How to Fix and Save a Broken Marriage: A Complete Guide

By David Small •  Updated: 02/10/21 •  16 min read

Do you know that you can fix and save a broken marriage?

You have just realized that your marriage isn’t working and you want to do something about it.

However, you have no idea how to fix and save a broken marriage.

Save a Broken Marriage

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

As difficult as that might be, we have a solution for you and all other couples experiencing marital problems.

This complete guide shall discuss several executable tips to help you quickly overcome issues in your relationship.

It works for everyone, no matter how long you have been in the relationship. Let’s delve right into it!

  1. Rediscover the Reason for Falling In Love.

When your marriage gets into the headwinds, it gets emotionally draining, recalling the kind of love you had for each other.

As much as you want to rekindle the flames, it is now nothing but a distant thought. But it is worth trying to fix and save a broken marriage, albeit with small steps.

First, you should take steps to go back to the basics. Think about the reason you fell in love with each other.

How did it feel like at that time? What attributes did you adore the most about your partner?

Thinking back to the time when things were goodwill not only lift your spirits but also help you fall in love afresh.

After that, you can restore the love you once had in the marriage. In the book: How to Rekindle that Spark, Dr. Suzanne J. Gelb says giving love is better than receiving.

Start by committing to rekindle and sustain the love you once felt for each other. Identify any love-destroying habits and ultimately avoid them. After that, you should commit to showing love through your behavior.

Notably, you should identify and meet your partner’s emotional needs to make them feel loved. You can them participate in physical activities like texting, dating, having meals together, keeping all appointments, and hugging & kissing.

  1. Start Listening To Each Other Once Again.

It is likely that after years of living together, you no longer listen to each other.

Your partner could be saying something, but you aren’t listening. When your partner is talking, your default mode is to talk over them, tune out, or ignore them completely.

Most of the time, you are lost in your thoughts, paying no attention to your partner’s sentiments.

Slowly, the distance between the two of you grows until both of you start thinking of leaving the marriage. Yet, you know you should be listening to your partner.

What can you do differently? As Melanie White says in her book: Communication in Relationships, you can start listening to your spouse more.

If you are a husband, learn to listen to your wife instead of saying that she is nagging. Your wife could be voicing a genuine concern, and not listening to her may cause unnecessary conflict.

So try to listen to what she is saying rather than getting defensive. Wives, too, should listen to their husbands as they express their fears, hurts, needs, and frustrations. If there is anything you can do about his frustration, then your response should be prompt.

Listening to each other makes it possible for the two of you to deal with issues that may tear you apart. In the end, you can build a healthy relationship.

Also Related: 15 Simple Ways to Overcome Problems in a Marriage.

  1. Reflect On the Things That Are Wrong In the Marriage

What could have gone wrong in your marriage? Where did you go wrong? Did you slowly drift apart?

Are you too busy to work on the relationship? Or did you cheat on your partner? You need to identify the cause of the broken marriage to build a stronger relationship.

According to the findings of a 2014 Study, the following are some of the significant reasons for broken marriages:

When one partner cheats, there is often no reason for the two of you to continue living together. It not only diminishes trust but also builds a rift between the two of you. If you are not careful, the discord could escalate to divorce.

The connection between the two of you weakens when you stop talking to each other. With time the weak link makes the relationship more vulnerable beyond repair.

However, you can build a healthy relationship by improving how you communicate with each other.

Like any other relationship, marriage is prone to different types of problems. It could be something to do with your health, finances, or children. During difficult times, a couple should resolve to support each other. If you don’t give each other the necessary support, the marriage has no option but to fail.

The more a couple lives together, the more quickly they lose passion for each other. In most cases, the couple will stop caring or showing affection to each other. When the warmth and sweetness go away, the marriage has no joy causing the inevitable breakage.

Regardless of the cause of conflict, it is possible to fix and save a broken marriage.

However, the couple should be willing to remedy the things that might have caused friction. Once you know the cause of the issues, you will find a workable solution for you and your partner.

  1. Talk to Each Other

In a troubled relationship, it is not uncommon for the couple to stop talking to each other.

When that happens, both men and women are subconsciously acting in self-defense. When ignored, women often feel their husbands don’t love them. On the other hand, husbands are afraid of feeling disrespected when criticized or controlled.

In Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. Gottman says the cause of miscommunication is a failure to see your partner’s perspective. For that reason, women fear to talk because the man can object to what they are saying. Men, on the other hand, do not want to be criticized or dominated.

So how should you talk to your partner? First, you should avoid attacking, accusing, blaming, or criticizing your partner. The best way is to focus on yourself. Please talk about your feelings, no matter how embarrassing or humiliating they might be.

If you are hurt by anything of your partner’s words or deeds, say it. Your partner needs to know that for and hurt, disappointed, and having emotional pain.

Second, you should talk about your wants. Have you recently been thinking of going on a trip? Do you want to go on a trip? Or, do you want to have a baby with your partner?

If you want your partner to compliment you or be more affectionate, say it. You should never be ashamed of your wants but should always voice them out. It helps you to come out as more authentic, making your partner feel closer to you.

Communicating at this level will eliminate the trivial issues in your relationship. But this should be done concerning maintaining a cordial relationship between the two of you.

Avoid being seen as condescending, sarcastic, irritable, bossy, demanding, childish, parental, complaining, or other abusive behavior.

Also Related: 25 Ways to Fix Your Marriage Problems Without Counseling.

  1. Fix Yourself

In a marriage, the easiest thing to fix is often yourself.

How do you feel about the marriage? What’s your attitude towards your spouse? Do you blame them for the problems in the relationship?

Let’s face it! A broken marriage has tons of issues. And, your partner might not be capable of seeing their faults, assuming they are always right. What you need is to show your spouse the possibility of change.

Start by implementing a variety of things daily to make a positive impression on your spouse.

It doesn’t have to be anything drastic! If your partner has been complaining about specific issues, fix them. Don’t give any regard to the enormity of your spouse’s flaws compared to yours.

Making small changes in your behavior is enough to show your spouse how much you care about them. Gary Chapman says as much in his book: Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away.

It also shows how accountable you are for your deeds. With time, you will rekindle the lost sense of partnership, helping your spouse join you in changing the relationship.

However, it would help if you were consistent in the changes you make since faltering a few days shows you cannot be trusted. Ensure you aren’t falling back into the same old dangerous patterns that defined your past relationship.

That’s because you can only build credibility by being consistent in everything you do. Besides, sticking with the positive changes will inspire your partner to join the change bandwagon.

Nothing is as worse as your partner finding a reason to be disappointed with you. If you can do that, you will never have to think about knowing how to fix and save a broken marriage.

Fix and Save a Broken Marriage

Photo by Alfonso Lorenzetto on Unsplash.

  1. Avoid Getting Into Emotional Tantrums

When trouble sets into a relationship, it can be impossible to maintain rationality in your conversations. Regardless of the issues, any conversation you have turns into a shouting match.

Numerous accusations and counter-accusations later, you cannot see eye to eye. You have hurled insults at your partner, and they have replied in kind. Beneath your relaxed demeanor, a fit of raging anger threatens to explode to the surface. Are you done with that marriage?

But is that all? Do you want to know how to fix and save a broken marriage? It would help if you were willing to avoid the predictable temper tantrums. Make a conscious decision to fix the broken things in the union.

However, it would help if you started by stopping your current behavior. If you are consistent about it, your partner will notice it and remove the defensive walls. Probe your problems to their root causes and fix them.

If you are prone to emotional outbursts, then you should identify the things that trigger them. For example, you should locate the frustration that comes before you start lashing out verbal abuses.

You should take note of all the triggers of temper tantrums and deal with them. In the Ultimate Anger Management in Marriage Formula, William Fredrick Cohen says you should always try to make the situation less dire.

If your partner is the angry one, try de-escalating and neutralizing them emotionally. Also, be assertive while remaining respectful, practicing compassion and patience, communicating constructively, and reflecting on your emotions.

While at it, avoid doing things that only make the situation worse.

  1. Reestablish Emotional Intimacy in the Relationship

By the time you are thinking of divorce, there is little or no mental intimacy between the two of you.

It has been a while since you grew apart and you no longer feel loved. Or you no longer consider yourself essential to your partner.

You keep moving from one conflict to another! To you, everything your partner says is or does as harmful. No one does anything to please the other. You have become too busy to have time for each other. Because of that, you cannot spend a moment together.

However, you can fix and save the relationship by reestablishing it. Start by increasing the time you spend together as a couple. That is the only thing that will make the two of you feel like a couple again.

Start by defining what quality time means to each one of you. For example, one partner could be contented with watching their favorite TV program together with you. Or they may want you to go out on a particular date night at least once a month.

Whatever activity you choose, ensure you are connected or engaged with each other. If one of you doesn’t derive “quality” from the time spent together, it won’t help how long the sessions are.

As such, you should be able to hold meaningful conversations whenever you spend time together.

The trouble is that many couples enter into marriage with emotional baggage, including insecurity and the need for closeness. There is an emotional discord when one partner has more significant emotional needs than the other.

Since you are no longer in love with each other, you don’t see the need to rebuild emotional intimacy. Try to slow down and dedicate time and energy to get closer to your spouse.

Participate in activities that your spouse finds valuable, restore emotional closeness, and rebuild your broken marriage.

  1. Restore Sexual Intimacy into the Relationship

In a troubled marriage, one of the first things to deteriorate is sexual intimacy. It can either be the cause of the trouble or the victim of it.

In a situation where it isn’t possible to have peace, one or both of you will stop desiring to have sex with each other. In the end, you begin to feel cheated or betrayed by your partner for denying you sex.

To restore sexual intimacy, you should overcome any grudges or fears you might have. Dr. Bill Bercaw, author of The Couple’s Guide to Intimacy, recommends a series of actions to start having sex again.

You can start by arranging to talk about sex and nothing else. Insist on it if your partner appears hesitant about it. In case of any medical issues, put in place plans to see a doctor or a sex therapist.

Now you can agree to make contact through simple actions like holding hands, hugging, kissing, and so on. Whenever you start a conversation, use language that portrays love. Tell your partner you love them and how attractive they are.

During a random night, give your partner a non-sexual massage. That will help you relearn how to touch even as you teach your partner how it feels to be touched. Here, you aren’t trying to arouse your partner sexually but to build trust.

However, before you even get into the massage session, spend the day sending flirting messages to each other. Where possible, take your partner out on a date. With that, you will set the stage to restore sexual intimacy between the two of you.

  1. Live Life to the Fullest

One of the things you can do to fix and save a broken marriage is to live life to the fullest. If you had let go of your hobbies, you should try to revive them. You could be an avid basketball fan, for example. By all means, attend the next game involving your favorite team.

However, it helps when the two of you choose to pursue a similar interest. With similar interests, life will be a lot easier for you.

If that’s not the case, then you should pursue separate interests. That will help you to grow and push your relationship to become stronger. Besides, pursuing a hobby is excellent for relieving the stress that comes with modern life.

As the new skill grows more robust, you will have something to fall back to when you retire. You can also meet other people with interests similar to yours.

Some of the areas you can start a hobby include painting, gardening, photography, woodworking, crocheting, or playing a musical instrument. You could also try dancing, sculpting, sewing, or needlework.

In his book: The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy and Kathy Keller say adopting a hobby can break the monotony in marriage.

It can also help you revive the person that your partner first fell in love with. Starting new hobbies and projects enables you to reinvent yourself, sparking your partner’s interest.

It is simple – inspiring yourself helps your partner to be inspired to rebuild the relationship. After all, people tend to be attracted to those who are working to improve themselves.

Also Related: 6 Proven Ways to Fix Intimacy Problems in Marriage.

  1. Ditch the Technology

Like all other aspects of life, technology has infiltrated marriage and worsened it.

People are so dependent on technology that they can’t put down their phones once they get home. Because of that, married couples no longer have meaningful conversations.

In one study, an increase in the time spend online caused a rise in divorce rates. Even though it was meant to bring people together, technology and social media seem to be doing the opposite.

First, people spend a lot of money on new gadgets, eating into the budget for other essentials. When they start arguing about money, the couple ends up fighting about other things.

In the end, they have no option but to drift apart. Second, spending time on social media has become the in-thing for couples when relaxed at home.

For instance, a recent study established a direct correlation between Facebook use and deteriorated quality of marriages. That’s because too much use of social media breeds jealousy and lack of communication.

In America, many couples have divorced over too much time spent on social media.

Second, social media drastically reduces the amount of time a couple has to communicate or participate in joint activities. Past industry reports indicate that the average adult spends 10 hours and 40 minutes a day on the computer.

That greatly diminishes the time a couple has to talk to each other. Going to a social event like a concert becomes virtually impossible.

That’s why you should ditch the technology, at least once you arrive at home. Avoid carrying work home, keep away your phone, and take time to talk with your spouse. That will not only help you reconnect but also fix your broken marriage.

While at it, ensure the decision to ditch technology is mutual for it to have an impact.


Knowing how to fix and save a broken marriage is straightforward if you are willing to work for it.

You can start by rediscovering the reason you fell in love the first time. That will remind you why you ought to work towards strengthening the relationship.

It would be best if you also worked on listening to each other instead of rushing to make conclusions before hearing the full story. Don’t forget to reflect on the things that went wrong with the relationship.

Talk to each other, work on fixing yourself, avoid unnecessary emotional tantrums, and reestablish emotional intimacy. But that isn’t enough, as you still have to work on restoring sexual intimacy.

Even though you are in a relationship, you need to spend most of the time together. For that reason, you should develop a common of a separate hobby to remove monotony from the relationship.

Lastly, stop spending too much time on social media. You will be surprised how strong your relationship becomes after taking all of those steps.

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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