While this website deals primarily with decisions about divorce, many people who are reading this information may have the goal of saving their marriage. If you believe your marriage can be saved, it is important that you have the information you need about how you and your spouse can work on reconciling your marriage.
Who Can Help?
Many people are available to support you in efforts to keep your marriage intact. Often, when couples are in conflict, emotions may override judgment. Defensiveness, confusion and frustration may keep couples stuck in a repeating pattern of conflict, blind to solutions that can help. Processing your issues with a third party may bring new perspectives that allow couples to reach an agreement that can lead to solutions for conflict. If you are interested in saving your marriage, make that clear to the professionals whose help you solicit. Ask for support and solutions.
Each individual must be honest and responsible for their feelings in order to bring true resolution to conflict. You are the one best equipped to determine your capacity to work through identified issues. Remember, in the end, the judgment and decisions made regarding your marriage, belong to you.
Friends and Relatives
Friends and relatives can offer much needed emotional support. Keep in mind however, that their life experiences, the state of their marriage, and the feelings they may have about your spouse and you may complicate matters and color any advice they give. It is natural for family and friends to have a bias toward the partner with whom they are closest. Be aware, that this can set up alliances that may feel threatening to the other partner. Be cautious when seeking advice, and think how they would feel to choose a course of action different from what family or friends may recommend.
Your close friends and relatives will most likely know you and your situation better than anyone. You can use them as a support system. Family and friends want to help. They want to see you happy. If your intent is to work at keeping your marriage and family together, make this clear to them. That way, they will know the direction in which to support you. It may be helpful to temporarily stay away from those family and friends who express excessive hostility or negativity toward your spouse. This may be their effort to show support for you however, your main focus must be on the relationship and the resolution of the issues causing conflict.
Religious Organizations/Clergy Members
Religious organizations/Clergy members can offer emotional support, spiritual guidance and possibly referral to other types of counselors. Members of religious affiliations are a source of spiritual support. They may share insights from religious doctrine, listen without being judgmental and assist a person in moving through life’s passages. Most clergy members have training in theology and pastoral ministries. Some, however, also have training in individual or marital counseling. They can offer not only emotional support, but spiritual inspiration that often binds a couple together, allowing them to weather times of conflict and crisis.
A number of faith-based organizations offer marriage and family counseling and programs to strengthen relationships. For a list of religious counseling services in the Twin Cities area who are available to provide guidance or counseling on savings marriages, click here.
In addition, many religious organizations offer faith-based support groups to help individuals or couples during difficult times. For a list of religious support groups available in the community, click here.
Many churches offer marriage encounter weekends to help couples work on their marriage. Marriage encounters are a weekend getaways from home, family and responsibilities. They offer a comfortable, secluded environment where couples are guided in the discovery of new techniques for communicating and sharing with one another. It is not a retreat, but a program designed to give couples the opportunity to examine their lives together, their weaknesses and strong points, their attitudes toward each other and toward their families. Couples are given the opportunity to look at themselves and, privately with their partner in an honest, face-to-face, heart-to-heart encounter. For a listing of national marriage encounters, click here.