I wish I could guarantee results, but success depends on many
the best you can, and let's hope you have success.
to Save and Improve Your Marriage
Wulf, MSW, LCSW
and partners can gain a lot
through the process of making the relationship
reported in the book titled The Longevity Factor states that the study
over 80 years showed that children of divorce seem to have died, on average, 5
years earlier that children from intact families.
and partners can gain a lot through the process of making the relationship work.
Don't continue the relationship as it is now.
all relationships can and should survive. Certainly no one should stay in a dangerous
relationship or one where there is continued infidelity. But abuse can stop, and
where it does stop immediately, there is hope. And infidelity can stop dead in
its tracks also. The relationship that survives abuse and/or infidelity will be
both persons must be willing to work at being the best person he and she can be.
There is hard work in learning to solve problems, deciding to be less self-centered,
and developing the skills to be a really helpful person to the spouse or partner.
can do it if you really treasure the relationship. It may take a bit of doing,
but it will be worth it.
Part One: REASONS TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE
Two: REASONS TO IMPROVE YOUR MARRIAGE
Use this checklist as a guide to evaluate and discuss your relationship. Check
those items that apply to your situation. See if your partner is willing to work
hard to avoid the negative consequences of splitting up. However, do not stay
in a seriously abusive relationship without safeguards! If in doubt, call me to
TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE
You once were in love. That was but a shadow of what it can be like if you do
love and marriage right.
You already know a lot about each other, especially the troublesome
parts. If you start over with someone else, you will have to go through this painful
experience again to learn the troublesome parts of that new relationship. No one
is perfect, so there will most likely be pain with somebody new. Eventually, you
will arrive again at the place you are now with things to learn and problems to
Statistics are against the next relationship being successful. 50% of first marriages
fail. And the percentage is higher for subsequent marriages.
THERE ARE A LOT OF LOSSES WHEN YOU
DISSOLVE A RELATIONSHIP. If your partner will
not work on improving the relationship and changing his or her behavior, you might
have to separate or divorce, but there is always hope if you and your spouse will
try to learn new behavior and improve.
#1: You will lose a lot of time with your children.
will also lose the ease you had in relating to your children. When you share responsibilities
of raising children with an ex-spouse, there is a lot more tension in your relationship
with your children. And the kids may resist visits whenever there is tension.
You won't have the happy times with them as you can if you repair your marriage.
#2: You will lose a lot of time with your grandchildren.
Once your kids marry, you will share the grandkids with the other set of grandparents
who will get them 50% of the time available. If you separate or divorce you will
get time with them just 25% of the available time. That means you will have them
at your house for Christmas only every four years.
#3: You will lose self-respect if you haven't tried
hard to save the relationship.
#4: You will spend a whole lot of money on lawyers
for the divorce. LOSS #5: You will lose the combined income that makes life easier
and allows you to pursue the goals you have planned over the years.
#6: You will lose half of what you own.
#7: You will lose all those in-laws you have come
to love and are a part of your present support system.
#8: You will lose many friends who will be too uncomfortable
to continue the friendship.
#9: You will lose someone to be with you when life
gets difficult, especially when you grow old.
#10: You will lose the joy of all the good memories.
They seem to have to go to go on with life.
#11: If the present relationship is not seriously
destructive, you may lose a sense of security and personal confidence.
ARE MANY LOSES FOR OTHERS ALSO, NOT JUST FOR YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE.
YOUR CHILDREN LOSE
#1: They will lose a little to a lot of comfortableness
with you and their father or mother. The relationship might not be as free and
LOSS #2: They
will have to spend energy not taking sides.
#3: They will have to spend a lot more energy
being supportive of two separate parents than two parents who are together and
taking care of one another.
They will lose an example of people in trouble with each other working it out
and may unnecessarily take the easy way out by divorce as adults, which will negatively
affect your grandchildren.
In many cases, they will lose a lot of family friends upon whom they have relied
in the past.
They will lose a haven to return to if you were to pull the marriage together
into a real helpful relationship.
CHILDREN ARE PLACED AT HIGH RISK for school dropout,
criminal behavior, out of wedlock pregnancies, etc.
GRANDCHILDREN LOSE A LOT. They lose the example of
a loving, caring home with two happily married people. They need good examples
like this to model their future.
FRIENDS lose your friendship in almost all cases.
church, club, or other social group loses your membership
together. One of you might stay on, but it will never be the same.
neighborhood loses a stabilizing influence.
employer loses your flexibility to work extra because
there is someone to help with the kids. Your personal security and confidence
may fall, affecting your work.
OF THESE LOSSES ARE LISTED TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO PUT FORTH SINCERE EFFORT IF A RELATIONSHIP
WOULD BE BETTER SAVED. They are not listed to keep you in a relationship
that is is dangerous, abusive or disloyal.
TO IMPROVE YOUR MARRIAGE
You can learn a great deal in the process of improving a troubled
relationship that you probably will never, ever learn otherwise. Learning how
to get along with someone when it is difficult stretches you to superior emotional
health. You should be a far better person when the process is completed.
You can become a much more helpful person. Most of us want to be helpful.
Maybe you have not considered that marriage is actually a wonderful, challenging
opportunity to be helpful to someone who matters a lot to you. Becoming helpful
to someone with whom you now have a strained relationship will build skills beneficial
to you at work, with your children and friends, and anywhere else you might want
to be truly helpful.
In improving your marriage you will overcome struggles, problems,
thoughts, feelings and memories that all your life have ruined the happiness you
seek. In working out marital difficulties, all those other "nasties"
from past experiences will likely be faced and conquered. You will become a more
happy, capable and victorious person overall - in every area of your life.
Improve your marriage so that you can relax about life, settle
in and enjoy a relationship that is finally going well and can be there for you
for the distance ("until death do us part").
Improve your marriage to preserve a heritage for your children and
grandchildren. They will be able to look back on a family that was not fragmented
by divorce. You will give a heritage of victory. Your family will see itself as
You will set an example for your children and grandchildren. Everybody
needs role models. Parents and grandparents are among the most powerful role models
possible. What needs to be modeled is people working out problems rather than
giving up or taking the easy way out.
When you learn to solve problems rather than "get after"
one another, you teach your children and grandchildren a most valuable skill.
Solving problems is the key to a successful life.
When you learn relationship skills, you will also use them with your
children and grandchildren. This way, they learn them also. What a valuable benefit
from improving your marriage.
Take the rough edges off of your relationship so that you can
realize more and more enjoyment from life.
Finish life with an enormous sense of success and victory rather than defeat and
You will make better decisions together and even save some money as a result.
You will get to keep all of the good things listed as losses previously and have
them in more abundance.