This is a question that I know a lot of my readers ponder. Usually, almost everyone wants to save their marriage. However, there comes a time when people start to wonder ‘Is my marriage worth saving?’. This is often after years of frustration and failure to make things work. We explore this question today.
In my experience, most marriages are worth saving. When two people fall in love and decide to get married, they often have a connection that is incredibly deep. Even if you and your spouse are going through difficult times, it is possible to return to the happy days. In some cases though, a marriage may not be worth saving.
First, we will take a look at when a marriage is worth saving. We will especially focus on whether or not a marriage can survive infidelity. In the end, we will look at a few reasons when it might be best to let your marriage end.
Can Every Marriage be Saved?
Generally speaking, yes. It is possible to save a marriage no matter how dire the situation. The main reason for this is that although people change, their values do not. Deep down, your spouse is still the same person that you fell in love with.
What’s more important is whether or not your marriage is worth saving. In some cases, although a couple is in love with each other, they just aren’t compatible anymore. This could be due to a number of reasons, such as the husband not paying enough attention to the kids or the wife not paying enough attention to her husband (and vice versa).
Here are a few common reasons why you may feel that your marriage is not worth saving, and why you are wrong:
You Think The Bad Times Will Never End
At certain points in a marriage, there is immense pressure on the couple. I have previously discussed what the most difficult years of marriage are. The first couple of years and years 5-8 are usually when most couples crack. This is also when divorce is the most common.
This is due to a multitude of reasons, such as the passion that you had for each other dying off. However, that passion is usually replaced by an appreciation for one another that can build a much stronger and deeper bond than before. While it may initially seem like you don’t love your spouse anymore (and your spouse doesn’t love you), that is mostly not the case.
You Think That Your Marriage Should Have a ‘Happy Ever After’
I have seen many people have a false notion about marriage. They think that marriage is the end goal of a relationship. They think that once they are married, things are meant to be perfect.
This is not even close to the truth. Marriage is just the beginning of your relationship. It needs to be nursed and nurtured throughout in order to be satisfying and fulfilling.
If your marriage is not what you thought it would be, chances are that you are to blame as much as your spouse. Putting more effort into it and learning to take better care of your spouse could do wonders for your relationship.
You Think You Can Shoulder The Mental Burden
Divorce is much more difficult than people realize. In fact, I cannot count the times I have had to deal with couples who separated and then wanted to get back together. The grass may seem greener on the other side, but that’s probably because you are only looking at the negative aspects of your spouse. If you think about all the positive effects they have had on your life, you may start to see the worth of saving what took years to build.
Is my Marriage Worth Saving After Infidelity?
This is an incredibly complex question. The easiest way to answer this would be to think long and hard about how you feel. If it was you who cheated, then it is up to you to somehow make up for it. If it was your spouse who cheated on you, then you must decide whether or not you will be able to forgive them in due time.
I have dedicated an entire section of my blog to cheating since every instance of it is so unique. Due to the severity of the issue, I usually advise couples dealing with this dilemma to consult a professional. Someone who has diagnosed hundreds of marriages before you may be able to guide you through the guilt, anger, hurt, and frustration much better than the two of you can on your own.
Let’s discuss the two most common scenarios that involve infidelity.
I Cheated on my Spouse But I Still Love Them
If you cheated on your spouse but immediately regretted it, then your marriage is obviously worth saving to you. Your spouse, however, may feel differently.
Here, the vast majority of the blame rests with you. You first need to truly apologize to your spouse and let them know that you will do anything to make it up. After that, you must be patient as it can take a long time for your spouse to forgive you after an affair.
You must also discuss the reasons why you cheated on them. Your spouse must accept that a small amount of blame rests on their shoulders. Let them know the reasons why you felt obliged to cheat. Also, ask what they expect from you and work through your feelings together.
My Spouse Cheated on me But Does Not Want a Divorce
Here, the situation has been reversed. Your spouse is the one who has to make it up to you.
Infidelity has an immensely negative stigma attached to it, and quite rightly so. However, you should consider yourself in your spouse’s situation. If you still love your spouse, and your spouse claims that they love you, then you can understand they feel. If you made a mistake and cheated on them, imagine how devastated you would be.
Would you not want another chance? Considering the sacrifices that you have made for your family during your marriage, wouldn’t you think that you DESERVED another change?
Can I Get Over Being Cheated on?
I always say to couples that cheating does not have to end in divorce. You may be fuming with anger right now, but it is possible to get over it and stay together. Your marriage vows were for life, and no one stays perfect throughout their life. In fact, many people perceive cheating to be only the physical act of adultery. However, cheating can take on many forms, such as emotional affairs.
It is possible that you yourself have had temptations with friends of yours of the opposite sex. It is also possible that you have come dangerously close to cheating in the past. If your spouse lost control in a moment of weakness, it does not mean that it will happen again. In fact, they may be more focused on their marriage than ever before, determined to make up for their mistake.
How do You Know if It’s Time to End Your Marriage?
Unfortunately, some marriages cannot be saved. I usually advise couples to spend at least a few months trying to repair their marriage. If they start to see an improvement, they should stick with it. However, if you and your spouse are unable to work things out, it may be time to end things for good.
Apart from the obvious signs like your spouse being adamant about divorce and refusing to budge, here are a few indicators that your marriage is not worth saving.
- Your spouse has repeatedly cheated on you. Cheating once can be forgiven, but you should not stay in a marriage where your spouse is unable to control their basic urges.
- Despite numerous tries, it’s been months since you last felt anything for your spouse. Unfortunately, in some cases, love can fade away!
- Your spouse is not cheating on you physically but refuses to stop bringing other people into your life e.g. you catch them sexting repeatedly.
- Your spouse does not pay enough attention to the children despite you repeatedly trying to get them involved. Or even worse, their presence has a negative effect on your children e.g. they use vulgar and inappropriate language in front of them.
- Your marriage has dwindled into a routine where the two of you simply try to avoid each other as much as possible. No matter how hard you try, you just cannot seem to reconnect.
- You repeatedly find yourself fantasizing about a life without your spouse. Everyone occasionally does it, but if this is all you can think about, then its probably time for a divorce.
- Sex has completely eroded from your marriage. It’s natural for there to be less sex as you get older. However, it should never completely stop.
- You start finding emotional support in your friends and other people rather than your spouse. It seems to you that they care more about you than your spouse does.
Once again, just one or two of these signs alone do not mean that your marriage is over. You should only consider a divorce when you start to see multiple signs and they persist for a significant amount of time. As I stated before, most marriages can be saved. Only when things seem utterly hopeless should you consider a divorce.