Are you looking for marriage saving tips that will actually make a difference in your marriage? I don’t blame you.
Sometimes it can be very difficult to solve your own problems because you’re simply too close to them. (Remember the old saying; you can’t see the forest for the trees?)
I had this problem throughout the first 27 most difficult years of my marriage. Just 4 short years ago I finally discovered the “recipe” (if you will) for a happy marriage. I wish I knew then what I know now, but my ability to help others using the marriage saving tips and insight I discovered is definitely worth all the misery I went through.
So, in an effort to save you from the painful learning curve that I had to go through, I’ve condensed these ‘secrets’ into 2 very powerful, yet simple marriage saving tips.
You may have ‘heard’ me talk about how important it is to openly discuss your values with your spouse in other marriage saving tips or articles on this site, and I’m sorry if I’m sounding like a broken record here, but I truly cannot stress this enough….so here it goes…
I’m sure you’ve heard that communication is the key to a better marriage, but what exactly does ‘communication’ mean? WHAT should you be ‘communicating’ about and in what WAY?
Well I’m glad you asked. :)
You need to talk with your spouse about your values or your ‘take’ on everything in life. Talk with your spouse about the things you passionately believe in…or feel strongly against.
This marriage saving tip may sound overwhelming at first, but the first thing you need to do is focus on the little things in life that bug you (and no, I’m NOT talking about your spouse!) ;-)
Let me give you an example…
My wife absolutely HATES gum chewing. Now I’m not talking about people who silently chew with their mouths closed, I’m talking about people who, when they pop a piece of gum in their mouth, EVERYONE knows it.
They pop, smack and chew with their mouths wide open. Yes, I know it sounds trivial, but it absolutely drives her NUTS.
Now, if I didn’t know WHY this little pet peeve of hers drives her ‘up the wall’, I would simply think she’s crazy. I might even start becoming annoyed and aggravated whenever she starts to verbally attack the nearest “irritating gum chewer”.
EVERY pet peeve, habit or BELIEF is created by a memory or event that has happened in the past. Take my wife for example. The reason she despises people who pop and crack their gum is because HER MOTHER would do it without any regard for her feelings…throughout her ENTIRE childhood. My wife hated it THEN and she still hates gum chewing TODAY. It simply brings back too many painful memories.
To her, a gum chewer might as well be scratching nails on a chalkboard or screeching a fork against a plate. The main idea you should walk away with from this marriage saving tip is that you need to discuss with your spouse WHY you do things a certain way, WHY you hate certain things and WHY you love other things.
Ask your spouse questions and have them do the same. Ask questions like…
1. “Honey, when you were young, did your mother or father have a problem being on time?”
2. “What happened in your childhood that makes you hate clutter and messes so much?”
WARNING: Don’t make this sound like an accusation! If you do, your positive discussion will be over!
Believe me; I made this mistake more than I’d care to admit in my marriage. It’s one of the core reasons we fought on a daily basis! In other words, stay away from any tone that ends up sounding like an accusation! It’s the kiss of death! (Of all the marriage saving tips, this one alone will help you significantly reduce the tension between you and your spouse!)
When you ask your spouse these questions, they will probably struggle for words or not come up with an immediate explanation for WHY he or she does these things.
And that’s okay.
Try to jog his/her memory by recalling your own memories about this subject…
Example:“The reason I __(fill in the blank)__ is because my parents __(fill in the blank)____ when I was a child.”
Asking questions like these will most likely jog your spouse’s memory. Still, they may not make the connection between their childhood and their life as an adult.
Remember: You and your spouse were shown how to live by your parents or guardians. They shaped most of what you value or ignore today. If you don’t know which values are causing conflict in your marriage, you’ll never be able to truly resolve your disagreements. Use this marriage saving tip to get to the source of your problems instead of focusing on the ‘little issues’ (like chewing).
When I finally understood WHY my wife’s values were so different from my own, the stress in my marriage was DRASTICALLY reduced. I know you’ll find the same to be true when you put this marriage saving tip to use in your relationship with your spouse.
So there you have it. If you ever want to save your marriage or stop your divorce, you need to START applying what you’ve learned in this marriage saving tip so you can understand WHY your spouse is the way he/she is today.
I promise, once you do, you’ll be able to reduce the conflict in your marriage and live a much more peaceful life together.
In the last tip, I mentioned that you should ask your spouse questions to get to the source of conflict in your marriage. But that isn’t the only reason you should be asking questions…
If you want your spouse to do something (or stop doing something), you need to phrase your request as a question to prevent an argument from taking place.
…and no, I’m NOT talking about questions like “What’s WRONG with you?!?” or “Whose the dummy who left the stove on?!”
Let me give you an actual example to demonstrate how this marriage saving tip might sound in real life.
Let’s say your spouse goes out with his/her friends once a week. But lately, you’ve noticed that he/she’s been deciding to ‘call it a night’ around 1:30 in the morning.
Aside from the fact that you just don’t feel comfortable with your spouse coming home so late (or should I say early), you decide you want him/her to come home at a more reasonable time just so he/she doesn’t wake the kids.
Now your first instinct may be to yell at your spouse right when s/he comes home or give him/her the cold shoulder the next day. But if you REALLY want something to change, then pay close attention to this marriage saving tip...
First of all, NEVER deal with this kind of a situation the same night. Wait until the next day, and pick a time to talk when the two of you are alone and relaxed.
Then, with the most compassionate and understanding voice, ask him/her, “Honey, since the kids wake up when you come home and have a hard time getting back to sleep, would it be possible for you to come home a little earlier?” Bonus Marriage Saving Tip:When you approach your spouse about an issue that might cause an argument, follow this 2-step formula…
1) Decide WHAT you want to say.
2) Decide the WAY you want to say it.
A) Give new information – (In this case, you let your spouse know that the kids are waking up because of the noise.)
B) Ask a question – (Could you come home earlier?)
C) Suggest a good solution within your question – (Coming home earlier.)
Now I know you may be thinking this is too much work. But let me tell you why this marriage saving tip will actually make your life EASIER….
Because arguments are MORE work! They are emotionally draining for both of you; they stress out your children, go on for hours and create lasting and bitter separation between you and your spouse.
That’s right. Arguments NEVER solve anything. It’s the RATIONAL, REASONABLE and CIVIL part AFTER the argument when problems get solved.
So why not cut out the arguing and go straight to the problem solving? :)
I’m sure you’ve heard the statement before…“I don’t like your tone!”
This is the other half of communicating with your spouse. Your tone has everything to do with your emotions - the more negative you feel at the moment, the more confrontational your tone will be.
The more POSITIVE you feel; the better chance you’ll have of constructively dealing with the difficult issues in your marriage. The key to this marriage saving tip is getting rid of your negative feelings BEFORE you try to communicate with each other.
Now, back to the question you were asking your spouse…
“Honey, since the kids wake up when you come home and have a hard time getting back to sleep, would it be possible for you to come home a little earlier?”
At this point s/he could become defensive and say “How MUCH earlier? I knew you were going to do this….you never want me to have time with my friends…” etc…etc.
Warning…You need to stop your spouse before s/he goes too far and says something that puts you over the edge. Instead, be ready to handle his/her reaction with a three part answer.
First give a support statement that will calm your spouse down.
“I don’t want to interrupt your time with your friends. You certainly deserve it.”
Second, give a benefit statement that gives both of you value.
“What I was hoping for is an alternative time that wouldn’t interfere with the kids’ sleeping habits.”
Third, ask for ideas toward a better solution.
“Do you have any ideas?”
If you don’t think you’ll be able to control your temper in difficult situations like this, get my free email course on how to control your negative feelings before they get out of control using a technique I created to stop my negative feelings in 60 seconds.
Make no mistake about it, if your marriage seems to be getting worse every day, try this marriage saving tip for yourself. Of all the ways to stop a divorce, this one is the best way to diffuse arguments before they gain momentum.
If you’re really struggling in your marriage, and you need something more powerful than a few marriage saving tips, I’ve created a program called the Environment Changer program where you can get the live support you need save your marriage...even AFTER the papers have been filed.
Unlike marriage counseling, the program offers you a step-by-step plan with a definite start and finish.
If your spouse is not willing to work at your marriage with you, that's not a problem because this program was developed to help individual spouses transform themselves from the inside out, and as a result, positively affect their spouse.
Students who become "Environment Changers" through this program become a "master of their emotions". They no longer have to get angry, they no longer have to worry because they know the secret of eliminating their negative feelings in just 60 seconds.
After all, it's not enough to simply TELL your spouse that you've changed. You need to PROVE it because in his or her mind, it's "too little too late."
I'm living proof that it's possible to save your marriage on your own.
My wife was everything BUT cooperative. She would not seek out counseling, and she did NOT want to learn how to control her feelings or apply any marriage saving tips...so that part was left up to me...she did not support me in ANY WAY. So I’ve duplicated everything that I used to save my marriage and put it into this live, highly customized program.
Your next step? To take what you’ve just learned in these marriage saving tips and put them to use in your marriage. I guarantee, when you do, you’ll notice an improvement in your marriage and your stress level will be drastically reduced.