Save Your Marriage Tips

Read these 68 Save Your Marriage Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Marriage tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can we achive a deeper level of intimacy in our marriage?

Achieving Intimacy

Achieving is a demanding activity and as such should require our greatest efforts. Below is a short list of what you can do to achieve deeper intimacy in your relationships.

1) Expect to get close to each other
2) Serve one another
3) Avoid hurting each other in any way
4) Be honest with each other
5) Make yourself the best person you can so that your spouse will want to be with you
6) Be the last person to give up on your marriage (unless you are being abused or hurt by your spouse)
7) Be positive
8) Compliment your spouse
9) Read this list on a regular basis and make a game plan of how you can do everything on this list.
10) Evaluate the outcome of doing these things in your marriage.

   
How can I prevent getting a divorce?

Avoid Marital Suicide

At some point in most marital relationships one or both partners question whether they made the right choice in a partner or not. In many cases the stress is high in the relationship and an individual or both partners begin to feel that the best option is to end their relationship and get a divorce (what I have termed marital suicide). In far too many cases these couples haven't been married very long and they are dealing with the initial pains and trials of marriage. Unfortunately, what these couples do not realize is that their relationship pains will NOT go away by getting a divorce. They will surface in a new relationship. Consequently, if a couple can survive the initial pains and trials in their marriage they can find the happiness and success they long for. Below are some suggestions to help you survive the initial pains.

a) Listen to each other. Seriously try understanding your partner's pains and trials.
b) Take responsibility and stop doing the things you do that bothers or hurts your spouse.
c) Be kind and show empathy toward your spouse. If they don't reciprocate show more love.
d) Don't criticize your spouse. Criticism will ruin a marriage. Recognize that your spouse won't be perfect.
e) Find ways to serve your spouse even if you don't want to. In serving your spouse you might rekindle some of the feelings you felt for each other while you were dating or earlier in your marriage.
f) Search within yourself and remember the deep feelings of love you once had for your spouse.

Good luck! Marital suicide can be prevented.

   
How can I seek forgiveness from my spouse?

Forgiveness Part I

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part I:

Forgive me for not always being your friend. Forgive me for the times I wasn't someone you could talk to when you just needed someone to listen. I'm sorry I wasn't there to listen without criticizing or judging you or what you had to say. Forgive me for the times I wasn't someone you could relax and laugh with. I remember that during our courtship we talked and laughed for hours. Sometimes it was on the phone, or while we were driving. Those were the times when we wanted to be with each other above all else. Sometimes we were very good friends. Forgive me for those times I have not made the effort to be your friend.

   
Does bringing up past issues hurt a marriage?

Avoid Gunnysacking

Gunnysacking is a term for storing past grievances and bringing them up everytime you try to resolve the problem at hand. Gunnysacking often raises additional problems and keeps couples from dealing with the current issues. Bringing up past issues will create an environment in which neither spouse will want to resolve any problem because they will fear bringing up the past.

   
What are few ideas that can help my spouse and I spend time together?

Time Together

Successful couples find time for each other. Many couples plan a night out together to build their relationship. This takes effort, but the rewards are worth it. You don't even have to spend money on your one night a week excursion. A walk in the park or a trip to look at the stars can do wonders for a relationship.

   
What are some things to not do in marriage?

Forgiveness Part VI

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part VI:

Forgive me for the times I have been selfish. I'm sorry for all the times I satisfied my needs in ways that interfered with the satisfaction of your needs. I apologize for needing to be right even when I knew I was wrong. How frustrated and discouraged you must have felt when you tried to express your opinions, feelings, and needs, and I didn't hear you. Even more important, forgive me for the times I believed I was superior--more intelligent, more courageous, or more sophisticated than you. When I put myself above you in my mind I disqualified your ideas and suggestions, and I acted as if you were not worthy of my love. I can now more fully understand that we are truly equals in the eyes of God, and that this is how we should see each other as well. Please forgive me for my pride and my self-interest at your expense.

   
What can we do to make our marriage better?

What Are YOU Doing?

What are YOU doing to make your marriage better? Marriage requires that we serve one another. Below are a few questions to help you assess what you are or aren't doing in your marriage.

Are you
1) spending time with your spouse?
2) laughing with your spouse?
3) complimenting your spouse?
4) serving your spouse?
5) being honest with your spouse?
6) showing your spouse how much you love them?
7) committed to listening to your spouse?
8) willing to sacrifice personal wants to help your spouse (i.e.--men doing dishes, cleaning the house; women--mow the lawn, wash the car)?
9) complimenting your spouse?
10)take the time to help your spouse enjoy sex?

   
How can I avoid taking my relationship for granted?

Take Nothing For Granted

Never take your relationship for granted. The only way to ensure that your partner will be with you forever is to live each day as if it was your first day together.

   
Can I make my spouse love me?

Are You Doing All The Work: Part I

Do you find yourself doing everything you can to save your marriage? Do you feel like your spouse is contributing as much to the marriage as an old broken down car? If so, consider the following idea on how you can survive.

First, don't take all of the load on yourself. If your spouse is not going to help save the marriage you are working too hard. You can try and try, but until your spouse shows some effort you will continue to feel devalued and unloved. Until effort is shown by TWO people there isn't much you can do except create an environment where your spouse doesn't feel attacked when you ask them to make some effort to save your marriage.

My suggestion for those who are carrying all of the load is to realize that you cannot make someone love you. The only thing you can control is how you treat them. Treat them with respect and dignity and expect the same in return.

   
How can I better show appreciation for my spouse?

Forgiveness Part III

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part III:

Forgive me for not showing my appreciation. Forgive me for the times I've taken your countless contributions--your gifts of time, effort, and concern--for granted. I sometimes wonder how many times your service and acts of devotion have gone unnoticed. I suppose there have even been times when I thought they were merely your "duty," part of your marital responsibilities. It's true that there are obligations that go with marriage, but it still might have helped if I had expressed my appreciation more often. You might have felt more that you wanted to do these things, rather than that you had to do them. I apologize for the times you had hoped I would notice and were disappointed.

   
How can we assess the strengths we have in our marriage?

Marital Strengths

What are the strengths in your marriage? For a fun activity, consider listing them and discussing them with your spouse.

   
How can I ask forgiveness from my spouse?

Forgiveness Part II

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part II:

Forgive me for not placing you as my number one priority in life. I can remember times when I allowed my parents, friends, hobbies, job, sports, or even church responsibilities to become more important to me than your happiness and welfare. My intentions were honorable, but the hurt you felt was nonetheless real. I know your image of yourself must have suffered when you saw everything else in my life coming first. I do want you to know, however, that there have been times when I did make you my top priority--times when I considered your feelings first when making a decision. I may not have always decided in your favor, but at least I considered your feelings. Being as sensitive as you are, you were probably quite aware of those times and of the place you held in my life. Please forgive me for the times your place was not first.

   
Can some friction help a marriage?

Getting to the Real Problem

During disagreements we sometimes feel like we are being attacked by our partner. When this occurs we often stop listening and prepare in our minds what we want to say back. When the discussion turns into a "you hurt me, I'll hurt you back" match we forget what the real problem is. Successful couples focus on the problem at hand and try solving it rather than hurting each other with words or actions.

   
How can I be a better spouse if I haven´t been very good in the past?

Forgiveness Part IV

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part IV:

Forgive me for not being there when you needed me. I'm sorry for waiting until you told me to do something rather than seeing and doing what was needed on my own. Sometimes I even waited too long and you did it yourself. Forgive me for the times you needed your load lightened and did nothing in your behalf. I was probably preoccupied, but that's no excuse for being inconsiderate. Maybe I saw you as being strong and capable, not really needing my help. But since none of us can be strong all the time, I would especially like you ask your forgiveness for the times I was not there when you needed comfort, support, and understanding.

   
How does my relationship influence my self-esteem?

A Relationship That Increases Self-Esteem

Have you ever had a big argument with your spouse and then couldn't think or focus the rest of the day or night? Whether we admit it or not marriage influences how we feel about ourselves. Therefore, it is important for us to realize that our identity and our self-esteem may change with our relationship. A relationship in which we feel valued and loved is more likely to increase our self-esteem in comparison to one in which we are constantly being attacked or put down. If you want your spouse to have high self-esteem they need to know that you value them.

   
What will impact my marriage the most?

Choice Points

In life we all make choices. Every choice has a consequences. Unfortunately, few people realize how important their small decisions really are. Below are a few choices that seem small but in reality they can impact the rest of your life.

How do you...
1) show your spouse that they are the most important part of your life?
2) spend your time?
3) uplift those who are around you?
4) solve problems? Do you solve problems with kindness and warmth or do you inflict your will upon your spouse?
5) help your spouse reach their potential?

These questions may seem like small things, but if everyone would spend as much time figuring out how to do these things as they do other so called important areas of their life we would have more happy marriages.

   
How can we nurture and develop in our relationship?

Nurturing Your Marital Relationship

Nurturing your marital relationship will bring you happiness in a way nothing else can. Here is a short list of ideas to nurture your relationship.

1) plan to do something away from your household once a week that both you and your partner enjoy
2) plan to have 15-20 minutes together each day. Make the time enjoyable
3) plan your household activities each week so you and your partner are on the same page.
4) find a way to show your spouse you love them each day.

   
How do married couples stay together?

What Keeps a Marriage Going Part 2

If you read what keeps a marriage going you found out that married couples stay together because they are best friends. Can you guess what the 2nd and 3rd reasons people gave for staying together?

Lauer and Lauer (1991) report that liking our spouse as a person is number 2 and viewing marriage as a long-term commitment is number 3. If we want to keep our marriage strong we need to like our spouse and also be commited for the long haul. I believe all marriages have significant trials but if we are commited to the relationship we will gain a deeper level of intimacy.

   
How can I avoid taking my relationship for granted?

Consistency

Consistency is a key factor that helps couples in marriages. Consistentcy in areas such as, kindness, giving, sharing thoughts and feelings, uplifting, building trust, and displaying love and affection will strengthen and deepen love in marriages. Consider each of these areas and evaluate how you are doing with each of them. If you aren't doing too well, work at being better and more consistent.

   
Do yo have some suggests that might save our marriage?

The Value of Mutual Interests

Couples that stay together find ways to share their interests. They may read a book or play a game. Or they may both enjoy the opera. No matter how much effort it takes, find something that you can do with your spouse. For some couples it is dinner out and a movie. For others it is gardening. Mutual interests link us together and create memories that can last for years.

   
What are some steps for healing old wounds?

Steps for Healing in Marriage

The process of healing from old wounds in a marriage requires certain elements to be present. Dr.'s Lewis and Gossett in their book, "Disarming the Past" suggest the following steps to help the healing begin.

1st) Process of confiding--we must learn to confide in each other.
2nd) Create an environment of empathy, warmth, and genuinenss-- These are common principles that must exist in all marriages.
3rd) Be sensitive to our spouses feelings-- Sensitivity is critical for gaining trust from our spouse.
4th) React with honesty and affection--When we show our spouse that they can trust us and that we care about them (affection), they learn that they can share who they are with us. This ultimately leads to healing hurts from the past.

   
What should love be like in marriage?

Remember Love

Remember love should be something where forever doesn't seem long enough, divorce doesn't exist and life is better because of that person.

   
What can I do if I have broken my promises to my spouse?

Forgiveness Part IX

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part IX:

Forgive me for not helping you to reach a greater level of spirituality. I apologize for the times when I didn't enhance, or even encourage, greater spirituality in our home. I regret the times my anger, depression, or resentment detracted from your level of spirituality. Forgive me for having offended you--intentionally or otherwise. If there has been anything that I have said or done that has discouraged your faith or diminished your beliefs, I ask for your forgiveness.

   
How can I please my spouse?

How to Please Your Spouse

If you want to really please your spouse, especially you men, ask your partner what you can do to make your marriage better. After you pick them up off of the floor, try doing what they ask you to do.

   
What things hurt a marriage?

Uproot Selfishness

While most of society focuses on the idea that money or sexual problems are the top reasons for couples divorcing, few realize that both of these problems and many other problems could be resolved by getting rid of selfish ideas. By nature, marriage success takes time and sacrifice. The opposite of taking time and sacrifice is selfishness. When individuals in a marriage become selfish they begin thinking more of themself and their own needs and they forget their partners needs. They begin seeing their own needs as being more important than anything else. Get rid of selfishness and your marriage will be more likely to last.

   
How can marriage help me heal from my past?

How Marriage Can Heal Old Wounds

Marriage offers individuals great opportunity to heal wounds from their past. What better training ground do we have than a marriage to heal our hurts from the past. Marriage allows us to learn to trust, to share, to give, and to develop a deep form of intimacy that is fulfilling.

In Jerry Lewis and John Gossett's book "Disarming the Past" they write, "Since no partner can always be sensitive to your needs and fears, the healing process is one of experimentation, improvement, failure, retreat, further experimentation, and more improvement, and on and on.

Healing from past hurt takes time, but it can be more rewarding than ever once we realize someone can love us and we can love them back.

   
How does marriage impact my self-esteem?

Up's and Down's of Self-Esteem in Marriage

Marriage has a way of building our self-esteem and also lowering our self-esteem. Dr.'s Lewis and Gossett(1994) suggest that, "A relationship should assist both partners in their individual efforts to maintain a positive level of self-esteem, and it should help them recover from inevitable disappointments and failures without suffering a long-lasting negative impact. It should also help regulate excesses of self-esteem, when a partner's positive feelings about himself or herself are beginning to shade into unrealistic gradiosity."

Marriage can be the great equalizer that helps our self-esteem stay in check.

   
Does marriage really matter?

Why Marriage Matters

History shows that marriage has been an important part of society for many centuries. In fact, once couples made the commitment of marriage it was uncommon for divorce or separation to occur. Now times have changed, society has changed and expectations have been altered. Many individuals marry with concerns and worries. Some people marry with the idea that marriage can be easily disregarded if it doesn't work out. Such ideas have led to apathy toward or disregard for the value of marriage. Unfortunately, many individuals and entire family units do not take the time to understand that marriage is the cornerstone of a strong culture. Marriage does matter to individuals and all of society. When a marriage ends individuals suffer and all of society pays the price. Because marriage matters to all of society, we have to learn how to treat each other in order to make marriage worth our time and efforts. We must learn to serve and love each other so our children will realize the value of marriage.

   
What can I do if I have been too critical of my spouse?

Forgiveness Part V

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part V:

Forgive me for not accepting a less-than-perfect you. I'm not sure why I expected you to be perfect when I have been willing to accept imperfection in others. Our parents were not perfect, nor are our children perfect. I accepted their imperfection as a fact of life, yet I insisted on holding you up against an ideal or fantasy of what a spouse should be. I repeatedly placed on you the responsibility for solving my problems. I gave you the job of maintaining my happiness. Apparently, I was more involved with wanting you to be perfect than I was with helping you seek improvement in your own way. Forgive me for not accepting you for who you are.

   
What are some behaviors that might create stress in marriage?

Behaviors That Create Stress in Marriage

Have you ever wondered what behaviors create stress in your marriage? Consider the following behaviors and assess whether they apply in your marriage.
Behaviors:
1) Is impatient.
2) Indifferent, remote, unconcerned, uninterested.
3) Is ungrateful.
4) Does not praise or give credit to others.
5) Has forgotten everyday courtesies.
6) Argues over every silly little thing.
7) Is lukewarm or gives half hearted efforts.

Such behaviors place a strain on marriages and should be avoided. If you have observed these behaviors in yourself or your spouse it would be wise to create a game plan to get them out of your marriage.

These ideas came from an article titled, "Agency and Love in Marriage" by Lynn G. Robbins, Ensign 2000, p. 18.

   
How can rituals improve my marriage?

Rituals That Will Last A Lifetime

Rituals help create strong marriages. Below are some rituals that can help strengthen your marriage.

1) Eat at least one meal a day together (the more the better).
2) Have a day in which you plan for upcoming events. It helps if do this at the same time and on the same day of the week.
3) Plan to go on regular dates (i.e. once a week).
4) Create fun holiday traditions (i.e. opening a gift on Christmas evening).
5) Create new rituals regularly (i.e. buying small gifts on a monthly basis for each other).

Fun and healthy rituals can save a marriage. I encourage you to sit down and evaluate rituals that you currently have in your marriage. Then consider how you can start some new ones.

   
Can some friction help a marriage?

We Never Disagree!

Have you ever wondered about people who say that they never disagree. Do you think they are normal? NOT! We are going to have our disagreements. However, couples who make it through disagreements are the ones that learn that you can learn to agree to disagree. They also learn that personal attacks or criticism of character are daggers to a marriage.

   
How can others help our marriage?

Connect with Others

Couples that stay together need social support. This support can come from family and friends. Family reunions or get togethers tie us together. Knowing and understanding each others relatives helps couples connect in deeper ways. They learn more about family history and family quirks. Connecting with friends can do the same, especially if friends share the same values. We need to connect beyond our relationships to a greater community.

   
Do you have any good suggestions for helping us deal with stress?

Coping With Stress In The Marriage

Strong families learn to employ many strategies when coping with stress and problems. Below is a list of coping strategies.

1) draw on family resources
2) find social support, spiritual support, and professional support
3) define the problem at hand and tackle it together
4) view the problem as something that can be overcome
4) don't be afraid to ask others for hlep

   
What can I do to spice up my marriage?

A Few Date Ideas

Do you think dating and marriage is an oxymoron? If so this tip is for you. Below are a few ideas to help you and your spouse spend more time together.

Short activities--
*go for a walk
*make dinner together
*play a game with just the two of you (checkers or twixt is my favorite with my wife).

Longer actitivies--
*go for a drive together
*go to a park and have a picnic
*find a place where you can read a book together

Super activities--
*go on a second honeymoon (you might consider going the same place you went on your first honeymoon)
*plan a trip together that both of you can look forward to.

Doing these things doesn't necessarily save a marriage, but doing the small and big things does tell your spouse that you care enough to be with them. A good marriage doesn't exist without effort.

   
How can rituals help our marriage?

Create Stories Together

Do you remember our first date? How you played like you weren't interested in me? Or how about the time you fell in the pond while I was taking your picture. Such fun stories are fun to tell over and over. Couples that enjoy each other create and tell stories that are passed down to their children. These stories can be told around the dinner table or at intimate moments. Stories have a way of linking us together as pleasant memories are shared.

   
Why are marriages falling apart?

Who Is The Enemy In Marriages Anyway?

In her book, 'The Shelter of Each Other" Mary Phipher said, "Today families are much more confused about who the enemy is. They tend to focus on internal problems, such as family tensions and individual flaws of family members. They are less clear about their external enemies, such as an unfair economic system, an alcohol- and drug-soaked society, crime and the fear that comes with it, junk media and the pressures of consumerism. It's harder to fight an enemy that isn't properly identified. When the external enemy is confusing, the family doesn't unite but rather blames itself, and falls apart from within.

   
What can I do if I have broken my promises to my spouse?

Forgiveness Part VIII

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part VIII:

Forgive me for neglecting your hopes and dreams. I probably will never fully appreciate the sacrifices you made to marry me. I know that you have had some of your dreams since childhood; there were places you wanted to see, things you wanted to do, and goals you wanted to achieve. Granted, some of them have been fulfilled, but some dreams still cause you to pause and think a moment before you dismiss them with a sigh and a shrug. Forgive me for the times when I have not considered your hopes and dreams to be as important as my own.

   
How does time outs work during arguments?

Time Outs

When a heated discussion is going nowhere, call for a time-out. Even boxing matches have rounds. Set an alarm to let you know when an hour is up, and during that time go for a run, bake a cake, watch TV. Just calm down and get your mind off of it, until the hour is up, and the two of you can resume.

   
How can we get over issues from our past?

Do Some Marital Spring Cleaning

It is tradition in many homes to do some spring cleaning. We clean our yards, windows, garages, and inside our homes too. I wonder if we can do the same thing in our marriages. We could work on our communication skills, show more affection, do more kind deeds, pay each other more compliments, and apologize for anything we have done to hurt our spouse. What do you think? Anyone want some relationship detergent? I hear a sincere apology with extra kindness can get out almost any stain.

   
How can I make my marriage last?

A Smile

Can you look at your spouse and give them a smile and tell them how much you love them? I often observe couples who are struggling in their marriage. This isn't an easy thing for them due to their marital problems. If you want to assess the strength of your marriage or if you want to strengthen your marriage, I suggest that you get to the point where you can look into your spouses eyes and let them know that you love them. That should create a smile in them and you.

   
Is it possible to fight fairly in a marriage?

Fighting Fair

Learning to fight fair will save your marriage. Most couples have learned how to fight (below the belt). They have learned to fight by yelling, screaming, putting someone down, hitting, throwing things, etc. This type of fighting simply doesn't work. In fact it ruins relationships. Fighting fair requires the following components.

1st) Avoid doing each of the things listed above.
2nd) Stay focused on one issue at a time.
3rd) Give your partner agency to not solve the problem right now (set up a later time if necessary, but make sure you agree on a time to solve the problem).
4th) Don't just listen to what your partner is saying. Try to understand their reasons and pains.
5th) Admit to your mistakes.
6th) Have compassion and empathy for your partner.

Learning to fight fair can save your marriage.

   
Do you have any good conflict resolution skills we can use?

Conflict Resolution Skills

Couples who do well in relationships resolve conflict rather than avoid issues. However, resolving conflict doesn't mean that it has to be resolved right away. Sometimes it is best to sit back and evaluate your emotions before you discuss the issue. Once you have evaluated your emotions and you can discuss the issue without attacking your partner, try discussing the issue again.

   
What do you think about flirting with my spouse in public?

Flirting with Our Spouse

Don't be shy about flirting with your mate in front of others. It's fun, and it probably has a little something to do with what's brought you to this point. Why be shy about it now?

   
What can I do to be a better marriage partner?

Forgiveness Part VII

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part VII:

Forgive me for the promises, implied or explicit, that I have broken. I'm sure that at the time I made those promises to you I fully believed that I could keep them. Some can still be kept, while the time for others had passed. When we firt got married, I made a promise to both of us that you would never regret marrying me. Forgive me if I have given you even one momentary regret for having made that decision. I would like ot renew that promise: I promise you tomorrows that will be filled with both joy and sadness, but never with regret for having married me.

   
Can some friction help a marriage?

Friction in Marriage

Remember the saying, a gem cannot be polished without friction. Arguments can be the refining of a marriage. However, pay attention to the words you use during a fight with your mate. Eliminate those that don't say anything, such as "You're driving me up a wall," and re-phrase others. For instance, "You're breaking my back" could be changed to, "That really hurts me, and here's why."

   
What can I do if my spouse won´t spend time with me?

What can I do if my spouse won't spend time with me?

When one spouse starts spending less and less time at home or is away with friends or family many start wondering what is going on. Some become jealous, others more demanding, still others become bitter, or perhaps they too start spending less time at home. This type of marriage is common in our society. If this is occurring in your marriage consider the following questions:
a) Do I know why we aren't spending time together?
b) Is there something that I am doing that causes my spouse to not want to be with me?
c) How can I talk with my spouse and let them know that I want to spend time with him/her?
d) What can I do to create more time together with my spouse?
e) How can I show my spouse my love for them so they will know I want to spend time with them?

These questions are designed to have you think about how you can create a different and better atmosphere so your spouse will be more likely to respond to your request. Ultimately you cannot force someone to spend time with you. What you can do is create the environment so they will want to spend time with you.

   
Do you have any suggestions for helping us resolve conflict?

A Pattern For Resolving Conflict

When couples get into an argument if they begin to criticize each other they often forget what the real problem was. In order to resolve the conflict the couple should consider doing the following: 1st) take a planned break; 2nd) evaluate their own feelings; 3rd) discuss their feelings with their partner; 4th) try understanding your partner and where they are coming from; and 5th) try resolving the original problem.

   
What can I do if I have hindered my spouses spirituality?

Forgiveness Part X

Dr. Bernard Poduska has written about 10 areas in which we could ask for forgiveness from our spouse. I firmly believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities we can develop in our life.

Forgiveness Part X:

Forgive me for not forgiving you. Forgive me for the times I harbored resentments and used those feelings as an excuse to distance myself from you. I'm sorry I sometimes wanted to and tried to get even. I realize now that forgiveness means letting go of all desire for revenge. The Lord admonished us to forgive one another, "...for he that forgiveth not his brethern his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I ask for your forgiveness as I forgive you.

   
How can we save our marriage?

Time Shelters Families (couples)

Dr. Mary Phipher has said, "Good cooking takes time." Healthy marriages take time. Healthy families take time. There are a variety of ways to protect time--

1st)Limiting the activities of family members, having one day of the week be a family day.

2nd) Family rituals can also protect our time together. Morning and evening meals together helps us spend time together.

3rd) Working together on projects protects your time together-- doing the dishes, cleaning the storage room, or planting a garden are all ideas that can help us spend time together.

4th) Routines protect time-- this includes eating at th same time, or playing a game together at the same time. In marriage it can be reading a book together at the same time.

   
What keeps a marriage going?

Keeping Your Marriage Going

Have you ever wondered what keeps a marriage going? In 1991, Lauer and Lauer published a report suggesting that when our spouse is our best friend we are more likely to stay married. Their report was based upon self reports. I have a question for readers. How do you make your spouse your best friend? What do you do to keep them your best friend? I would like your feedback on this issue. You can email me at marriageguru@lifetips.com

   
Do you have any examples of how others survived problems in marriage?

Help? What Is Happening To Us?

Sometimes couples get into marital situations that they don't know how to resolve. One thing goes wrong and it is followed by another thing, and another, and another. These times seem impossible to overcome. Recently, I received an email from someone who shared this experience with me.

"We've been married 29 years. During those years we have gone through the death of 2 brothers, severe illnessess and disabilities, unemployment, 11 miscarriages, the disappearance of our child and guardianship/adoption of two babies! WE are stronger and more in love today, then when we first got married! What didn't kill us and our marriage, made us stronger."

This may be an extreme case, but we can all learn from it. We can survive marital hardships. It is possible!

   
Can therapy help my marriage?

Therapy

I have found that many couples do not come to therapy until their marriage is in a very precarious situation. I believe one way to solve that problem is for couples to go into counseling periodically. Many couples could benefit from a check-up every once in a while. I believe therapy would be helpful in situations in which couples are unable to solve a disagreement, if one spouse is struggling from depression, if a spouse is suffering from a chronic illness, if a couple is looking for ideas on how to improve their marriage. Consider the impact of four sessions of therapy (average cost $400) to a divorce (something that lasts a lifetime and costs lots of money).

There are good therapists in every state. I personally recommend finding a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). Marriage and Family Therapists are trained specifically in helping couples and families. You can find a MFT at www.aamft.org

   
What is a good conflict resolution strategy?

Strategies for Resolving Conflict

Resolving conflict in marriage can bring intimacy back into the relationship. If you cannot seem to break your conflictual patterns you should try doing something new such as taking a time-out if your arguments start getting too heated. During the time- out you could evaluate what you can do to break the pattern instead of trying to find a way to make your partner see your point of view.

   
What are the things that should matter most in our marriage?

When All is Said and Done

When all is said and done what matters the most in this life? This tip is an invitation to have you consider the things that matter most to you in your life. It might be a good thing to write down the five most important things in your life. Then evaluate how much time you spend on each of those items each day, each week, and each month. You might be surprised how much time you spend on things that matter the least to you. When all is said and done in this life, what do you want to remember the most?

   
Is marriage a 50/50 thing?

The Gift of Love

know that love is a gift...a give-give thing, not a give -take thing, it's 50-50, a partnership, equals

   
How can rituals help our marriage?

Rituals to the Rescue

Rituals can save a marriage. Couples that find rituals to please each other find a deeper satisfaction in each other. Rituals can be simplistic like going for a walk in the summer or lugging the children to Yellowstone Park each summer. Some couples have a ritual where they have second, third, and fourth honeymoons. Rituals can be simplistic in nature but profound in meaning as you learn to enjoy each other.

   
How can we identify the source of our conflict?

Identifying the Source of the Conflict

Resolving conflict requires your to identify the real source of the conflict. Couples must address the following questions. "What are they really quarreling about? and "What is the real source of our disagreement?" When these issues are not addressed the couple will dance around the problem until they are willing to tackle the real issue.

   
Where can I find help for my marriage online?

Where Can I Find Help For My Marriage Online?

If you like getting advice online there are sites that provide help to individuals, couples, and families online. For example, Exp.com has professional counselors who do therapy online or over the phone. Some charge for their services others don't. Another site, Askme.com has people who offer advice for free. Some experts on this site are good, while others are not so good, but you can choose which experts you want to answer your question.

   
How can I please my spouse?

What Makes a Marriage Last?

Have you ever wondered what makes marriages last? Before you read on take some time and list at least five things that you believe make marriages last. If you haven't written down five things don't read on…if you have ask yourself if you are doing them in your marriage. My list includes: integrity, demonstration of affection, showing our spouse they are important to us, listening with sincere intent to their desires, and commitment.

   
Where can I find some online help with my marriage?

Did you Know?

Did you know that you can ask me a question anytime regarding marriage issues. I will try to respond to any questions you have in a timely fashion. If your question requires more in-depth discussion I can also provide you some ideas for where you might get personal help. Feel free to ask any question.

   
Where can I find help for my marriage online?

Reliable Online Help

Many people looking for individual or marital help online wonder whether they are getting good and reliable help. This tip will offer you a few suggestions to help you in getting the best help you can online. First, make sure that the site you are using has licensed therapists. Most sites will verify their therapists credentials and then post this verification (i.e. exp.com). Second, ask a few questions of the therapist before you hire them. Things you might ask include: a) where are they licensed; b) how long have they been practicing; 3) do they have experience in treating your specific problem; and 4)what level of education have they received? Anyone who is online charging money should have at least a master's degree. Third, look at the therapists ratings. How have other indivduals rated this client? These suggestions may help you get better assistance if you are looking for marital help online or other individual help. Good luck!

   
How can I look at my marriage in a different way?

Gaining the Long Term Perspective

As we get caught up in everyday life events we sometimes forget to step back and get the long term perspective of the commitment we made when we married. Often the frustration of the moment causes us to get upset and angry and say things that we later regret. If we can step back during those moments and think of the long term consequences and long term benefits of bitting your tongue, we will find our greatest success comes from saying nothing at all (when angry) and discussing any problems when we are calm.

   
Do you have some success stories to share with others?

What I Learned on a Flight Home

Normally when I tell people that I am a Marriage and Family Therapist people tell me about a family member who has had a problem or they tell me about a problem they have had. Recently, I was on an airplane and the gentleman sitting next to me asked my profession. I was hesitant at first, but then I told him. For the next hour I heard about a wonderful man and his family. It was a first for me to sit back and learn about how this man and his family have made it through trials by sticking together. I appreciated this man for sharing part of his success with me. If you have a success story I would love to hear it.

   
How can I make my marriage last?

Creating Healthy Rituals

One of the most powerful ways for couples to strengthen their marriage is through rituals. Rituals create memories that couples carry with them throughout the years. Rituals are Christmas traditions, anniversary traditions, and other events such as walking, going on a date once a week and other events that are done on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.). Marriages in which rituals are present are more likely to stay in tact. I suggest that couples spend time developing rituals that will strengthen their marriage.

   
How can my beliefs hurt my marriage?

Beliefs That Hurt Marriages

We all have the solutions to our own problems within ourselves. Finding those solutions comes from personal evaluation of our beliefs and actions. If we want to succeed in relationships we must understand our beliefs about intimacy and closeness. Our actions will fall into place once we deal with our beliefs that are hurting the relationship.

   
What can we do to improve our marital relationship?

Marriage Education

Are you ready to make your marriage better? Are you willing to spend as much time on your marriage as you do in other areas of your life? There are many programs that can help you increase your marital relationship satisfaction. Below I have listed some of the best programs to help couples improve their marital relationship.

1) The PREP approach to fighting for your marriage. This company has spent over 20 years learning what couples can do to improve their marriage and relationships. For more information see www.prepinc.com

2)Another company that helps couples assess their relationship issues is Life Innovations. You can find more information about this company at www.lifeinnovations.com--this company has an inventory to help couples assess their relationship. They offer couples a good inventory to help the couples discuss their relationship.

3) REFOCUS is another inventory for married couples. This inventory allows couples to assess their relationship. You can get REFOCUS from your local clergy or you can call (402) 551-9903 for more information.

There are other programs that also work to help couples develop healthy relationship skills, but these three have good and credible research to support their programs.

   
Do you have any good stories about marriage?

Creating Memories That Last a Lifetime

A friend shared this story with me.

Growing up my husbands family never celebrated the holidays, to the point where my husband spent the Thanksgiving before we met sitting in his room eating a Swanson Turkey dinner. The only Christmas decorations in his home were the ones he put up in his own room. There were no gifts, not for as long as he can remember, probably since he was about 11. In my family on the other hand we celebrate every holiday with our extended family and with many decorations and a lot of happiness and laughter. I decided it was important for me to give him some happy holiday memories. Our first Christmas together was a flop. I was pregnant with our daughter and moody and miserable and we were broke we tried to make the best of it however and he said he enjoyed every minute of it. I however was depressed and unhappy because I couldn't do more for him. This past Christmas I was determined that I would make it the most spectacular holiday ever for him. I started saving for Christmas in June. His favorite part of the entire holiday season is shopping for our three kids so I decided he was going to spend every dime he cared to! I found out I was pregnant with our fourth child in July and had to quit my job so there went my savings plan! As the holidays got closer I started to get sadder and sadder that yet another year would go by without my making his holidays spectacular. As it got to be December we started our shopping with pitifully little to spend on the kids. I decided to make up for it by going on a baking and decorating frenzy. He got caught up in it too and I felt a little better. It wasn't the same shopping frenzy I planned to let him indulge in but I felt that the family time we were spending was more important and so did he. Finally Christmas Eve arrived. We spent half the night wrapping and talking and I told him how bad I felt that so many presents he wanted to get the children couldn't be bought. He assured me that it didn't matter that someday we would have the money to spoil them rotten the way he wants to. He said the non purchased memories were even better. We went to bed that night and I was still feeling a little sad knowing that his faverite hope, that of seeing their faces light up looking on a flood of presents would be denied again. In the morning we woke to the kids squealing and giggling for us to get up. We got up and made our way to the living room and when I got there I was shocked! The entire room was filled with packages. We could hardly walk through to the couch. I turned to Tom and he was grinning from ear to ear. He just looked at me and smiled and said you aren't the only one who can hide away money for a rainy day. That night after all the visiting and assembling we sat in the middle of our trashed living room and talked about the day. I asked him why he didn't tell me and he said that the money and the presents were nice but that this holiday was made better by all the loving and baking and decorating we did and he wanted this to be a surprise for me as well as the children to say thank you for giving him the best holiday memory ever.

   
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Patricia Walters-Fischer