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The How to Fix a Marriage Roadmap

If you're unhappy with your marriage and want to get it back on track, here are some essential steps to making your marriage the best it can be. There are two parts. First, learn to follow the "four essential rules of the road" for healthy marriages. After you've mastered these rules, you can use the "how to fix a marriage" roadmap to respark the love in your relationship.

The tips in this article will help you, but they are only an outline for rebuilding your marriage. Mastering how to fix a marriage is not an easy journey. The Power of Two Online provides fun activities, engaging videos and insightful worksheets to teach you the skills you'll need to succeed. And unlike other online programs, every Power of Two member gets the support of a real Power of Two marriage and relationship specialist to answer your questions and support you every step of the way.

Part I: Four Essential Rules of the Road

1. Stay in your lane.

When you talk, focus on describing yourself; share information about your feelings, your mistakes, and how you would like to handle sensitive situations differently in the future. Don't cross over and start talking about your partner. Just like crossing the center lane on a highway, crossing from your lane to your partner's lane will cause accidents. When you guess what he or she thinks or feels, or tell him or her what to do, you are setting the scene for hurt feelings and arguments. 

2. Find the positive.

Instead of digging into the flaws in your partner's argument, try to focus on what makes sense in what your partner says to you. Assume that even if your partner expresses his or her concerns clumsily or offensively, they are valid and heartfelt concerns that you need to hear. Learning how to fix a marriage involves listening to learn, not defending yourself or showing what's wrong with what you are hearing.

3. Adjust the climate.

When you have a big fight, sometimes the atmosphere so stormy that you can't communicate at all. Instead of letting emotions get to this point, set your anger-thermostat low. If you feel yourself getting heated, take a break and return to the conversation when you both have returned to a calmer, cooler mood.

4. Cherish each other.

Even when you are angry or irritated, make sure to treat each other with the respect, consideration and affection you show to someone whom you truly treasure.

Part II: The Map

Whether you're wondering how to deal with jealousy or just how to communicate with your spouse about concerns, the path is essentially the same.

1. Start your journey by healing past wounds. Thinking about upsetting incedents can be unpleasant. When thinking about how to fix a marriage, see what you can learn from past mistakes. Share what you experienced in those moments and chew over what you would do differently next time. By working through this with your partner you can turn past upsets into valuable learning moments in your life journey together.

As you move forward, be sure to remember Rule of the Road #1: stay in your lane! Aviod criticizing your partner for what he or she did wrong. Instead focus on insights about yourself.

2. The next step in how to fix a marriage is to explore new paths for your relationship – in other words, brainstorm ways of dealing with similar situations for when they arise in the future. At this stage it's important to keep your eyes on the road ahead. What's done is done. This part of the journey is about creating a plan for a great future.

Again, focus on yourself. Give ideas for what you yourself can do to change the situation in future. Don't tell your partner what he or she should do to make things better.

3. Lastly, this map has a few big DO NOT ENTER signs. Stay off side roads that lead to alcohol and other addictions, excessive anger, and affairs. Those roads are guaranteed to take you further and further away from your destination of love and renewed commitment.

And finally...

This is just the beggining. Top-notch communication skills are essential for completing the journey to a better marriage. The Power of Two Online is an affordable, personalized, and effective alternative to marriage counseling that will help you learn the skills you need to fix the problems in your relationship. Try it out today!


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I'm Dr. Abigail Hirsch. I lead the Power of Two coaching team. We are here to help you stop fighting and build trust, intimacy and love.

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Dr. Abigail Hirsch

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.