How To Fix A Broken Marriage: 6 Crucial Steps

Because sometimes, the right actions and attitudes can save your relationship.

Reviewed by Darrell Reese, MS, LMFT-A Darrell Reese Darrell ReeseMS, LMFT-A insta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Shivani Chandel MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Madhumati Chowdhury MA (English Literature) Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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Marriages either function well, or they do not. You cannot ’just stay together’ – it is never enough. Your once perfect marriage can end up with troubles, leaving you overwhelmed and anguished when you realize things are failing. However, the good news is you can work fthrough tough issues and grow with your spouse. Even if your marriage is at the edge of collapsing, it is within the realms of repair.

So, let’s dive deep and explore how to fix a broken marriage. Scroll down to save your relationship from divorce and act the right way during a crisis in marriage.

6 Ways To Fix A Broken Marriage

1. Remind Yourself What Made You Fall In Love

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Take some time to ponder why you fell in love with your spouse. Think of the good ol’ days. Return to the basics and remind yourself of the initial spark to heal your broken marriage. Jot down what you adored about your significant other that made you choose them as a life partner. Surprisingly, self-reflection may help you find your partner’s best traits. You may also find that they are still there, but boredom and busy schedules have made it hard to get in touch with them.

Do not lose sight of what made you interested in them. Instead, make a conscious effort to reflect on those lovely memories to lift your spirits and feel hopeful about the relationship. Try to keep the love and closeness consistent with emotional intimacy; otherwise, you will lose the fire after reaching a comfortable stage of togetherness and find yourself drifting apart.

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You may go through old text conversations with your partners or revisit the photos you took with them in the initial stages of your relationship to rethink your relationship.

2. Identify The Broken, Damaged Zones

Have you ever wondered what made your marriage feel broken? Did stress of responsibilities weaken your bond? Why did you both grow apart? Identifying the root cause of a broken marriage is the first step to fixing it. Understand where things went wrong and identify the issue plaguing your marriage. Underlying triggers such as constant arguments, lack of respect, jealousy, or resentment are signs of a broken marriage.

Consider the following reasons why things went south:

  • Communication gap
  • Lack of care, affection, and appreciation
  • Keeping secrets and not being friendly anymore
  • Infidelity
  • No conflict resolution

Lack of communication and not expressing your true feelings can damage your bond and make your relationship feel pointless. This can also lead to trust issues, fragile connections, and unfriendly behaviors. Loss of care and affection also stems from keeping secrets and poor conversations.

Therefore, strengthen your listening and speaking skills not to make your spouse feel neglected or uncared for. Compliment them occasionally and show genuine interest while speaking. Create a safe zone for your partner and let them share their inner thoughts or emotions.

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It is important to let your partner know that you actually care for them and want to be there for them. So, always listen to what they have to say.

3. Keep Realistic Expectations

Couple communicating expectations to fix broken marriage
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Dr.Wyatt Fisher, a licensed psychologist specializing in couples counseling, says, “Marriages usually fail because partners stop meeting one another’s needs, so resentments build, and eventually the couple detaches. The first step to bettering a marriage is to work through all the resentments that have been unaddressed. Second, they must start having regular conversations on how well they are meeting one another’s needs and what adjustments are needed to make things better. This combination fosters hope.”
List down all your needs and expectations that you feel are left unmet by your spouse. Now analyze if they are realistic enough and your partner can fulfill them. It might be difficult to dissect the problems at a micro level, but you will soon realize you cannot truly address everything that upsets you. Therefore, be sympathetic rather than defensive while managing sorrow, pain, and anger in your marriage.

4. Renew Trust, Respect, And Connection

It is crucial to get over emotional overwhelm to fix a failing marriage. Try to process your negative emotions such as anger, hatred, pain, and distrust caused by unresolved issues. Find a way to reconnect with your spouse and prioritize each other. Plan a date night or trip, or spend quality time chatting daily, even for 10 minutes before bed. Engage in exercises and activities for rebuilding trust in your relationship and in your partner.

Sara Sloan, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate, says, “I do believe marriages can be saved through increased communication skills, increased emotional and sexual empathy, and returning to their original unconditional positive regard that occurs over time. It involves unlearning old patterns and replacing them with new positive ones that help couples maintain and grow their connection.

5. Focus On Improving Your Communication

Every relationship must have open communication, which is the cornerstone of any healthy connection. Effective communication enables people to express their thoughts, worries, and desires while assisting in conflict resolution, fostering trust, and fortifying relationships.

Let both parties voice their opinions and anxieties in a secure and non-judgmental setting. This might assist in resolving misunderstandings and addressing any problems that might be the root of the relationship’s rift. You must find common ground and cooperate to solve these problems and understand each other’s viewpoints. This can contribute to the development of intimacy and closeness, both of which are necessary for a long-lasting and happy relationship.

6. Let Your Relationship Positives Win!

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When you get used to the rosy side of your marriage, you tend to take it for granted. The biggest mistake is eventually forgetting the good things your spouse brings to your life and relationship. Therefore, consider how it would feel without them before demeaning your married partnership.

Think through the ways your life has been changed for the better by your spouse. Remind yourself how your partner has added value to your life and loved you even in moments of crisis. Appreciate the sweet times of togetherness and feel excited about the good things yet to come.

Do not get lost in your routines, and forget to appreciate what initially made you happy in the marriage. Be thankful for the simple, little things your partner does for you. For instance, preparing morning coffee, holding the door open, or checking up on you on sick days. Your partner’s daily efforts to provide for the family may seem obvious, but they are praiseworthy.

Here are some additional tips to rebuild and make your broken marriage work. Follow the strategies mentioned below to create a healthy relationship and enjoy your happily ever after!

  • Examine yourself and know where you failed.
  • Acknowledge your mistakes and promise to improve.
  • Create time and have a candid talk.
  • Pull your share of responsibilities without complaining.
  • Allow your partner to explain their perception of the problems.
  • Be attentive and listen as your partner talks.
  • List the things you would like to be changed.

A study shows that lack of commitment, infidelity, and conflicts are primary causes of divorce. The most common reasons include domestic violence and substance use (1). However, relationship education programs can help couples resolve their issues early and experience potential improvements in the connection. Scroll down to find out why marriages end.

Common Reasons Why Marriages End

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  • Lack of commitment and trust issues
  • Miscommunication and growing apart
  • Emotional and financial incompatibility
  • Feeling uncared for and under-appreciated
  • Lack of shared values and religious and cultural differences
  • Sexual difficulties and sparing intimacy
  • Substance abuse or domestic violence
  • Secretive behavior or sudden mood swings
  • Neglecting family and household responsibilities
  • Disagreements over child care responsibilities and parenting styles
  • Adultery, infidelity, and disloyalty
  • Constant arguments and unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of equality and burden of gender roles
  • Emotional, mental, and physical abuse

Ann, a blogger, poured her heart out about her strained marriage, confiding in her hairdresser and feeling trapped. Even opening up to her mother-in-law about her husband’s abuse backfired. She shared, “His mother has no idea what I have endured throughout the years. This is another reason why I think it is time for me to leave (i).” She grappled with self-blame, contemplating leaving for the sake of her husband’s happiness, saying, “I feel like I’m such a toxic person.” Her love for her daughters kept her anchored, yet she found solace in numbing her emotions.

Sara Sloan explains, “The fundamental issue in marriages that creates the breakdown in the relationship is a lack of communication and empathy for one another. Often people come in due to a lack of sex and physical intimacy, which is nearly always due to an attachment rupture or a loss of connection. This could be due to growing apart over time, an affair, a new baby, illness, or any number of life reasons.”

Marriage counseling often helps address these issues and resolve conflicts. However, it is not the only option when your marriage is in trouble. You can address relationship issues outside of couples therapy too. However, you must be patient enough to listen to your partner, identify the broken places of your marriage, and understand why those breaks are bleeding into your life. Here’s how you can heal the damage and reverse the misunderstanding without counseling.

Is It Possible To Fix A Broken Marriage Without Counseling?

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Yes, it is possible to fix a broken marriage without help from experts and relationship counseling. However, there’s a catch. You have to change how you see your marriage and be strong-willed to put in the work. Your marriage is a ’living’ institution controlled by two people, you and your spouse. Therefore, you both must ensure a proper flow of communication, take responsibility for your actions, be honest with yourself and each other, and stay committed for a smooth sail.

You can repair your marriage (all by yourself) by changing unhealthy styles of exchanging words, learning about humility, and getting grounded. So, initiate a positive change in your relationship. For example, you may start to listen more than react, greet each other with decency, and communicate your true feelings. This will likely change your feelings about the marriage and help you both re-commit to a future together.

Hang in there a little longer and do the right thing for rebuilding your broken marriage. Engage in light-hearted, funny conversations with your spouse and NOT about your marriage. Evoke positive emotions, try to heal the hurt, and find forgiveness.
You have to be as understanding and accepting as possible – accept what your spouse feels without arguing. Although it is tough and requires amazing strength, it is a great start to rebuilding your relationship.

Here are some additional tips that can help you in saving your marriage

Tips To Save Your Marriage

1. Practice Empathy: Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Understanding their feelings and perspectives can lead to better communication and emotional connection.

2. Forgiveness: Learn to forgive past grievances. Holding onto grudges only perpetuates negativity in the relationship.

3. Be Patient: Saving a marriage takes time. Be patient with the process and with each other’s progress.

4. Seek Help: Don’t hesitate to seek help from a therapist or counselor. Professional guidance can provide valuable insights and strategies.

5. Avoid Blame: Focus on finding solutions rather than blaming each other. Constructive problem-solving strengthens the relationship.

6. Appreciation: Express gratitude and appreciation for your partner regularly. Recognizing each other’s efforts can reignite positive feelings.

7. Healthy Boundaries: Respect each other’s personal space and individuality. Healthy boundaries foster trust and independence within the relationship.

Infographic: 6 Ways To Save Your Marriage

When you take your marriage or partner for granted, it can become a problem. Taking some restorative actions in time may help save a failing marriage. The steps are simple and require you to put in some effort, such as identifying the problem and appreciating your partner. Check out the infographic below for some useful ways that can help you save your marriage.

6 ways to save your marriage (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

To Conclude

Marriages can get infected (slowly!) due to miscommunication, distance, and trust issues. Things can slip out of hand if not dealt with at the right time, and your relationship may turn sour. Therefore, do not put off seeking help if your marriage is irretrievably broken. It is wrong to assume things will heal organically over time. Try to find a pattern to your recurring problems and identify what little conflicts get under your skin. Speak to a relationship counselor who can suggest a new approach to act responsibly and grow together. If you and your partner are committed to making the right changes, you can cultivate love and happiness and fix your broken marriage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does space help a broken relationship?

Possibly. Getting some healthy space from your partner allows you to introspect, boosts independence, and helps you reconnect with your partner.

How do you know your marriage is beyond repair?

If your partner is toxic or abusive, if you feel your needs and concerns are not being addressed adequately, if you lack respect and space from them, or if your love has dwindled, it may be time to call it quits.

Can a marriage be saved by one spouse?

While it’s not easy, it is possible for one spouse to save a marriage if they are willing to put in the effort and seek professional help if needed. If the marriage was threatened by the actions of one spouse, then that person may save the relationship by asking for forgiveness and working towards improving themselves.

What are some ways to rekindle romance and intimacy in a broken marriage?

Some ways to rekindle romance and intimacy in a broken marriage include spending quality time together, communicating openly and honestly, showing appreciation for each other, and seeking counseling or therapy.

How can couples deal with issues related to financial stress, infidelity, or other major challenges in a marriage?

Couples dealing with financial stress, infidelity, or other major challenges in a marriage should communicate openly and honestly, seek professional help, and work together to find solutions.

Are there any warning signs that a marriage is beyond repair, and when is it time to consider separation or divorce?

Warning signs that a marriage may be beyond repair include a lack of communication, emotional disconnection, constant fighting, and a lack of intimacy. If the relationship cannot be salvaged then it might be time to consider a divorce or separation.

Key Takeaways

  • Fixing a broken marriage and relationship starts with the willingness to resolve the issue and accept the mistakes.
  • Think before you speak, and instead of purging the anger on each other, take time to reflect on the issues and communicate.
  • Instead of focusing on the negatives, recall the positives of your relationship and think about why it is worth fighting for.
  • You can resolve the issues on your own. However, do not hesitate to reach out for help to mediate a productive conversation.
how to fix a broken marriage

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Learn how to fix a broken marriage. Check this video for 5 reliable steps to get the help you need to restore your relationship and get back on track.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Reasons for Divorce and Recollections of Premarital Intervention: Implications for Improving Relationship Education
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012696/
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