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The Dos And Donts Of Saving Your Marriage
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Many of the people who contact me about saving their marriages know deep down in their heart that they are likely doing these wrong. But they get caught up in a cycle of panic and fear and this causes them to be reactive rather than active. Many tell me that there's a little voice in the back of their head asking them just what they are thinking yet they can't seem to stop themselves as they make one mistake after another. So, in the following article, I'm going to go over what I believe (due to my own experience, the research I conduct, and the feedback I get on my blog) to be the dos and the don'ts when attempting to save your marriage.

The Don'ts Of Saving Your Marriage: I'll start with the don'ts. And as I've said, many people know that these are don'ts when they are doing them but they can not help themselves. But, if you ever needed affirmation of what you suspected was the wrong way to save your marriage, here it is:

1. Begging, Pleading, Debating, Arguing, And Generally Creating Drama: This is the tactic that most of us "go to" when we are hurting and just want to take some action. We speak first and think later. This is the phase where we think that we can talk or debate our way out of this. And I have to tell you that, generally when you are in this mode, you are thinking of only short term gains. You are thinking that if you say the right words, or push the right buttons, you're going to get a reprieve. But guess what? You haven't really changed anything even if you are successful with this in the short term.

And frankly, these things will often anger, annoy, or frustrate your spouse so that they won't even want to deal with you. I realize that you might think your spouse is wrong. Heck, your spouse might be and likely is wrong about some things. But, pointing this out is not the way to get what you want.

2. Trying To Pretend That You Really Don't Care What Happens Or Ignoring Your Spouse In A Game Of Marital Chess: I know there's a lot of advice out there that tells you to ignore your spouse or pretend like you welcome the break, separation, or whatever the case may be. I don't necessarily agree with this. First, I just don't think many people can do it as well as they might think. And second, it's just not believable nor does it respect the intelligence of you both.

With that said, I do advocate a slight bit of game playing because this is what worked for me. But don't go overboard. Don't try to convince your spouse that you truly don't care either way. They know you do. My husband saw right through my tricks until I really meant them.

3. Asking Your Spouse To Labor To Save Your Marriage: This is another thing I see, especially with wives. They will beg their husband to "work with" them. How would this sound to you if your spouse was making this request, especially if you were unsure about your marriage. Not all that attractive, right? Always be mindful of how you are presenting this. I know this sounds as though I'm asking you to come up with a marketing campaign rather than a marriage saving one, but how you frame things with your spouse can truly make all the difference.

The Dos Of Saving Your Marriage:

Find Your Spouse's Currency And Provide It In A Genuine Way: Although not every spouse can tell you why their marriage is in trouble, almost every one is going to respond very positively when you give them what they want (even if they don't know that they want it.) Knowing what your spouse needs and then giving it to them without their needing to ask makes your spouse know that you understand them and want them to be happy. I don't know your spouse so I can't tell you their currency. But I can tell you very common wants and needs.

Every one wants to feel your affection and they want to know that you are attentive. They want to believe that you understand them. And they want to feel appreciated. Women and men like this expressed in different ways. Men like this to come out in physical ways, while women are more emotionally driven. You know your spouse. Think about this and see what you can come up with. But don't even make any of this look staged. Your spouse is too smart for that.

Make Sure Your Spouse Knows That Your Real Goal Is Solving The Problem: Here's the thing with some of the "don'ts" I outlined above. When you pursue the short term gain, you are saying to your spouse that you don't really care all that much about what is really bothering them. Instead, you want to make sure they understand that you are in this for the long haul. Listen to them and read between the lines so that you really understand what they need to be happy in your marriage again. At the end of the day, yes, you want to save your marriage. But really, you want to have a happy marriage - not just one that is hanging by a thread.

As Weird As It Sounds, Don't Be So Serious: As I said, when so many of us are trying to save our marriages, we are driven by fear. So we're so serious and uptight and scared. This isn't attractive and this isn't the person our spouse was first attracted to. You will have so much more success if you make this process pleasurable rather than one of drudgery. Go to fun places with your spouse. Laugh. Don't sit a dining room table listening to the clock ticking while you sort through your problems. Bond first, "work" later.

How do I know this? I pretty much wrote the book on the don'ts. I know they don't work because they made my marriage worse when I was trying to save it. All of the dos I have listed worked for me. You can read more about how I played thisin my own marriage (and won) at my blog


Street Talk

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