On Saving a Marriage
One of the risks of saving a marriage is making things worse by following the wrong marriage advice. One of the downsides of the information age is that it’s easy to come across erroneous material on how to deal with marital issues.
Myths in particular are easily perpetuated through books, the Internet and by well-meaning but misguided people who provide dangerous marital advice.
For instance, there’s a misconception that constantly asking your partner for forgiveness is a sure way of fixing the marriage. The problem is that words alone – no matter how sincere or sorry you may be – are not concrete proof in your spouse’s eyes.
Oftentimes, this is just a knee-jerk response when someone is in the wrong. At best, it’s only a stop-gap measure which doesn’t contribute to saving a marriage in the long run.
A better alternative is to take the harder but more effective path of discussing the exact factors that caused your issues in the first place. Some people impart bad marital advice by suggesting that you focus on apologizing to your spouse.
Merely saying you’re sorry will cause you to overlook the things that led your marriage to the state it’s in.
Empathy (of your spouse’s position) also takes a backseat if you’re simply asking for another chance and not really looking at the big picture. Thus, lacking the sincerity to truly own up to your mistakes will only aggravate the situation.
Moving out of the house to give yourselves some space is another pitfall you need to avoid. You can’t save your relationship with this marriage advice - it will merely accelerate the process of permanent separation.
You see, what this really does is plant the seeds of divorce because the longer you’re apart, the more you’ll get used to the idea of living apart. In the end, a couple will find themselves in even deeper trouble with this “solution”.
Of course, there are some situations that require you to be apart for some time, but it’s important to retain the sense of living under the same roof even if the relationship is strained.
A good suggestion would be to designate certain areas that you can both occupy while other spots are only for either one of you. Also, set up a schedule which will allow you both some alone time during the day and then come home to each other later on.
It may be challenging to keep your cool during such a trying time, but this is an important part of saving a marriage. What matters is that you’re together (albeit under less than cheerful circumstances) to work on your issues.
I think that the best way to deal with most issues in a marriage is to resist falling into the temptation of reacting emotionally. Granted that it’s easy to lash out during a crisis, you shouldn’t lose sight of the general picture.
Sound marital advice dictates that you take control of your emotions and ask yourself whether your actions will alleviate OR aggravate the problem at hand. From there you’ll be able to gain a sensible, overall perspective of the situation.
Thus, don’t be so eager to take a course of action or say something in the heat of the moment. Rather, take the time for the emotions to subside and your rationality to set in.
Only then can you truly distinguish what constitutes as good or bad marriage advice.