to communicate. Communication means more than talking. Rather, communication refers to the giving and receiving of information.
You must learn how to listen actively as well as speak clearly. Be invested in listening to your spouse. Keep an open mind and try to see the situation from their view.
Pay close attention to non-verbal cues. Show genuine interest by leaning in, looking at them, and giving your own non-verbal cues when they’re talking.
Consider the things you and your spouse used to enjoy doing together. Can you still do these things? Look at the things you enjoy doing now and try to do some of those things together.
As you practice active listening and clear communication, spend time together doing things. Activities together create shared memories and a sense of intimacy.
These connection activities are essential to fixing a broken marriage. They do not have to cost any money. Take evening walks together or go for a drive together.
Plan on simple things you can do together that will help you reconnect.
Seek Professional Help
Even with these steps, you may need a mediator. Look for marriage counseling with a Christian counselor committed to helping couples rebuild their marriages.
A trained professional can mediate and help you find a healthy marriage once again. Remember that marriage problems are their specialty. They have a bag of tricks that you may have not thought of which could make a huge difference in helping you and your spouse solve your marriage issues.
Fix the Broken and Live an Abundant Life
You may have a broken marriage, but it does not have to stay this way. By finding your why, learning to communicate, reconnecting with your spouse, and seeking professional help, you can find a healthy marriage once again.
Before you know it, you and your spouse will be celebrating anniversary after anniversary, with a stronger relationship than ever because of the work you chose to put into it.
Are you looking for a trained Christian counselor that can help you with your marriage issues? If so, please contact me.