Many wives who contact me are going through some serious turmoil within their marriage. Some are just beginning a separation and some have even been served with divorce papers. Others just know that their marriage is in serious trouble. Despite all of the drama going on their lives, many of these wives want very much to make their marriages work. But sometimes they are faced with a husband who isn't nearly as invested as they are. And sometimes, they look around their marriage and realize that the cards are stacked against them. This is a lonely place to be when you feel as if you're the only one who truly cares what happens to your marriage.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: "I desperately want to make my marriage work but I'm not sure if it's going to be possible anymore. My husband told me he plans to move out. We barely communicate anymore. We never seem to have any common ground so I'm not even sure how we're going to pull together to save the marriage. In fact, I don't even think that he wants to work things out. But for my kids' sake, I want to find a way. Sometimes, though, it just seems to be an almost impossible task when we're already miles apart. I'm not even sure how I feel about him anymore. My priority right now is keeping my family together, but it would be nice to have the marriage that we used to have before we drifted apart. Is this even going to be possible when I'm on the fence and he has one foot out of the door?"

Anything is possible. I've seen marriages left for dead revived through luck, hard work, or sheer determination. In my observation and experience, you have the best chance of success when you can put your doubts and fears aside and just move forward. Sure, there are times when this doesn't work. But at least you will know that you gave it your best effort so that, should the marriage not work, you never wonder if you left anything on the table. I will discuss this more in the following article.

I Think It's Always Possible To Make Your Marriage Work. But It Becomes More Likely When You Have A Very Deliberate Plan That You Carry Out With Determination: I have to say that I hear from many women who want to make their marriages work. But not all of them are willing to come up with a plan and carry it out. Many just hope that their husband will change his mind or that fate will somehow intervene to make things work out. And I'm not saying that these things never happen. They can. But statistically speaking, the wives who are able to make their troubled marriages work when their husband is no longer invested or has one foot out of the door generally take very measured steps and continued efforts to turn things around.

This isn't always easy and it can take real determination when you feel rejected or when you worry that you aren't making any progress. Sometimes, you can feel like just giving up or throwing in the towel. But I can tell you that there are women out there right now who continued on despite their own doubts (or when things weren't going their way) who are happily married today as the result. If you are really serious about making your marriage work, it's my opinion that it helps to make a real commitment to doing everything that you can (within reason) so that you know that you've left nothing on the table.

Women Who Make Their Marriages Work When The Cards Are Stacked Against Them Are Very Often Determined To Keep Moving Forward Despite Their Doubts: I completely understand the doubts that you feel right now. There are probably very similar to those that I experienced when I was trying to save my own marriage. (More on that here.) However, it's important to remember that sometimes, you haven't truly lost until you give up. The second that you accept or tell yourself that your marriage just isn't going to work is the moment that you take yourself out of the game. As vulnerable as it sometimes feels when you think that you are the only one who cares if the marriage works or not, sometimes you have to be the person who takes the initiative even when it makes you feel extremely unsure about yourself or about your situation.

And sometimes, you have to move past the rejection and try again until you begin to see a change in your husband's attitude or behaviors. You can't expect everything that you try to work immediately or flawlessly. Sometimes you will have to back off and regroup for a bit and then try again. There's nothing wrong with this. I know that saving your marriage can be a complicated and scary process, but it's important to remember what is truly at stake. Giving up can be a lasting decision.

I don't mean to imply that all you need to do is to decide and commit to saving your marriage and success will just magically happen. Eventually and at some point, your husband will have to get on board. But there is plenty that you can do until that day comes. And, should you fail, at least you will know that you didn't quit until you were out of options.

If You Are Really Doubtful That You Can Make Your Marriage Work, Then One Option Is To Take Small Steps Toward Gradually Removing Obstacles: The wife in this situation had some very specific concerns about her marriage. It seemed that the volume of these things overwhelmed her. So I suggested that she break them down one by one and then address them as she was comfortable. Perhaps she wanted to start with the smaller issues first. (When I say addressing them, I don't mean picking your marriage apart so much that you appear critical. I mean taking a measured but positive approach.)

For example, she mentioned several times that she wasn't sure how either of them felt about the other. At first glance, this can seem like a very huge issue. But you can break it down into daily steps. It was clear that the couple were just avoiding one another at this point. So one goal for her might be to seek out her husband to see if she could have at least one positive and light-hearted interaction per day and see where that lead her.

I know that this might seem extremely simplistic. But I can tell you that it's often the little things that lead to gradual but lasting changes that can make all of the difference. It might sound cliche. But in this case, a long journey really can begin with a single step. And when you're talking about your marriage, putting one foot in front of the other can be quite doable and can give you the confidence that you need to take on even larger challenges and changes.
How do I know all of this? Because I lived it. I had to use these strategies when I saved my own marriage. I faced some obstacles, but I eventually overcame them. If it helps, you can read more at

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