Talk to an expert from Relationship Hero for personalized relationship advice

23 Ways To Save A Marriage That Is Falling Apart

Disclosure: this page may contain affiliate links to select partners. We receive a commission should you choose to make a purchase after clicking on them. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Get expert help saving a marriage that is falling apart…before it’s too late. Click here to chat online to someone right now.

By acting now and putting the right sort of work in, you can save your marriage from falling apart completely.

And the fact that you have found your way to this article shows that you still want your marriage to work.

When you’ve made a vow to someone to spend the rest of your life with them, you owe it to the both of you to give your marriage every chance of succeeding.

And listen, that sort of commitment is not to be underestimated. Most marriages will hit some bumps in the road, and no matter how much you love each other, you’ll need more than love to keep things going.

You’ll need to figure out ways to resolve the issues that exist between you so that you can live together in relative harmony rather than being in a state of constant agitation with one another.

If you’re feeling at a loss but need some help trying to save a relationship that you truly care about, then read on for some practical tips you can follow.

1. Recognize that it’s not all about them. You must make some changes too.

It’s easy to put the blame on everything and everyone else when your relationship starts taking a turn for the worse.

You might think that it’s just down to your partner that your marriage seems to be failing, but are you sure it’s your partner and not you too, who needs to make some changes?

Yes, there might be things your partner needs to work on in your eyes if you want to save your marriage. But you must consider the situation from their perspective too.

You may disagree with them, but ultimately a marriage is made up of two people, and just because it’s not your perspective, it doesn’t make your partner’s feelings any less important or valid than your own.

If you are expecting them to work on themselves to save your marriage, then you should be prepared to work on yourself too if you’re genuinely willing to try anything to make your marriage work.

It’s healthy to keep checking in on yourself and the part you play in your relationship. We are not perfect, and it’s easy to slip into habits and routines that could be adding to the tension between you and your partner without you even realizing.

If you want to save your marriage, you have to put in as much effort as you expect to see from your other half. Only if you’re both prepared to go the distance can you salvage a fair and respectful relationship.

2. Decide to live in the present.

Do you find yourself distracted thinking about past events in your relationship or worrying about its future? If so, you need to start paying more attention to the present.

Imagining obstacles in your future, or focusing on a difficult time you’ve been through, will only cause you to concentrate on scenarios out of your control that will put you in a negative mindset when it comes to your marriage.

As much as you might want to, you can’t predict the future, and you can’t change the past. If either of these timelines are what’s bringing angst into your relationship now, then you have to let them go.

If you say you’ve moved on from a past mistake your partner made, then you need to commit to moving on and not dragging past arguments into the present. Equally, if you don’t know how the future will play out, then you must let go of trying to control something that can’t be predicted.

Focus on what is within your ability to change and make better, and that’s the present. Start taking an interest in who your partner is right now, begin enjoying life for exactly what it is. Stop ignoring everything you have right in front of you and give it the real-time attention it deserves before it’s too late.

3. Think carefully about what it is you need from your partner.

Even if there is something in your relationship that seems obvious that both you and your partner need to work on, it’s always worth talking about it together. Never assume that your partner understands what you need from them unless you’ve talked about it first.

Even if you think one thing, your partner may be approaching the situation from a completely different point of view. They may not prioritize the same things as you do when it comes to saving your marriage.

Have you been vague about the changes you want your partner to make? Don’t expect them to make an effort if you haven’t spoken about what exactly you want to see from them. If you know that something has to change but you can’t articulate it yourself, then how can you expect your partner to know what to do to make you happy?

Think about some actionable changes to your partner’s behavior that they can easily put into practice that you feel will help your relationship get back into a positive place. Have a conversation to see how they feel about your ideas and be clear about what it is you need to see from them and why.

If you want this marriage to work, then you need to be a team. Neither of you should expect the other to put in all the effort, and you must be willing to help each other if you want to get back to a positive place in your marriage.

4. Keep a check on your expectations.

Are you really giving your marriage a chance?

Have you ever wondered if the expectations you have of your spouse are too high to meet?

Both of you are only human, and if you are comparing your marriage against a fairytale romance and wondering why it’s not looking the same, that’s because one is real life and the other is not.

You deserve to have the best relationship possible and to be happy, but before you end the relationship you have, think about the expectations you’re asking your spouse to live up to and if they’re fair.

There will always be elements to work on in a relationship, but if you’re expecting your partner to be someone they’re not, because that’s what you think your relationship should look like, then you’re setting them up to fail.

Every relationship is unique and if you’re comparing yours too closely to someone else’s and blaming your partner for why it doesn’t look the same, then it’s never going to work.

Concentrate on the spouse and relationship you have and think about obtainable changes you can work on together to save your marriage. Be willing to rethink some of your own expectations as much as you expect your partner to meet them. Relationships aren’t a fairytale, but they can have a happily ever after if you’re willing to compromise.

5. Take your relationship back to basics.

When you’ve been together for a long time, you might be feeling as though you’ve lost the intimacy and romantic spark you had at the beginning.

Over time, you’ve become too comfortable with your spouse and lost the flirty intensity of those early days of dating.

It’s totally normal to feel that your attraction to each other has changed over time. Just because you don’t have the nervous excitement of your early relationship doesn’t mean that you don’t love each other or that your marriage is falling apart.

If you’re still worried that you’re losing your connection to each other, try flirting with your spouse. It sounds simple, but it could be the catalyst you need to get back some of that sexual attraction you’re missing.

Get dressed up for a date night, organize some time away for just the two of you, or relive one of your first dates to remind you of better times and the reasons that you wanted to be together in the first place.

There’s always room for fun and romance no matter how long you’ve been together, and it’s making the effort to prioritize these little moments that can have the biggest impact.

6. Start taking an interest in your partner again.

If you feel like your marriage is falling apart, have you considered how much time and attention you actually give to your spouse?

Rather than focusing on big issues you think you need to solve to make your relationship work, start by thinking about small changes you could put in place that could bring you closer together again.

Simply taking more of an interest in your partner is one of those simple, but effective changes that could make all the difference to the closeness you share.

There’s always time to ask your partner how their day was, organize dates together, try activities that you know they enjoy, or just have a conversation with them about their friends or hobbies.

It shows you care about their happiness and value every part that makes them who they are. By taking an interest in each other again, you’ll stop feeling as though you are drifting apart as individuals and start becoming reacquainted with all the reasons you chose to marry this person in the first place.

7. Go to couples counseling.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

Don’t struggle on your own—trying to save your marriage and failing—when there are professionals out there who are trained to help couples like you.

Going to couples counseling isn’t a sign that your marriage is about to collapse; it’s just an opportunity to speak to someone who can help you communicate with your spouse more effectively.

Trying to work out your issues on your own can be plagued with miscommunication, misunderstanding, and emotional outbursts. Having a neutral third-party mediator present who isn’t there to take a side, or even agree or disagree, could help you both get the points across that you’ve been so far unable to make.

A relationship counselor is trained to help counsel couples through whatever problems they face. You may know your relationship inside and out, but neither you nor your spouse are trained to understand each other. A counselor can teach you how to effectively communicate with your spouse.

If you really want to save your marriage then you’ll be willing to try anything, and that might just be asking for help.

Relationship Hero is a website where you can connect with a relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.

While you can try to work through this situation yourself or as a couple, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can fix. And if it is affecting your relationship and mental well-being, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people – both couples and individuals – try to muddle through and do their best to solve problems that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, speaking to a relationship expert is 100% the best way forward.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.

8. Make time for romance again.

When you’ve been together a long time, date nights and romance can take a back seat compared to the rest of life’s responsibilities.

Families, houses, pets, and work, all start taking priority in a marriage, and you can forget that your relationship needs attention too.

Prioritize bringing romance back into your marriage and remind each other of the person you fell in love with.

You don’t have to make extravagant gestures of affection to show that you care, but revisiting your favorite restaurant or surprising your partner with something they’ll love once in a while can bring back the excitement and spontaneity you had when you fell in love.

It’s never too late to fall in love all over again. Without support from the person at your side, you wouldn’t be able to give as much as you do to other areas of your life. So stop pushing your relationship to the bottom of your “to-do list” and give it the attention it deserves.

9. Make time for sex.

Along with romance, making time for sex can stop becoming a priority too.

You’re tired, you’ve come home from work late, your partner’s been working away, and the kids have kept you up. These are just some of the reasons why you might not be feeling in the mood, but if you want to save your marriage you need to find a way past them.

Sex is the time for intense intimacy that only you and your spouse share. It’s a connection and closeness that reaffirms the bond of love, familiarity, and trust you have developed.

Sexual chemistry keeps your physical attraction to each other alive and helps you feel more confident in yourself and in tune as a couple.

If you don’t have sex much anymore, then you’re missing the opportunity to physically affirm your emotional closeness. Without this intimacy, you and your spouse may drift apart.

10. Make time to have fun with each other.

Even if there are issues in your marriage that you feel you need to address, it shouldn’t be your sole focus. You don’t want to make an already difficult situation worse.

Life is full of responsibilities and negativity, but it’s the small moments of fun and laughter that make even the tough times manageable.

Avoid getting so caught up in everything that you want to fix in your relationship that you forget to enjoy the little opportunities for fun and happiness when they come.

It’s ok to laugh even if you have your struggles. Being solely focused on serious problems can put so much pressure on your relationship that you end up driving each other further away.

You want to become each other’s “happy place” again, rather than a source of angst and worry for your partner. So, when you can, take the time to lighten up, be silly, and have some fun. You may just find that life doesn’t seem so bad.

11. Work on your communication style.

The fastest way for a marriage to go downhill is a lack of communication with your partner.

Getting your point across and actually having your partner listen and take to heart how you feel is one of the most difficult aspects of building a successful marriage.

You can’t expect your partner to know how you feel or what you want them to do if you don’t tell them. Equally, you need to know the right words to use and ways to say them to help your spouse understand their real meaning.

Your partner’s way of communicating and assimilating information could be entirely different to your own. Misunderstanding and miscommunication are what can make little problems turn into big issues and cause arguments that are hard to move past.

Taking the time to work out an effective method of communication is essential if you want to save your marriage. Learning to apologize, take accountability, forgive, take a breath when you’re emotional, and be respectful to each other are all elements that you need to work on.

If you can’t seem to find a way to communicate effectively together, consider asking for help from a marriage counselor or therapist who can guide you on your way.

12. Be willing to listen and then act.

If your partner feels a certain way about your behavior, and it’s something that they have shared with you, then you must be willing to compromise, listen, and make changes for the sake of their happiness.

This marriage includes the both of you, and you have to accept that just as you have changes you’d like to see your partner make to improve things, they could have similar expectations of you.

If you are willing to stay and listen to what your partner has to say, then you have to be willing to act on it too. It’s not fair to expect your partner to change their habits for your sake and not be willing to do the same. Their thoughts and opinions are just as valid as yours.

A relationship is a two-way street. Expecting your partner to do things you wouldn’t, or to save your marriage without trying just as hard as they are, isn’t showing commitment or respect to the relationship you share.

You get out what you put into a relationship, and if you’re not willing to change for the sake of your partner, then you must deal with the consequences.

13. Take some time to work on yourself.

It doesn’t have to be something as drastic as physically taking a break from your partner, but taking some time to focus on yourself could be just what you need to save your relationship.

Even as a couple, you are still two individual people with your own needs. You can’t get the best out of your relationship if you’re not bringing the best version of yourself to it.

Over time, you might feel as though you’ve lost your identity as your own person, separate from your partner. Taking some time on your own to see your friends, enjoying your hobbies, and just doing something for yourself can help you reconnect with the part of you that you feel you’ve neglected.

Your marriage should bring out the best in who you both are, not stifle it. By prioritizing how you feel about yourself, you can better approach how you feel about your partner and your relationship.

Be ready to bring your whole self back to your marriage, and stop identifying as just one half.

14. Think about why you really want to be together.

You’re fighting to save your marriage, but do you know what you’re really fighting for?

You think you want to save it, but have you thought about what it is about your marriage that’s so important to save?

Rather than getting caught up in trying to make it work, think about the real reason you don’t want your marriage to fail.

Is it because you truly love your partner, despite any struggles you’ve had, and you genuinely don’t want to lose them from your life?

Is it because you feel like you’ve got so much shared history, you can’t give up now?

Is it because you’ve got shared responsibilities, a family, a house, and a friendship group that you want to hang on to?

Or is it, deep down, that you’re just scared of being alone?

If it’s any of these reasons, apart from that you still love your spouse, then you need to think hard about whether this marriage is the right thing for you anymore. It doesn’t matter about shared history, people depending on you, or shared responsibilities if you’re not truly happy.

You are the one who has to live through this marriage every day for the rest of your life. As much as you want it to work, you have both changed and evolved over time and you may not be as compatible as you once were.

Relationships will always have highs and lows, and you need to be solid in your love for one another to be able to get through them. If you’re not, then there’s no reason strong enough to make the relationship worth the effort it takes to keep it from falling apart.

15. Don’t give up at the first obstacle.

Saving a marriage doesn’t happen overnight.

Like any relationship, it takes constant work to keep it strong and make it last.

Most of the time, in a happy relationship, it won’t feel like work to keep it going, but there will be times when things get tough and you have to be willing to face your problems head on together.

Getting over relationship struggles isn’t always going to be easy, and if you or your partner are ready to give up at the first sign of trouble, then you won’t get far.

Working through any issues you have together may take time, patience, and perseverance, but if you love each other and you think your relationship is worth it, then you’ll make it through to the other side.

16. Make sure your partner is on the same page as you.

No matter how much you want your marriage to work, it never will if only one of you is putting in the effort.

It takes two to keep a marriage alive, and although you might think you can keep it going by taking on all the responsibility yourself, at some point, you have to question if it’s worth the effort.

You can’t shoulder the responsibility of keeping both you and your partner happy. Each of you should be equally invested in the marriage you share and that means being equally willing to put in the work to keep it fulfilling for the both of you.

You deserve a partner who wants to be with you, makes you happy, and is willing to put the work in.

Despite the issues, you both have to want your marriage to last. If your partner doesn’t seem to be putting in the effort or willing to make the changes needed to get your marriage back on track, then nothing on your part is going to be able to keep it from falling apart.

17. Be honest with each other.

It’s no good telling your spouse what you think they want to hear just to save an argument or make them feel better when it’s not really what you think.

Hiding your real emotions will only make the situation worse in the long term as your frustration and discontent continue to bubble under the surface.

Keeping your feelings to yourself means that the truth is much more likely to come out when you’re in an already emotional state, like a heated argument, and you’re much less likely to communicate how you feel in a constructive way.

Neither of you can help the other if you’re not being honest. Even if it’s difficult to hear, it’s better to tell the truth so you know where you both stand, rather than avoiding your real issues.

If you’re not happy in your marriage, then telling your partner doesn’t have to mean the end of it. It can be an opportunity to talk about how you can get your relationship back to the place you want it to be and work on saving it together.

18. Don’t make hasty decisions.

Don’t trust yourself to make life-altering decisions when you’re emotional or upset.

As frustrated or upset as your spouse has made you, or as difficult as things in your marriage seem right now, deciding to leave, or saying something you might later regret in the heat of the moment, is never a good choice.

Trying to at least take time to sleep on a decision and come back to it in a calm, rational frame of mind can help you to evaluate your feelings more clearly and lead you to react in a way that’s different to how you’d originally felt.

If you find that you still feel the same as you did, even after taking some time to think your decision over, then you know that you’re making the decision you truly want to make. But don’t make a difficult situation even worse and do something that you’ll later regret just because you were caught up in your own emotions.

19. Learn to say thank you.

Acknowledging your partner is one of the simplest ways to help rekindle that sense of affection between you.

When you think about it, how often do you thank your partner for the things they do for you every day?

Do you take it for granted that they cook, clean, and pick the kids up from school? Did you acknowledge that they had a bad day at work but still remembered to ask about your day? When was the last time you told them you are grateful for the help they give you throughout the week?

Showing appreciation for all the things your partner does to help your life and your relationship, no matter how small, will not only make them feel more valued, but also help you to remember not to take your partner for granted.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together or what you expect from each other at this point in your marriage, there is always time to show that you appreciate each other. It’s the little things that keep a relationship strong, and if you want to stop your marriage from falling apart, start by remembering why you’re thankful for it in the first place.

20. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Fixing your marriage doesn’t have to start when it’s falling apart.

Even if it seems inconsequential at the time, if there is something you can both work on to make your relationship stronger, then don’t leave it until it becomes a problem.

Developing an open line of communication between each other so you can keep checking in on how you’re both feeling is important to stamp out any little issues before they become much bigger.

It’s never too late to work on your marriage, but making a conscious effort from the start to keep talking to each other and finding ways to keep the bond between you strong can stop you from reaching the point where you feel as though everything is falling apart.

If you get back to a place where you feel happy and secure in your marriage, then don’t stop working on it there. A relationship is a marathon, not a sprint, and it takes constant attention to keep it healthy and happy for the both of you.

21. Make your relationship a priority.

Your marriage might have been the foundation of a new family or new life but it shouldn’t take a backseat to any of these things. Whatever distractions and responsibilities there are that come with being married, you should always remember that it’s the relationship you have with your partner that all of this depends on.

Your marriage isn’t something that should be ignored for the sake of everything else.

Just because you are married, doesn’t mean you should stop putting effort into your relationship. You need to give time to your relationship; it must remain a top priority.

Without the relationship between you and your spouse, everything that depends on it wouldn’t exist. There would be no home, no family gatherings, no children, or pets. Making your marriage a priority benefits not only you, but everyone else too.

22. Be willing to accept your partner’s point of view.

Just because your spouse doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

You want them to listen to you and take seriously how you feel, and you need to give your partner the same respect.

They’re not always going to have the same point of view as you, especially in arguments when you both think you’re in the right. But in a marriage, there’s not always a right way and a wrong way; you’re just two people expressing how you feel.

You must be open to listening to how your partner feels and acknowledging it even if it’s something you don’t always agree with.

You don’t have to have the same opinion or even think that your partner is justified in the way they are feeling, but you should give them the courtesy of listening to them just as you would want to be heard. You must accept the part you have played in making them feel the way they do.

Respect should always be kept at the heart of your relationship, especially during conflicts. No one wins in an argument, and there can’t be a winner and a loser in a marriage when you’re fighting for the same team.

23. Be thoughtful about how you speak to your partner.

If you approach your partner in a patronizing, argumentative, or passive-aggressive way, then you have to expect them to have a negative reaction, just like you would.

If you truly want to make a difficult situation better, then approaching your partner with a forced tone isn’t the way to start.

If you want your spouse to listen to you, then you must think about not only what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it.

Shouting across your point is only going to be met with anger and defensiveness. No one wants to be shouted or screamed at, and it’s not an effective way to make someone listen.

Talk to your partner about how you would want to be spoken to and think about what you’re saying. The more approachable you are, the more likely they are to open up and have a positive conversation rather than descending into a shouting match and making the situation worse.

You can’t take back something once it’s been said, so be mindful of your words and your tone if fixing your marriage is really what you want.

Marriage is a lifetime commitment. It’s not something to get into lightly, and it’s not something to give up on without serious consideration either.

You’ve probably heard that marriage takes work, but to have a successful relationship with the same person for the rest of your life is no simple feat.

You never know what you’re going to face as time goes on, and life might not turn out how you imagined it would when you stood together on your wedding day. Difficult situations can drive people apart and change the way they feel about each other.

In these times, remembering the commitment you made to each other to face whatever life throws at you might be the only motivation you have to give your relationship a second chance. But a second chance is worth it if you can come out the other side stronger.

Saving a marriage might not be easy, and in some cases, not even possible. But by giving it every chance to work, you can be comforted in knowing that you honored the commitment you made by doing everything you could.

It is a good idea to seek professional help from one of the experts at Relationship Hero as counseling can be highly effective in helping couples to rescue their relationship from the problems it faces – no matter how insurmountable they seem.

You may also like: