What to do to save a failing marriage

Before I get started on today’s article, I first want to mention that not all marriages can be saved.  And not all marriages should be saved either!

If you’re being physically abused or there is serious emotional trauma going on, then this is not something I can help you with – you MUST get help from somebody who is trained to work with people in your situation. If you have children, then please get help for their sakes, if not for yours.

Ok, so if your marriage isn’t as bad as that, but you’re feeling miserable and unhappy and you just can’t communicate with your husband because every time you do, you end up fighting, then today you will be equipped with a new set of ideas which I know will help.

I’ve learned the hard way that many men are REALLY difficult to communicate with! And they’re even worse if the communication is in relation to something bad! So how can you get your husband to come to you and open up? How can you draw him closer?

Here’s a scenario of a woman I know who is having trouble in her marriage:

Lisa is a married mother of two children. She and her husband are very successful (See? It can happen to anyone!) and both work full time. Her husband speaks to her rudely, puts her down, and sometimes he verbally abuses her (sounds exactly like my first marriage!).

She is miserable. She thought that a happy marriage was all about loving each other, spending happy times together, and proudly watching their kids grow up. This is not what she’s experiencing right now!

Lisa is afraid to leave her husband because of the effect it will have on her children, plus she loves her husband and constantly thinks back to the times when things were wonderful between them. Even now, she sees glimpses of those times, although they’re brief. So she hangs onto these times, but he unfortunately reverts back to his insulting and upsetting ways before long.

Does this scenario sound familar? It does to me!

So what should Lisa do?

The very first thing Lisa should do is to understand that staying in an unhappy marriage (and not doing anything about it) for the sake of her children will actually cause more harm than good. Kids can sense when something’s wrong, even if they don’t witness it personally. They know when you’re not happy. It is not healthy for a child to be in this type of environment.

Now, I’m not suggesting Lisa should eave her husband (unless this is what she wants). In fact, if she chooses to stay, there are some things she can try which may actually turn her marriage around. These steps aren’t guaranteed, but they may at least turn her marriage onto the right track. So here goes:

  1. Get help from a trained counselor – chances are Lisa’s self esteem is down in a pit somewhere, out of sight. It’s important that she begins to work on healing herself. Years of being treated this way are bound to have a negative effect, no matter how strong you are! It’s perfectly ok for her to tell her husband where she is going (if he asks) and she can invite him too – but if he doesn’t want to go, she should not push him.
  2. Book in for a total pampering – It’s time Lisa did something for HER. She could get her nails done, choose a new hairstyle, get waxed, tweezered and massaged, buy a new outfit. Just spend a few hours doing stuff to make her feel good. I don’t know about you, but if I know I look good, I feel good too!
  3. Lisa will need to ensure that she has some time every week which is just for her, where she can visit friends, enjoy a hobby, or just relax with a good book. If she’s short on friends or ideas, then I suggest that she join a Meetup group or something similar, so she can catch up with like-minded people. If her husband won’t babysit, then she should find somebody else who can have the kids for a few hours. If she has friends with kids, then maybe they can help each other out?  It’s time to get creative here – nothing is impossible, right?
  4. Lisa has two children, so it’s important that she keeps a good part of her focus on them as well. So on weekends (or if she didn’t work, during the day/after school), she could schedule fun outings for her and the kids. She should invite her husband to join them if he wishes, but again let it go if he refuses.
  5. This one’s important… Lisa will have to stop talking to her husband about their marriage. It seems silly to not talk to him about their marriage when it is failing, but bringing it up is actually causing more harm than good. So for now, stop talking about it.

And finally, I suggest that Lisa purchases Have the Relationship You Want by Rori Raye.

This ebook has completely transformed my life and my relationship with my man – and it’s helped me to see exactly what was wrong in my past relationships too. It took me some time to totally get what I was doing “wrong” and I still slip up now, but if it weren’t for this ebook, I’m not sure where I’d be now.

It will take you through the ways in which you communicate with your man, and how to turn things around so he’s not automatically jumping to defend himself or attack you.

So the steps above (and the ebook too) are all about putting your focus on to you and doing what makes you happy.

Don’t you hate it when people say “You don’t need a man to be happy”?? I do too! But there is some truth in this. You must be happy in yourself and live a happy and fulfilling life, if you ever want to inspire a man to reach out to you.

And this is what may happen with Lisa and her husband. He will begin to sense that Lisa’s focus is no longer on him, and he may begin to feel curious about what’s going on. He will also notice that now that she’s looking after herself and meeting her own needs, she seems happier and more confident.

This will very likely make Lisa’s husband uneasy. He will sense that he’s losing her, that there’s something else going on. And he will very likely grumble and carry on about it. But after reading Rori’s book, she will know exactly how to respond to his grumbles, in a positive and non-threatening way.

He may then begin to realise that if he doesn’t step up soon, he’s going to lose her – and most guys don’t want their marriage to end, but they’ve not been inspired enough to “fix” things. So now he has the chance to do just that!

So… what do you all think? If you’ve tried to do some (or all) of these steps, have they worked for you?


  1. Have been married for 1.5years and we are already staying separately at our parents place. He is a complete Mama’s boy and I am a very strong headed person. My in-laws are very conservative with thoughts almost half a century behnd. My husband blindly believes whatever they say and it has caused issues all through the marriage.

    I really dont want to leave him but i cant stay with his parents too. but i know my husband will never ever agree to stay separately without his parents.

    Somebody please suggest !!.

    • Hi Neha

      What a difficult situation you find yourself in! :(

      Have you talked to your husband about this? You say he would never agree to live separately from his parents, but is there some kind of compromise you can come up with?

      If you have talked to him and there are no alternatives, you really have only two choices:
      1. Accept it and learn to make the most of it; or
      2. Walk away

      I hope you can work something out. xxx

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