Every marriage goes through ups and downs. But when the low phases go on for too long or become traumatic for either spouse, a divorce is often considered the easiest way out. And yet if there are a million good reasons for divorce, there are equally numerous reasons for giving your marriage another chance. So if your marriage is on the verge of breaking or you are already separated from your spouse, here are a few steps which can help you to move forward to a reconciliation.
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Get rid of negative feelings
Most couples start the other way round when they are trying to fix a tottering marriage. They begin by diagnosing what has gone wrong and end up analyzing and dissecting the relationship to death. The more they focus on clashing priorities, rising tempers and out-of-control emotions, the more they are likely to get nowhere. So if you want to give your marriage another chance, start by putting aside all negative feelings between you and your spouse. No doubt this is a tall order but you need to stop nagging and fighting first if you both are to get anywhere with your attempt at reconciliation.
Create a positive atmosphere
After months and perhaps years of marital conflict, you may have forgotten how to empathize with each other. Start out by going back to the time when you were dating and remember how you treated your partner with affection, care and consideration. Make a real attempt to feel those emotions for your spouse now. Make him or her feel special and this will make them more open to a reconciliation. At the same time awaken those qualities in you that your partner found irresistible in the beginning. If she flipped over your sense of humor, make her laugh again. If he loved watching you paint pictures or play the piano, take it up again.
Let your partner know that you want the same thing
Very often marriages come to a breaking point when partner feel that they are not being understood, valued or appreciated. Husbands may complain of lessening or absence of intimacy since wives are too busy with kids, work and friends. Wives may on the other hand feel unloved and unappreciated despite giving so much to the marriage. In such a situation you have to sit down with your spouse and reiterate that he or she is the most important person in your life and that you would want to work with them in order to improve the situation. As soon as your spouse understands that instead of looking for a confrontation, you are actually in the same team with him or her and want the same things, he or she will be much more receptive to what you have to say.
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Maintain a pleasant relationship
Once you have got your spouse to understand that you both are on the same side, go about trying to make your interactions as light and upbeat as possible. Do things which you used to enjoy when you were first dating. Develop those aspects of your personality which attracted your spouse to you in the first place. During this time, avoid talking of what went wrong with your marriage and laying the blame on your spouse. Also take things slowly and don’t demand reassurance or commitment from your spouse right now. Keep things pleasurable and positive between you two so that it leads to greater interactions and you both rediscover the highs of being with each other.
Find out what went wrong
After you have achieved a measure of reciprocity and good will in your relationship, you can proceed to fix what may have gone wrong in the marriage. Here it will be crucial to maintain an objective point and not launch into a litany of your partner’s faults. Start by finding out when and what began causing the rift between you two and why things came to such a pass that separation or even divorce became an alternative.
Look for solutions
Once you have diagnosed the problem, go about resolving it. This is the most important step if you want to bring about a reconciliation in your marriage. In order to resolve the underlying issues, remember that both of you will have to compromise on certain matters. Only when you and your spouse are willing to change certain aspects of your personality, will you be giving your marriage a fighting chance. Focus on those aspects of your own mental and emotional makeup that may have contributed to the conflict. Do you always believe that you are right in any arguments with your husband or do you take your wife for granted while canceling a ‘date night’ or missing an important occasion? Find out what you need to change about yourself and be sure to stick to those changes. Don’t tell your spouse that you are willing to be more responsible or more faithful and then half a year down the line, go back to making the same mistakes. This will make your spouse feel that you cannot be trusted and that you are not serious about saving the marriage.
Look for help
Going about reconciliation is a long, complicated process. Even after you and your spouse have decided to resolve issues, you may find there is still work to be done. In such a situation it is best to seek help from a professional marriage counselor who may be able to bring some aspect of your marriage to your attention that you may have not noticed or effectively addressed by yourselves.
Despite going about with the best of intentions and putting in lots of hard work, some marriages can be saved and some cannot. But once you both have decided to give your marriage another chance, you are half down the road. This is because both spouses first need to start wanting to save their relationship. They need to believe that their marriage is worth fighting for and only then can any positive change happen and a reconciliation take place.