By Emma Audley
Getting married is easier than staying married. Ask any one who has tied the knot and you would hear the same thing being repeated. Tips and tricks to save your marriage can be as varied as the people themselves. There is no ‘magic formula’ to make it work. In fact, a better way to interpret it is that you keep on working on the formula till “death do you part”. This means that to save your marriage, flexibility is what the doctor ordered.
You will need to adapt to changing priorities, changing personalities and changing needs of the environment. The other key to save your marriage is perhaps to give each other space. Now, this is a critical area, as many do not know how much space is right. Too much of it can create irreversible distance and too little of it can create frequent collisions. Each marriage has its own formula of ‘space’ needed, and you have to decipher your own, as time goes by.
All that is fine but despite your working out a reasonably acceptable marriage formula, you might still find yourself in the unenviable position of facing an imminent break up. Not being used to such mental trauma, it is natural for you to make some critical errors that spoil your chances to save your marriage even further.
While you might deploy a thousand strategies to save your marriage here are some tips on some strategies which you should not deploy:
Mistake #1 is the instant outburst of emotions. Defeat in a relationship invites gender-specific reactions. A woman cries; a man might get aggressive. A woman may plead, while the man might just walk out of the situation. While such instant reflex reactions largely depend on individual personality traits, there are certain things which you should never do if you are serious to save your marriage. For example, never cry or plead with your partner to stay back. This does not mean that you get aggressive and start a tirade of accusations and abuses. You need to stay calm to think rationally about the steps you are going to take in future to save your marriage. Crying, pleading or throwing tantrums are pure waste of efforts.
Mistake #2 is to jump to conclusions as to why your marriage has failed. Though tough, keep an open mind about the situation, till you have got all the facts right in stead of groping in the dark or listening to other people’s views. Before trying to find the scapegoat, look at yourself in the mirror and analyze your faults and shortcomings. Chances are that you might find several aspects of your own personality that needs rectification, if you want to save your marriage.
Mistake #3 is to be fatalistic or pessimistic. You do not have to take everything that life has to offer, lying down. If you are a responsible adult, capable of thinking and acting rationally, you should not give in to ‘what fate has in store for me’, even if the situation hints towards a foregone conclusion. You need to know why, how and what you did wrong in the marriage, even before you try to make attempts to save your marriage. The only person to enlighten you in this matter is your spouse, if he or she is the one who has decided to walk out of the marriage. Even if what you hear surprises you, you should be able to communicate clearly to your spouse why it makes sense to save your marriage – provided there is still love and respect between the two of you. Getting defeated by the first blow is a sign of cowardice and by having a fatalistic attitude you can never save your marriage.
My name is Emma Audley. I am the author of “Loneliness to Happiness – the simple guide to getting your ex back” as well as numerous publications and articles about relationships and marriages in crises. I have a degree in psychology and almost a decade of experience as a therapist in couples and marriage counseling. I have treated about 3500 patients in face to face sessions in my life.