How to Transform a Failing Marriage Into a Great Marriage

“Seriously, how do you transform my failing marriage into a great marriage? Is that even possible?”

Does this question sound familiar to you?

Why marriages fail is not as complicated as you might think. Even though everyone in a troubled marriage has a complex back-story as reasoning for their marriage failure, marriage failures actually all stem from the same underlying mistakes and missing ingredients. And there aren’t too many of them.

My Marriage Is Failing: How to Transform Into a Great Marriage


You can fairly easily figure out some of ones you have. Others are obvious only once you have more knowledge about how marriages work.

There are three underlying reasons marriages deteriorate, and these marriage killers can be broadly identified as:

  1. Over Familiarity – This is the most common killer and is always present in marriages that are not doing well. It is also found in most marriages where couples still think everything is “fine”. It is a marriage killer that starts off very tiny, but grows unnoticed. You can identify it in your marriage by how you treat each other; imagining you have the right to judge, criticize and berate each other. Learning about this killer, and what to do about it, has saved many couples from divorce. But only before there is total collapse.
  2. Poor Communication – Most people think they have a breakdown in communication when they are unheard by their spouse, or their spouse is not doing what they think they should be doing.
    They imagine their spouse is the only one who needs classes in communication, without ever looking at their own failures in this area. But marital communication is special. It’s a different kind of communication from all other forms. And it needs to be mastered by all married couples.
  3. Business deal mentality – This is a true unseen killer. It means that everything you do is because the other is going to return the favor in some way. It leads to expectations. Now, many individuals read this one and say, “yes, they have unreasonable expectations of me,” which is quite telling. But it isn’t your spouse’s expectations of you that makes you unhappy. It is your subconscious expectations of them that is what really makes you unhappy.

Admit it, you are doing any or all of these most of the times, right?

NEWS FLASH: Your marriage trouble began long before you got married.

We usually approach marriage in a strange way. We tend to not recognize marriage for what it is, and how we can purposefully influence how it will be for us.

Because there is no formal study about marriage life and marriage principles; there are generally incorrect ways we approach marriage.

  • Like a ride at an amusement park. People get on a roller coaster with an expectation of a cool ride, not having any control whatsoever. But you can, and are supposed to, control your marriage; together.
  • Like a mode of transportation. We get on board thinking the other person has the controls and power, like a hot air balloon. Being passive is fine, but it must be deliberate, not out of fear of offending, or because you think it is supposed to be that way.
  • Like a final destination. Okay, now that we had a beautiful wedding (of my dreams) we have reached our goals. Most couples put so much emphasis on the wedding day that they are squabbling by the time they are picking out the tuxedos! They have not planned their marriage at all.

Is there a marriage science?

Yes, there is!

Just like nautical schools educate individuals about seas, weather, boating rules, etc., individuals who desire marriage should also learn how to be married. Otherwise, they will invariably run into trouble the first time something unexpected comes along. Unpreparedness isn’t good.

A healthy marriage is still well within your reach.

You just need to learn how to behave and how not to behave. Because marriage is living, it can start fresh; now, and be better and better, as you do what’s needed.

At this point, you will realize that a healthy and extraordinary marriage is well within your reach. For that, you have to learn more than the basics. You need to take positive control over yourself in ways that may seem unfamiliar at first. It is worth it though.

Those who put in the time and effort find their marriage is incomparable in its benefits, and delivers more happiness than they ever imagined.


Transforming a Failing Marriage Into a Great Marriage

I don’t think “getting emotionally tortured” was something you looked forward to when you decided to marry your soulmate. And I’m pretty sure you didn’t consider the possibility of living in a failing marriage, or searching the internet for divorce questions when you said your vows.

I’m also sure you thought that divorce statistics pointed out problems with society, not those shared by the two of you.

So I have some questions for you, if you don’t mind:

  1. Where did you study Marriage 101?
  2. How did you do on the final?
  3. Was it relevant to what you have found in your own marriage?
  4. Oh, you mean you never took a course in marriage? I see.
  5. You thought your passion and mutual love would guide you through any conceivable rough spots?
  6. Did you feel like your communication skills were fine?
  7. Is your partner not loving and considerate?
  8. You think you can do much better once you’re free from this current mistake?

Welcome to the club of pain and suffering!


Your failing marriage isn’t your fault. Want to see how you can save it?

First of all, it isn’t your partner’s fault either!

Our society is so far behind in the areas of “people” study and relationships. There is a mountain of stupid issues.

You don’t have to pretend that they aren’t there if you want to have a successful marriage; and it isn’t too late to save yours! Putting all the blame on your spouse, even if they did something horrible, will spell doom.

You need to be real.

Don’t throw out a piano for one bad key!

As in anything else you want to be a success at, basically the first step is to learn the guiding principles and the second step is to learn the rules — those dos and don’ts that work with the principles.

In other words:

If you want to be a sailor, you need to learn the principles of sailing, winds, buoyancy, and so forth. If you want to be successful in marriage, you need to learn the principles of marriage’s purposes, human interactions, gender drives, and so forth.

In 99% of the failing marriages I’ve worked with, the marriages went from bad to on the road to excellent in hours.

All it took was for the couple to learn the principles and corresponding rules.

I will admit that I didn’t work with people who were highly physically abusive or psychologically damaged due to drug or alcohol abuse. But those situations are pretty rare despite what the media’s focus may have us believe.

My work with couples led to my publication of Lessons for a Happy Marriage where virtually every important question about turning a failing marriage into a great one is answered.

Because I am a mediator, I was also able to answer some divorce questions. And because of the success couples experienced, it was mostly just to satisfy their curiosity. Most people can’t believe the extent of the horrors until they go through a divorce themselves.

I would like to ask you a few questions I asked those who came to see me:

  • Is your spouse evil or just angry?
  • Would you like to leave the past behind and start with a clean slate using the required knowledge?
  • Do you want to be loved and nurtured?
  • Would you risk a few dollars and a few hours to try something that works?
  • Don’t you think your spouse is in the same pickle as you are?

I know it’s hard to see your way out of this mess but I have seen couples come out of what they saw as hopeless situations and create the marriage they dreamed of.

Don’t give up. You can do it, too!

Bear in mind that the books I published are not for real seriously eroding situations. For those who need more guided help we have online course work in the form of programs. Some people start with a book, getting comfortable with our very different approaches, then they get the marriage program. Others like what they read in the articles I wrote. Either way, get going. You do not have to suffer any longer!

Paul Friedman
Paul Friedman
Founder, The Marriage Foundation
Paul devised an entirely new approach to marriage that empowers individuals to finally understand and cultivate expanding happiness and love in their marriages.

He has written two books, produced several video educational programs, regularly speaks on marriage, and founded The Marriage Foundation as a non-profit organization.

Our mission is to end divorce by spreading Paul's revolutionary marriage system around the world. We have helped thousands of individuals and couples for nearly 20 years and in over 45 countries.

16 thoughts on “How to Transform a Failing Marriage Into a Great Marriage

  1. Dorothy Gbemudu Reply

    Want to have a solution to my failing marriage where my husband cheats and run after every small and light complicationed girl. Bounces on me, keeps off from me, not loving and considerate

  2. Maria Santiago Reply

    Me and my spouse are going thru some difficult time now …after 8 yrs and I tell you our love is great but it looks like we have fallen into a rut ……. we want to try to get where we were eight years ago….I hope you can help

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      We will be able to help you, and that is guaranteed. We have what you need, now its up to you to sign up and get going. Yur marriage will be better than ever.

  3. Julio Reply

    My wife is constantly accusing me of having a wandering eye. I think I am doing it unconsciously – I do remember doing it. Is it possible?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      The roving eye is a symptom of not loving her with all your heart mind and soul… you have work to do!

  4. Rachel Reply

    My husband and I both don’t respect one another. We are constantly fighting and blaming and pointing the finger at the other. I see the destructive patterns, but we can’t seem to stop. It’s exhausting and many times I feel totally hopeless and miserable.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Yes, the ideas given in an article are not enough for most people to shift the trends, because its natural to keep waiting for things to change for the better, as the hole gets deeper.
      You may want to read one of my books, which describe the ideal behaviors you can emulate… if that is not enough he sure thing is taking the course; that always works.

  5. Carrie Reply

    We have been married 6 months dated 6 years, both divorced. It has been miserable I am punished with silence for days when I rock the boat. When I am hurt he gets angry no communication no forgiveness. I ask myself..what have I done and I am sure he is asking himself the same thing. We have the same arguement over and over never any changes made. I ask for him to be engaged in this marriage and he says he isnt because I wont stop nagging. We both agree we cant fix it. I want to but he says he doesnt care.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I am going to be harsh… not unusual for me BTW
      Marriage is like an airplane in that when you know how to fly it is a joy. But when people take off just because they got hold of a license they will crash. You two are crashing, or crashed.
      But it is not too late IF, and this is on your end, IF both of you get the training you should have gotten. So, this is where you go for the training

      For those who have been married for more than 6 months using this would be 100% useless. But for you, the alternatives we offer are unnecessary and overkill.

      Let me know what you do, and why.

  6. Jamecia Reply

    My husband and I have been married since October 17th, 2018. I am currently pregnant with our first child. To me he doesn’t handle his responsibilities as a man. He has stepped out on me (cheated). I know it’s wrong but being younger than he I get so frustrated and verbally speak of his flaws. He is very loving but he doesn’t act the way I’d think a man with a child coming in 2 months should act. I’m becoming tired and losing hope. I’ve told him that but I’m not sure he really understands. We’re a young married couple. I just don’t think I should be pregnant with a child and married to man who acts like a child.

  7. Paul Friedman Post authorReply

    Dear Jamecia
    You got married to be a happier person, by being with your man, by having a family, and, and this is most important, by experiencing love. Because love brings happiness; always. No matter who you love, as the love you give flows through you that love, the love you give, is experienced by the mind and you are happy. This is basically the “secret” of happiness.

    Unfortunately, we are in an animal body. Our body is not driven by love at all. It is only driven by the drive-to-survive. So, the way that drive manifests is not pretty. We have expectations, demands, desires, and FEAR! Fear is the big culprit because when we fear it locks up our heart and we don’t feel the love. If you did you would still be happy and loving.

    What is most misunderstood is that marriage is a one person thing you do with another. You, and only you, can control your happiness. You cannot control your husband or his actions, only he can do that. So, your demands and expectations have driven him away and it makes you angry which drives him further, which makes you angrier and less loving… a cycle.

    The only thing you can do now, and I have been doing this work for decades so I know, the ONLY thing that will work forever is the course I put together for The Marriage Foundation.
    Don’t think there may be a cheaper or easier way, and don’t give up. Go to the course page and get it.
    Here is an explanation video I put together to help you understand it better

    This will completely transform your marriage. Everything will be fine.

  8. Montse Reply

    My husband and I started dating in High School and have been together for going on 14 years. We have 2 beautiful children age 6 and 2 but our marriage and intimate life has not been like it use to. We don’t have time to ourselves and are always fighting and arguing, we point fingers at each other and point out our flaws. We are both exhausted and don’t know what to do. We’ve worked so hard to have the life we wanted that we don’t want this to end in a divorce.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Divorce is certainly not the right path to take, so let’s take that off the table. In fact, you should read this article to gain the perspective of divorce that everyone should have but don’t.
      Marriage is complex. You need to gain an understanding of it, and you also need to get back into a happy space. I personally worked with one woman a long time ago who I met at a 2nd Saturday divorce support seminar (back then I was able to convert many at those meetings) who, like you, married her childhood sweetheart. But they never knew how to love one another correctly. Now, instead of working with me people use the course I created for The Marriage Foundation, and I hope you discover it, too. I think your life will get back to love.

  9. Josolyn Reply

    My husband and I have been together for 7 years now (Married for 5 of those) we have 3 small children (twins 2 years old Singleton 4 years old). Our lives are crazy! It’s overwhelming. I feel like all he does is criticize me. The house is never clean enough, he doesn’t like the way I’ve spoken to one of the kids, he is always critiquing my parenting skills. I should have done this, I shouldn’t have done that, etc. it’s never ending. I’m angry all the time – he picks and picks and picks until I blow up. We go around and around about the same things we never find a solution. When he’s ready to talk I don’t want to, when I’m ready to talk he doesn’t want to. We say hurtful things to each other now and we fight in front of the kids, this is getting to be entirely too much!

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