Is It Possible To Save A Marriage On Your Own

One of the most common questions we receive, though worded in a variety of ways, is all about whether a marriage can be saved when just one spouse is taking the initiative to work on it.

Well, the short answer is YES!

If you think of marriage like a dance – when one person changes the dance moves, the whole dance changes. It’s important to remember that if one spouse wants a divorce, they want a divorce from the way the relationship is now. If the relationship changes, they may not want to end things after all!

Whether it’s taking steps to improve your sex life, managing finances, learning better communication skills, or any other aspect of improving your marriage (or combination of improvements), the change in behavior can change the whole dynamic of the marriage. Again, if one person changes the steps, the whole dance changes with it.

You CAN save your marriage by yourself.
You CAN save your marriage by yourself.

If you’re stepping up to be the best husband or wife you can be, your spouse will likely take notice. Even if their behavior doesn’t change right away, the fights won’t be able to happen the same way, the problems won’t arise the same way, and you won’t react the same way if you’ve changed your own outlook and actions.

As we’ve advised before, if your spouse wants out of the marriage and you don’t, your first course of action is becoming the person that they would want to marry!

As you learn and master these new relationship skills, this will change your marriage for the better, and ideally, your spouse will see the kind of marriage you’re working hard to create. Once they start to see and experience the improvements, they will likely follow suit.

If you’re doing everything in your power to save your marriage, and you can look in the mirror with confidence, knowing that you’ve done everything your possibly could, you will feel confident and empowered that you’re striving to make a difference – and this is actually attractive and noticeable to your spouse!

In fact, many of the couples we’ve helped come to us as a single spouse wanting to improve their marriages, and once they get on the right path, their spouse notices the positive changes – and begins to take interest in working on things as well.

It is absolutely possible to save a marriage when you’re the only one working on it, you just have to be willing to lead the dance!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

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Tracy 10 years ago

How do you get them to notice if they are having an affair and living with anothher person?

Aubrey 10 years ago

I feel like he still loves me when he looks at me and I don't see my future without him. I feel like we can come out of this stronger than we've ever been and I want him to change his mind. We don't talk a lot about the divorce or where we will be living when we get on our feet but I feel like I don't want to lose my husband and I don't want my family split apart especially with how small our boys are now.

Gavin 10 years ago

My wife's phone and laptop still make me suspicious, even though I have full access to them and she's given me no reason whatsoever to actually be suspicious. I'm just having a hard time getting past the feelings of having to look for clues constantly. Any tips for shaking these lingering thoughts when everything seems to be going well?

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

HI, Tracy - You can write them a letter and express yourself that way if you cannot talk. But though we are pro-marriage, we are pro happy marriage and you might need to consider if this is where you should be.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Hello, Aubrey - That is heartbreaking to hear. I hope you both can recommit before it's too late.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Hi, Gavin - Trust your wife until you see any signs you shouldn't. Keep it small.

Stacey 10 years ago

My husband moved out 3 months ago. He wants a divorce and to be done. Says he never loved me and we should've been divorced a long time ago. How can I save my marriage when he won't even talk to me?

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Hi, Stacey - I'm sorry things are hard right now, and I hope you both reach the best outcome. We recommend try writing a letter, letting him know how you feel and why you both got married. I hope this advice also helps -

Patty 10 years ago

My husband and I have been both emotionally and physically disconnected many times over or 15 years together. He is currently involved in an emotional affair with somebody that I do not know who participates in league with him. He says he does not want me to be around during his leagues because I distract him and affect his performance. About a week ago he said he thought we might consider a separation since he has emotionally checked out again. He is highly resistant to couples counseling because he feels it is too difficult to talk about personal things with a stranger. He seemed interested in the strong marriage and I'll program that I presented to him after I purchased it. He said he would participate with me in the strong marriage no program. However, since he made the statement to me a week ago I have had maybe an hour of his time over a five day period. He has watched video to the check out spouse series. I have continued watching the series and have tried to find ways to express myself to him regarding how badly I hurt when he will not allow me time with him and he says he does not mean to cause me pain but that he feels right now he just wants to go have fun and do what he wants to do. He admits he may be having depression issues, midlife crisis issues, etc. he feels right now like my trying with the system seems forced and that I am smothering him. In actuality, I have been checked out of expressing my feelings for so long because he has such a hard time expressing how he feels. Compounded with the emotional affair, I don't know what to do now but wait. I can't show him any changes in me because he won't be around me alone.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Hi, Patty - Just yesterday, Dr Dana talked about approaching an emotional affair - I hope there are some things in there that may help you, and focus on the SMN program. I hope you can check him back in.