Some wives have finally convinced their husbands to commit to saving or reviving their marriage.  But often once they have reached this milestone, they aren't sure what to do next.

A wife might explain: "for the last couple of years, my husband and I have drifted further and further apart.  My mother has had several health issues and our finances have been tight.  As a result, we haven't had a lot of fun as a married couple in the last couple of years and our marriage has really suffered.  Last month, my husband told me he was considering a separation.  I begged him not to go through with it.  He said that he would have to think about this.  Yesterday, he came home and said he was willing to try to get back what we lost.  So we hired a sitter and went out to a nice dinner.  And we sat there in silence with nothing to talk about.  We just sat there and stared and one another with awkward looks on our faces.  I want to bring our marriage back to life, but it feels as if we are so far apart.  How do we even start when it seems as if we've lost so much?"  I will try to address these concerns in the following article.

Understand That Your Circumstances (And Not Your Lack Of Love For One Another) May Have Lead To This Loss: It may help to understand that you might not be in a situation where you no longer have any common ground with your spouse or you are not compatible anymore.  Instead, your marriage has suffered from neglect and stress caused by a set of circumstances over which you didn't have much control.  Nor are these circumstances your fault. However, what you can control is what you do today, tomorrow, and in the future to address the distance in your marriage.

Acknowledge that since your husband is willing to try to regain what you have lost, there is likely still love, empathy, and interest there, so you do have solid ground on which to work.  And, despite the circumstances, you do have two people who are willing to do the work necessary to find their way back to one another. These are advantages that you shouldn't waste.

How Do You Begin When You're Trying To Bring Your Marriage Back To Life: I believe that many couples in this situation put a lot of pressure on themselves.  They feel somewhat panicked because they know that if this reconciliation doesn't work, they might well be facing a divorce or a separation.  Try not to look at this way or to allow the panic to get the better of you. (I panicked in the same situation and I ended up separated. I learned my lesson to save my marriage, but it wasn't easy. That story is here.)

Instead, see this as an opportunity to get back something that is very precious to you and that you likely miss very much.  To the extent that you can, try to make this a fun and enjoyable process.  You want to set up the circumstances so that they are favorable to the two of you falling in love again and enjoying every second of it.

If things feel awkward, start small.  Don't take a weekend away if it is just going to make you feel frustrated.  If even dinner out seems to be too much, then just do coffee or dessert or take a walk around a lake or park.  Try to encourage a situation where neither of you feels pressured and you both feel free to have a good time.  Your past can give you some clues.  You likely already know the type of low key, low-pressure activities you and your husband have enjoyed in the past.  Don't try to rush things.  As long as you are both willing, you truly do have lots of time to make progress. Enjoy one another and remain open to seeing how things unfold.  Make sure that you commit to having some fun together where you can just bond and not let your stresses bring you down.

Flip The Script By Deliberately Placing Your Focus On What Matters:  When people are in times of high stress, they tend to project this into their marriage. Some even eventually begin to see the marriage as a source of problems or stress.  Instead, you want to see your marriage as your safe place to rest or to relieve your stress.  You want to see your spouse as the one person who understands and who intimately knows what you are going through because they are going through the exact same thing.  In short, you want them to be your ally. People who band together during times of stress not only face the stress with more resolve, but they are more closely bonded with their partners in crime.  Do not turn on each other like mice in a cage. Hold hands and stand together.

The good news in this situation was that both people seemed pretty willing to put in the time.  And, make no mistake.  Saving your marriage can take a good deal of time and effort.  This wife kept using the terms of "loss" and "lost" when she described her marriage.  This isn't being overly dramatic.  There is often a loss of intimacy, empathy, and closeness when couples go through this.  It's vital that you focus on getting it back.  Because couples that can't or won't get it back can eventually face a loveless or unsatisfying marriage set on a path of separation or divorce.  And you both deserve more than this.  And since you are both willing to reclaim it, why not start today?  Why not take a chance and make time for what should be the most important relationship in your life - your marriage.

When my husband and I began attempting to reconcile, it felt like we had lost so much ground.  Sometimes, it was easy to feel discouraged and to focus on the negative.  But once I educated myself about the reconciliation process, I learned that focusing on the positive and setting the right environment was vital to our success.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

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