Note: I wish I could guarantee results, but success depends on many
factors. Do the best you can, and let's hope you have success.

Reasons to Save and Improve Your Marriage
© 1998 Dick Wulf, MSW, LCSW

Spouses and partners can gain a lot
through the process of making the relationship work.


Research 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.



Spouses and partners can gain a lot through the process of making the relationship work.

Don't continue the relationship as it is now.

Not 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 strong indeed!

But 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.

You can do it if you really treasure the relationship. It may take a bit of doing, but it will be worth it.


Note:  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 discuss options.

Part One


1.   You once were in love. That was but a shadow of what it can be like if you do love and marriage right.

2.   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 work out.

3.   Statistics are against the next relationship being successful. 50% of first marriages fail. And the percentage is higher for subsequent marriages.

4.   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.

LOSS #1: You will lose a lot of time with your children.

You 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.

LOSS #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.

LOSS #3: You will lose self-respect if you haven't tried hard to save the relationship.

LOSS #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.

LOSS #6: You will lose half of what you own.

LOSS #7: You will lose all those in-laws you have come to love and are a part of your present support system.

LOSS #8: You will lose many friends who will be too uncomfortable to continue the friendship.

LOSS #9: You will lose someone to be with you when life gets difficult, especially when you grow old.

LOSS #10: You will lose the joy of all the good memories. They seem to have to go to go on with life.

LOSS #11: If the present relationship is not seriously destructive, you may lose a sense of security and personal confidence.



LOSS #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 easy.

LOSS #2: They will have to spend energy not taking sides.

LOSS #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.

LOSS #4:  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.

LOSS #5:  In many cases, they will lose a lot of family friends upon whom they have relied in the past.

LOSS #6:  They will lose a haven to return to if you were to pull the marriage together into a real helpful relationship.

YOUR CHILDREN ARE PLACED AT HIGH RISK for school dropout, criminal behavior, out of wedlock pregnancies, etc.

YOUR 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.

YOUR FRIENDS lose your friendship in almost all cases.

Your church, club, or other social group loses your membership together. One of you might stay on, but it will never be the same.

Your neighborhood loses a stabilizing influence.

Your 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.

ALL 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.

Part Two


1.   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.

2.   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.

3.   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.

4.   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").

5.   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 overcomers.

6.   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.

7.   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.

8.   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.

9.   Take the rough edges off of your relationship so that you can realize more and more enjoyment from life.

10. Finish life with an enormous sense of success and victory rather than defeat and regret.

11. You will make better decisions together and even save some money as a result.

12. You will get to keep all of the good things listed as losses previously and have them in more abundance.



© 2010 Dick Wulf and hope2help.com