Do Provide a Perk

If you want to try marriage counseling or attend a marriage intensive workshop such as our Marriage Helper 911, you may be able to convince your reluctant spouse to attend by offering something if she does. Many times in our workshop, for example, people have told me that the only reason they came was that their spouse offered some concession in their pending divorce in return for their coming. Almost universally, I hear that from a person who during the workshop concluded that he wanted to stay in his marriage. “I didn’t want to be here. She said if I came, she’d agree to _____ when we divorced. I’m glad I came. I see how we can work this out.”

If you offer a concession, make sure it is one that you are willing to give. Do not withdraw it after your spouse keeps her end of the bargain. Offer it only if you are willing to give it in exchange for a strong opportunity to salvage your marriage.

Do Prove You Have Changed

Rather than focusing only on the faults of your spouse, admit your own weaknesses. When you begin working on improving yourself in those areas, you benefit yourself. You also make strides toward salvaging your marriage.

Whether your spouse notices and affirms the changes, ignores them, or scorns your efforts, keep on growing in those areas. Even if your marriage ends, you become a better person. However, those changes in your behaviors may well influence your spouse in very positive ways though at first they may appear to have the opposite effect. Keep on, no matter how she reacts.

Do Persevere

It takes strength to work at saving a marriage when your spouse wants to leave. Stay strong. Find a support system of people who will encourage you and who will be optimistic about the possibility of reconciliation.

Focus on taking care of yourself. Exercise. Eat as you should. Start a new hobby to keep your mind from obsessing on your troubles. Get involved in your church. Get individual counseling. Whether your marriage makes it or not, you need to provide for yourself spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Actually, as you do, you also do the things that have the strongest likelihood of causing your spouse to realize what he will lose if the marriage ends.

While no one can make another’s decisions, my experience with thousands of couples leads me to believe that if you follow these suggestions, you have a greater chance of salvaging your marriage. Of course, each situation is unique. Therefore, feel free to contact us to ask questions about your circumstances, if you wish.

Many professionals can help you if your marriage is in trouble. We will help. Please click here for more information, call us toll free at 866-903-0990 or email us at

Publication date: August 21, 2013