How To Save A Marriage That Is Falling Apart (Alone)

How am I going to save my marriage alone when it’s already falling apart?”

Two months ago, I received a call from the wife of a couple whose I helped save about five years ago. She wanted me to act as their mediator for their divorce!

WHAT?! This was not possible!

It came as a total shock because I took great pride in my “win” rate so, I’m not going to lie, it felt like a personal failure and I was bummed.

How to save a marriage that is falling apart (alone)
You Have Much More Power To Make Your Marriage Great Than You Know


My first reaction was to rationalize. I thought “if they had read my book, Lessons For A Happy Marriage, (which wasn’t in existence back when I helped them) they would not be at this juncture. (Since then we published Breaking The Cycle and our powerful online marriage courses).

If you would like to hear more about the my story you can watch this interview with radio host Mike Slater.

I didn’t want to help mediate divorces any more. I was showing people how to be happily married, and I knew if at least one of them was receptive I could help them get back together.

Even when  couples are pretty far apart, if one starts working on their side, the marriage will almost always come back together. Marriage is a bridge between souls. Only one has to build the bridge. As long as there is willingness, there will be a marital resurrection when using good teachiings.

I met with them individually to see who was going to put in the most effort, and convinced the wife to not give up; yet. She was the one who did not want the marriage to end. She loved her husband, and was super concerned about her kids. I promised that if her efforts didn’t pan out I would help with the divorce, but if she took the course she should be able to save her marriage. Thank God she tried!

In our meeting both of them said, if they were still following my advice, they wouldn’t be here now, but they couldn’t remember everything I’d said. That is one huge reason we would never allow people to just meet with our counselors without the course. Even if you are lucky enough to find a great marriage counselor you cannot learn all you need about underlying dynamics, the mind, soul connection, communication etc. to sustain you. You have to have a manual, like my books or the courses we offer.

Because they had made up their minds to divorce, I had no right to push them toward reconciliation, but the principles needed to adhere to for reaching an amicable divorce agreement are very similar to those needed for a healthy marriage. So they were open to idea of reading my book.

When children are involved, the relationship between parents doesn’t end, it just changes. So, as far as I am concerned, couples might as well have a good working relationship, instead of a mutual victim relationship.

I was helping a family avoid the destructive family-law system with a mediated divorce, but a divorce would demolish their children’s lives and set the stage for incredible pain and suffering.

I wanted to do all I could to get them out of their defensive postures, and help them see each other’s point of view.

Unfortunately, to add to the problems, they had seen a “normal” marriage counselor who made them see more of each other’s flaws, and wanted them to be held accountable to each other.

The psychological process is counter-productive. “Working out” problems, or using them to work backwards into the underlying causes don’t work in marriage. In marriage you need to make sure the underlying dynamics are humming as they should. Instead of reteaching, I just gave them my book.

Then something wonderful happened!

I got a call from the husband. He said they were “talking about getting back together.”

Once people understand marriage well enough, they are able to see failure as almost impossible. Temporary frustrations have no chance against a marriage that is understood at the deepest levels. This is why I know so-called finished marriages can be saved.

I have seen it happen.

Save your marriage

Let’s say you and your soulmate were driving on a beautiful country road with your children, enjoying every minute of the scenery and each other’s company, then continue into the evening to watch a beautiful sunset. But driving into the night, you couldn’t see where you were going. Because you were unfamiliar with the road, you took a wrong turn, ending up stuck in a mud hole.

How To Save A Marriage Alone: Don't Abandon Your Marriage Just Because It Is Off The Road
Don’t abandon your marriage just because it is off the road

Being unfamiliar with back-country driving, you had no idea how to get unstuck. No matter what you tried, you sank deeper in the quagmire and couldn’t get out, but not for a lack of trying. Do you abandon your car? What do you do about your children?

When people think they’ve reached the end of their emotional and psychological rope, they invariably ask if their marriage is worth saving. Ironically, they know intuitively they should save their marriage, just as they would never consider abandoning their car and children because of a mishap on an unfamiliar country road; they just don’t know how to rescue their marriage. Abandoning your marriage is not the next step.

I have never met anyone who got married with the idea of ending their marriage. People get married to live happily ever after. So why has it gotten to the point where there are a bazillion articles on abandoning a marriage and very few on saving your marriage?

How To Save Your Marriage Alone: Get a Divorce vs Save Your Marriage
Get a Divorce vs Save Your Marriage


Clearly, we live in a very confused society. But you do not have to go along with the divorce herd. You can do what it takes, which is marriage education, to get your marriage back on the country road again. But it does take a bit of effort to both learn and then apply the principles of marriage. So even though it only takes one, here are three good reasons to save your marriage:

1. Save Your Children
Your children are not mere possessions. They came into your life as a blessing and a responsibility. The very foundation of a child’s success consists of a united mother and father, providing a secure incubator for their individual development. Don’t imagine your children will be OK if you don’t save your marriage. Don’t believe the lies society says to rationalize “divorce on demand.” Your children will suffer if you get a divorce.

2. Ensure Your Own Future Success
When you took your marriage vows, they reflected the most serious commitment of your life – to your spouse and yourself. Giving up on your marriage contrast with the laws of success. Your most important decision was a correct one, you just never learned how to be married. It’s amazing you have gotten this far!

3. Consider Your Part In Society
Families are the unit of measure of any society. There has been a tremendous transformation to our society as a result of the high divorce rate. No reasonable substitution for a family-based social order exists. Each individual has greater importance when he/she represents part of a societal family. The obvious insecurities and fears strangling our country are the logical result of divorce. You are being a good citizen of the world when you make your marriage succeed by:

  • Learning how to be married, and
  • Not giving up

If your marriage is troubled, there are clear-cut reasons, rarely the ones on the surface. Like anything else, marriage has a natural structure to it that must be sustained by correct behaviors.


FACT IS: I cannot save your marriage; you will have to do it. But I can show you how!

If someone tells you they can save your marriage, run away as fast as you can.

I can’t save your marriage, but YOU can.

Your marriage is not a computer, a broken washing machine, nor a torn limb. Your marriage is unlike anything else in the whole world. It is special. Your marriage is sacred and unique. The trouble is you haven’t recognized marriage as an exact science, a science that you can learn.

The Marriage Foundation says STOP!

  • Stop thinking of marriage as mystical — you have all the capability you will ever need to make your marriage succeed!
  • Stop thinking your marriage is stale, or over, or the good times are in the past — your life begins today, right now!
  • Stop thinking your partner will never change — they don’t have to! You have to learn about your mind and what makes you miserable!
  • Stop thinking there is a magic pill or that other marriages are fine — your marriage will be great, but…

Breaking The Cycle is the book you need to read and learn marriage from. You can’t have a marriage doctor come to your aid every time you or your spouse has a problem.

You don’t call a doctor every time you have a headache or get a splinter. You’re able to treat minor physical ailments with a combination of common sense and basic medical first aid. But you and your spouse never got basic marriage education. You never learned the marriage basics!

So why run to a marriage doctor, who, if you’re not (very) careful, will sign you up for months of unnecessary “treatment”?

You don’t need marriage help, per se. You need marriage education. You need to study marriage. You need to be able to tell what is going on in your own marriage. But, most importantly, you have to stop misusing your marriage. The way you currently use your marriage is like someone who has no idea what a computer should do and instead uses it as a doorstop.

Did you know?

  • Properly run marriages are always happy! Yes, they are!
  • There are online marriage courses that will teach you everything you will ever need to know! It is true!
  • It is rarely too late. Don’t listen to those who wring their hands and “help you” transition. Learn and fix your marriage instead!

We have more testimonials than we know what to do with. You need to create your marital relationship the way a sculptor creates a work of art. You need to learn the basics first though.

How can you create a painting before learning about pigments and brushes?

How can you concoct a great meal before learning a little about chemistry?

You need to study marriage so your marriage can perform as it is meant to!


At this point, you’ll realize that when you save your marriage, you save your children

I live in a town with a beautiful meditation garden sitting atop 100-foot bluffs that look out over the Pacific Ocean. It is a great tourist spot whose beauty is not overlooked by us locals. Sometimes I go as often as three times a week, even if it is for just a few minutes. Sundays are a particularly busy time for the garden and it is always a pleasure to smile at others enjoying the beauty and spiritual vibration. Yesterday, when I went to the garden, there was a lady with two adorable little girls. One was four and a half who just had a visit from the Tooth Fairy and the other was still backpack size.

It was obvious the woman had never come there before and I sort of drifted into the role of a tour guide. Although she was very sweet, she seemed a bit tense and it wasn’t long before she revealed to me that she had just been divorced. As any of my children would tell you, I am very sensitive to that word: divorce. Over the years, it has become abundantly clear to me that a divorce is something that adults do, and children go through.

Have you ever done something you know you shouldn’t have, but instead of admitting it, you find ways to rationalize?

Of course you have, and so has everyone else.

When it comes to describing the results of divorce, we have become masters of ignorance. Not only have we accepted divorce as normal, but we have excused it completely and come up with so-called benefits. We are now at the point where we suffer tremendously due to divorce, yet publicly act like it’s no big deal.

But it is a big deal.

It is a huge deal, and what it does to parents is nothing compared to what it does to children.


The fundamental pillars for each child is the mother and the father in unity

Parents, do you know that these are not your children?

You didn’t create them alone. These children are God’s. They are entrusted to those willing to sacrifice for the privilege of raising His children. Yet our society has turned children into possessions that are fought over in courts of law. Despite all of the rhetoric of putting the children first during a divorce or separation, parents ignore the fundamental reality that they are trading away their commitment and obligations for the delusive possibility that divorce eases life.

This is false.

All that will happen will be suffering on top of suffering as you watch your children lose the surefooted ground they had in an intact marriage, unless you save your marriage.


All marriages are fixable, you just need to know what to do

I have dedicated my life to saving children by saving marriages. God never intended for us to suffer in marriage; it is merely our ignorance of what is required that creates suffering. Don’t give up. If your marriage isn’t getting better every day, it means you are doing something wrong. You don’t need counseling, you just need to understand marriage, because that is what will save your marriage.

Have you ever asked, “Why won’t God help my marriage?”

I think a lot of people do, and before I’ve discovered all this marital knowledge I will be the first to admit, I blamed Him for a lot of my marriage woes.

Even though I agree with karma, aka “what you sow, you reap”, I didn’t think I deserved the misery I felt at times. Now, with what I have learned and share with you, I never have those thoughts.

So let’s look at this by starting with a story. Maybe you’ve heard it already a million times.

Once there was a man who made a pact with God (it’s a made up story) that he would raise his kids in a pious way and God would protect his life. The man did his part, and as he was sitting in front of his TV later in life there was a newsflash warning all residents to evacuate because of imminent flooding. But the man knew God was protecting him, so he stayed.

A little later, as the water in the streets was rising, the sheriffs came by in a boat telling all the hangers on that they had to get out and they would safely take them. But the man had his pact with God. So, he stayed.

Finally, as he was sitting on his roof a helicopter came by, but the man had his pact; he stayed on the roof as the flood waters swirled around him. The next thing he knew he was standing at the pearly gates, meeting God.

He said, “What am I doing here? You promised to protect my life!”

To which God replied, “What are you doing here? I sent you a newsflash, sheriffs in a boat, and a helicopter! I tried to help you, but you ignored my help.”

So why won’t God help my marriage?

Here’s the thing. You should pray, of course. But pray so you remember who loves you. Pray with gratitude, not like a beggar.

Don’t you realize God has given you everything you need to succeed?

He wants you to be happy! He is your father, and every father wants their children to be happy. But you need to do your part!

God helps those who help themselves. He can only do so much because He has given you free will, so you should use it to learn about marriage, and then be happy, knowing your marriage will be fine, when you do what you need to do.


God won’t help, but your mind can save your marriage

What does your mind have to do with saving your marriage?

Well, what do you think gets you into trouble in the first place?

Your mind is a very powerful tool. But you need to start seeing it as a possession or else its instincts, emotions and habits will continue to rule you. Take note of this, an uncontrolled mind is a deadly force.

Once you’ve learned about the mind (and not from a Western psychologist, please), you will see how it can be monitored and controlled. It can be employed to first save your marriage, and then it can be used to make your marriage the loving and secure relationship you’ve always wanted.

The mind, which is little understood, is daily utilized for many important things, from calculating to interpreting experiences to using its embedded imagination “software” for careful planning.

Nearly 100% of the problems you face come from you not controlling the mind’s functions. You, and just about everyone else, allow the mind to be controlled by its automatic reactions. Then you allow the mind, which is just a tool, to control you and your marriage. Instead of stepping up and stopping those reactions, you accept them as “how I feel” or “who I am.” The idea of identifying yourself as “your mind” is rooted in Western psychology, not reality. In reality “you” are a soul who possesses a mind and body.

Once you begin the effort of controlling your mind, it can and will be your best tool.

Can this really be true?


Let me show you how by trying this breathing exercise

Slow down the mind, which you are capable of, so you can observe your thoughts and feelings as “things.”

The easiest way to slow the mind is by doing a simple breathing exercise:

  1. Inhale to a count of six.
  2. Hold the breath to a count of six.
  3. Release the breath in a controlled manner to a count of six.
  4. Then repeat. But don’t hold the breath “out” to a count. Just inhale again.

When you do this three to six times, it will slow your heart, which will slow your mind.

Now, you will be able to observe the thoughts and feelings. You will see you can actually decide which thoughts and feelings serve your marriage and which will hurt your marital happiness. Then you can choose which ones to keep or get rid of.

You will see that your mind:

  • Reacts to perceived emergencies (which are probably NOT dangerous)
  • Becomes angry
  • Becomes defensive
  • Becomes moody
  • Becomes emotional …and so forth

It isn’t YOU who becomes those things listed above. It is your mind. You’re not your mind. You have a mind!

In other words, nobody can have a successful life or successful marriage without learning how to control the mind. No matter which successful person you’ve read about, they’ve achieved success by always having a handle on their mind. They learned how to visualize. They learned how to concentrate. They learned how to control their emotions and even their feelings.

That’s what you can do, too:

  • Become objective and see your mind as a possession. As long as you think you and your mind are the same thing, you will be trapped by it and swallowed up by all its crazy thoughts and feelings.
  • Experiment with controlling thoughts and feelings. Start small. You have not been using your mind, so your abilities have to grow with use. Start with little dislikes. Change them to indifference, work them even into likes. It is your mind, so you can tell it what to do.
  • Start applying wisdom to your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions in your marriage. This is one of the keys to happiness, because you are now in charge of the moods. So, you can use your mind to create harmony.

Some people can use the above, without further instruction or help, to shift their marriage into marriage-saving and marriage-building action. Others will need more help.

But I will tell you this.

Can your mind save your marriage?

Yes! Only the most totally destroyed marriages will fail when you employ your second-greatest asset, your mind.


Let me say this straight, women can save their marriage (by themselves)

The only reason people doubt whether women can save their marriage, through their own efforts alone, is because so little general understanding about marriage exists.

So let’s begin there.

Do not confuse marriage with “relationships,” because marriage is much more than a mere relationship. Sure, the relationship you have with your husband is a big part of marriage, but marriage isn’t just a relationship. Although it is paramount that you build your spousal relationship into something amazing, marriage benefits don’t come from your spouse giving love and attention.

But one thing’s for sure, marriage is more like a “vehicle,” like a ship you and your husband will take to travel on the sea of life. When you get married, your marriage should take you through life with your husband (and probably some children that will come aboard). You get on board with your husband, and together you should sail your marriage through life — with all its pleasures and challenges.

Sometimes, while co-skippering, one of you does more, and the other kicks back. At other times, one of you decides what happens next, and the other gives moral support.

Have you always been supportive of your husband? Probably not, but we will get back to that.

Most marriage counselors think there needs to strive for a balance of effort, especially in troubled marriages. But this kind of thinking comes from people who live in a fantasy world; they imagine Utopian concepts. Take a look at how scattered and unhelpful articles on becoming a marriage counselor are. They imagine fairness, but there is no such thing as fairness.

In reality, a balance of effort is impossible. The kinds of contributions couples make in marriage differs with each individual, so you couldn’t weigh things if you wanted to.

In some marriages, only the wife arranges and decorates the living room, and in other marriages the husband acts as the primary financial supporter, but the wife pays the bills. With many families, the wife acts as the main nurturer for the children, while the husband sets the principles of security. The combinations of efforts are endless, and none are more wrong or right than others. Like on a ship, the navigator will navigate because someone has to do it.


Marriage “experts” talk about requirements for equal effort, which is unrealistic

Who is to say, who is to judge, who will enforce?

Besides, nobody is capable of matching another’s effort, and nobody is wise enough to determine what is fair or unfair. The whole premise of “fairness” within a marriage is crazy. But it does explain why the rate of divorce among marriage counseling professionals, who come up with these ideas, is a tad higher than average!

Shouldn’t they be non-existent?

There are many aspects to marriage that we go into, in depth, in our marriage advice programs. But I wanted to address this one about fairness, because it often deters wives who feel they carry the “burden” of fixing a marriage they didn’t ruin. I don’t want you to be swayed by things that will hurt your marriage even more. You need to know that you, all by yourself, can not only resuscitate your marriage, but you can lead the effort to make it an amazing marriage.

I have another metaphor that will help you.

Imagine you are on one side of a river and your husband is on the other.

You need a bridge in order to be together, right?

Does it matter who builds most of it?

Does it matter if you have to build it all by yourself, because he is currently discouraged and does not have it in him, for whatever reason, to work at your marriage?


By now you’ll be wondering, do our marriage advice techniques really help?

Let’s get to the bottom line of this topic.

In 2008, I got a desperate email from a wife in New Haven whose husband started shacking up with one of his co-ed students. She didn’t know what to do. The psychologist she went to wouldn’t see her unless she cut off her husband. But they had children together, and he would come by to see them during their separation period.

She had my first book and thought it was more positive and accurate than anything else she had read. So, she asked for some direct marriage advice. I gave it to her and she applied it. And like nearly every other wife who follows our program, she got her husband and marriage back.

Naturally, it is easier if your husband has not left, and even if porn and affairs are involved (many of our solo clients suffer with this issue), it is still very doable to regain a great marriage.

Should I bother?

Of course!

Unless you don’t have kids or your husband is a pedophile or something else really terrible, our program will offer much less suffering than separating and divorcing.

Is it really possible?

The answer is YES!

It is possible for women to save their marriage. It will not be as difficult as you imagine, because you have no idea what is involved. But I can assure you that what you learn will solve your marital problems and make you a happier person.

We don’t patch you up and throw you back into a crazy marriage, so you have to wait for the other shoe to drop. Marriage advice will be given in ways you can’t imagine. We will introduce you to ideas and methods you have never been exposed to.

You’ll learn how to control your emotions and connect with your heart, so your compassion, not anger or hurt, is your base. We guide you through marriage in ways that will light you up. You’ll want it, and you’ll know how to have it! Never again will you slip into the abyss.

Let’s be realistic here.

I can’t help you long term by just getting you out of the hole you are currently in. Hence why we show you how to avoid all the pits and traps, and how to spot opportunities and best use them.

Think of it as the best training you’ll ever get because it will bring you more constant happiness than anything else.

I don’t believe in being miserable. We’ll show you the vision of real marriage and get you there step by step. You may be suffering now, but you’ll soon be happy.

Lastly, about you not being supportive all the time

Women are the basis of marriage. In a more enlightened world, you would have been taught that and seen it. But we live in a world taken over by crude ideas of love and sex and give-and-take.

Marriage benefits are above it all! You’ll see.


So can I save my marriage, quickly?

It’s a fair question when you are in the throes of suffering. However, the answer is: YES.

But what is your definition of “quickly”?

And, how far gone is your marriage?

You can’t actually answer either of those questions because you have nothing to gauge your marriage with. If you knew much about marriage, you wouldn’t be in trouble, and you would know what needs to do to get out of the slumps and back on track.

Some people (well, almost all people) who go for marriage counseling will ask a marriage family therapist how it looks for their troubled marriage.

“Are we in big trouble?”

And the therapist will tell you they can’t tell yet: “I think we need a few more sessions before I can answer that.”

Isn’t that interesting?

The MFT can’t tell you anything, and they know it.

Why not?


  • They have no idea. Even if they lived with you forever, knew what you and your spouse are really like, what you as individuals are going through, and what it will take to achieve a happy marriage, they still wouldn’t know. Nobody but God has the ability to consider everything and give a fair appraisal.
  • They don’t know enough about marriage to guide you toward a happy marriage, usually. In some rare cases you may luck out and find an MFT who actually understands marriage. Unless they are certified by The Marriage Foundation, then you will find a great one.


But you don’t need an appraisal!

Not from an outsider who can only see what you show them and have to guess about 99.9% of the rest. What you do need — and you can get it! — is enough marital education to understand what is going wrong. Then, you can come up with your own game plan, which will definitely fix your marriage in a way that makes it work as it should.

There are three really interesting things you need to do:

  1. First off, you need to have a clear picture of a happy marriage. It only makes sense to define what you want. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know what marriage is, let alone what a happy marriage takes. We never learned the basics of relationship building or any other marital core aspects.
  2. You need to learn what to do in order to get what you want. There is a lot to marriage. Even though you may have been married for a while, you’ve never developed an expertise. For most of us, marriage compares to getting on a roller coaster. We get into marriage and see what happens, rather than consciously developing the marriage we desire. With proper marriage education, you will soon understand the necessary processes and why they work so well.
  3. Old habits will be your worst enemy. So you need to stick to your new plan for success. Unless you commit yourself to the processes you learn, you will slip back into your old marriage-destructive behaviors. This is a very important part of marriage education. Learning how your mind works so you are in control over it is as important as learning marriage communication, or the relationship of body, mind, and soul.

So, can I save my marriage quickly, you ask?

The answer to this question is YES and NO.

You must have a willingness to learn.

We advise that an individual or couple take at least a few weeks to study and absorb the lessons. Then, there is a period of time in the beginning when you face your habits head on. This time is not so much about your marriage as it is about you. You’ll discover how you’ve been running away from yourself by blaming your spouse for everything, including your own bad habits and situations. But once you get through this initial period, you will see a lot of rapid improvement.

There is no guessing how long it takes to get to the rapid improvement. Some “get it” in a few days, others take weeks, or even months! But we do know from our marriage experiments that once you go through this first phase, the transformation of your marriage is exponential.

Our system is revolutionary!

And like anything you do, if you do it half-heartedly, your results will be less than what you’d like. But, because we work off the reality that marriage is an exact science, we can make claims of success with great certainty.

Never give up!

Your marriage is meant to be great. It’s up to you to prove that in your own life.

If you are not a happy married couple, it isn’t because you haven’t tried and it isn’t because you are not good people. Even if the first order of business is to save your marriage because of ongoing stress and painful interactions don’t imagine for even one minute that you have to live like you do now. To save your marriage, you don’t have to work as hard as you think or sacrifice anything. To have people say, “There goes a happy married couple,” all you have to do is learn what marriage is all about and follow the rules of success.

Divorce is unnatural and a disease you don’t have to suffer from

Everybody knows the divorce rate is well over 50% for first time marriages, but that doesn’t make it normal. By looking at the divorce rate one would think that marriage is next to impossible, especially when you consider how many married couples are not at all happy. You can save your marriage and have an incredibly joyful marital experience for the rest of your lives just like you thought you would when you first got married. But first you have to know what to do.

Divorce in America Infographic from
Divorce in America Infographic from 


Would you ever try to fly an airplane without learning about airplanes, weather, and all of the things you should know before you attempt flight?

The obvious answer is no because it would be downright stupid to approach something you know very little about with cockiness that can get you killed. A marriage is the same. When you first got married you didn’t know anything about what marriage is or how to function properly within it. Just like everybody else, you figured that you were smart enough to handle whatever problems came your way and no matter what, it was your love would get you through; do you remember that?

The real problem is a lack of “How to Live” education in our school system

Our western materialistic culture does nothing to prepare individuals for married life. There are no courses in relationships or gender differences. As a nation we simply do not know how to create a loving, synergistic family. Those who have taken responsibility for relationships, western psychologists, are trained to focus on diseases of the mind. They are always looking for a mental disorder when a couple has marital problems rather than explaining what marriage requires in terms of attitudes and behaviors.

Here are 10 things you can do to save your marriage and become a happy married couple:

  1. Make a list of your expectations and then make sure they are expectations for you rather than your spouse
  2. Make a list of your spouse’s good qualities and remind yourself of how fortunate you are to have married them
  3. Count your blessings
  4. Put your complaints into perspective and reduce their power over you
  5. Determine that you will behave how you want your spouse to behave
  6. Tell your children how wonderful your spouse is
  7. Tell your spouse how wonderful he or she is
  8. Tell your spouse how much you love them
  9. Pray that you may see only the positives of your spouse
  10. Tell your spouse you love them, again

Figuring out the best way to save your marriage requires you to start with an objective analysis. Don’t even imagine that there are 1 or 2, or 17 best ways to save YOUR marriage, and every other marriage out there.

You have to get real!

Yes, it is scary when you finally come to grips with the reality that your marriage is on the brink of divorce. But if you remain in a frightened state, your emotions will lead you right to the divorce you are trying to avoid.

The first step is to take a look, take stock, and try to understand why you think your marriage is falling apart. Marriage is an exact science, and you do not need months of marriage counseling to pinpoint the forces that are currently pushing you apart.

  • Are you annoyed with each other?
  • Is one of you having an affair?
  • Are you communicating with love and respect?

The next step is get practical about how you are going to address the issues. Usually this means self examination. Ask yourself if you have been the kind of spouse who makes your marriage harmonious. Ask yourself if you were living with your behavior, how would you do.

  • Am I supportive and loving?
  • Am I affectionate?
  • Do I create drama and push my spouse away?

The last step is to create a course of rectifying behaviors and actions.

What are those?

Those are the behaviors and actions that will reverse the negative feelings, and create the kinds of responses you seek in marriage. Everyone wants the same thing. Ultimately, we all want unconditional love, and appreciation of who we are. We all want to feel harmony in our marriage and home, so our marriage is the safest and most comfortable place on Earth. That is what marriage is meant to be!

Step one, again

The first step is to admit that you didn’t know how to be married before you agreed to get married, nor did you know what marriage is. But don’t stop there. You still don’t know what marriage is, not really!  Even if you have been married for 20 years, you still don’t know enough about marriage to make your marriage successful. So the first step is put everything on hold and get an education. It is not a long drawn out education you need, but you need to start.


Let’s face it, just save your marriage alone (there’s nothing wrong with that)

Now I’m going to stop you right there, and imagine for a moment.

There was a great Robin Williams movie years ago (well, I personally loved it) in which he died in an accident, before his wife. He waited in heaven until she would pass, too. But out of lonely desperation she killed herself, which sent her to Hell (maybe not too far off).

That movie, “What Dreams May Come“, was released in 1998, a few years before I began putting together the body of knowledge that would eventually serve millions, and be known as our programs. But that story stayed with me, as it opened my heart, and helped me see what is necessary for true healing.

You see, in the movie he chose, out of love, to go to Hell to find her. Then he chose to stay there with her, even though he was not obligated to be there at all! Because of his love for her, he ignored her horrible mistake and guess what. His love freed them both.

At the moment, as you go through the torture of realizing you are the only one who cares enough to save your marriage, or maybe you just discovered your husband is cheating, or using porn sites, it isn’t easy to find anyone who will support your efforts to be the lone saviour of your marriage. But that is because people don’t get what marriage is, so they imagine it is all over, for a number of “reasons”.  They will explain things like “marriage takes two”, or “he never should have…” and many other ignorant ideas.

But they are wrong!

What can I tell you in a short blog?

You just have to trust me, or move on.

But I emphatically tell you that thousands have found out that their marriage can absolutely be saved, even though they have to do all the work to save it. And I will also tell you they find it wasn’t only reasonable, but well worth it.

In some cases, it is the man who must work on the marriage solo, but that is a much smaller number. Usually, it is women who have the option.

So why is this so? And how?

I’m going to skip the reasons why you can do it, and it is okay to do so, because no matter what I tell you, the humiliation and odds of this working are the two biggest obstacles. I can’t help you with the humiliation (some women are disconnected from their heart and will never “hear” it), but I can tell you that the odds are way in your favor. Your man is more than likely desperate for you to be the “wife” you stopped being. Most women are actually shocked at how simple it is to get their men back.

The “HOW” is simple, too.

But it isn’t always easy.

However, there is no question that it is much easier than divorce!

So what’s it all about?

It’s learning about marriage, and applying common sense efforts that bring your hearts together; the rest will follow.

What do I mean?

Marriage is much more complicated than you were let on to believe. In fact, marriage is not even a relationship, as most people think. The relationship is just a part of your marriage, like the wings are part of an airplane.

You can’t just have a relationship.

You have to have knowledge about how each of you think, feel, need, and desire, among other things. You literally have a relationship with your spouse, with your marriage, and with your “self”. And you have to know enough about each other to create happiness. That’s why we don’t advise you to read a book or two. You need to be taken through a process step-by-step with help from our experts, to gain the relationship that brings both of you happiness.

Did you know that the purpose of marriage is — to bring you happiness?

It isn’t too late! Give our marriage program a try. You will be glad you did!


You mentioned earlier about “what if I just discovered my husband is cheating or using porn sites”, can marriage still be saved?

Why are you still reading this?

So you’re still not convinced yet?

You should’ve been in our program page, right?

Probably you’re wondering if there are still other ways to save your marriage. OKAY, stick with me here because there will be more of it.

Don’t worry.

The majority of help requests we get are from wives who have recently discovered their husband using porn sites or, in some cases, multiple dating sites. Their husband either left his cell phone in a place where a suspicious (rightfully so) text was spotted, or accidentally left a trail on the home computer, leading to the evil Ashley Madison website (Wikipedia) or some other deplorable porn/hook-up site. Offering easy infidelity to an unhappily married man is no different than offering wine to an alcoholic.

Then, there are wives who correctly assume, based on something they’ve heard or saw, their husband is in some “stage” (the degree is less important than the fact the marriage is in trouble) of an affair.

Sometimes they share what they’ve discovered with us, hardly believing what they discovered themselves (we don’t doubt anyone). Other times they “just know.” We never question if what they share is true or not; most women innately have very good intuition. If anything, we hear from too many wives who make excuses for their husband, calling obvious affairs “emotional” affairs, or “friendship,” as if it is less of a marriage problem.

Some wives are understandably terribly angry, while others are more stunned than anything else that this could happen to them. But many others, who are still very much in love with their husband, sincerely want to know if their marriage can be saved. They aren’t sure if their husband may have already, for all intents and purposes, “left” their marriage. They just need to know. And you need to know, too.

We know what should be done, what steps to take, but we never think we are immune from life’s sucker punches. We are extremely sympathetic towards all who reach out to us.

Most women are unaware of the fact that their husband’s infidelity is more of a “symptom” than the end; and that’s okay for now.

Here’s why:

Over the years, we have often seen women not just save their marriage, but, using the techniques and philosophies we impart, make their marriage into what it is meant to be. That is the norm for us.

Determined women can even save their marriage from the jaws of divorce, if it has gone that far. Even if they missed the early warning signs, or didn’t come to grips with the fact that their marriage has been leading towards a divorce, it is rarely too late. One should never imagine the worst, or else they are already finished.

Some women know their marriage is not as it should be, and have known for quite a while. There have been other signs of unhappiness, but they choose to “wait and see” if things get better. But the troubles only get worse over time.

The “wait and see” approach to marital problems is the worst thing to do, almost as bad as trial separations. Refusing to alter the course of a troubling marriage means you are allowing your ship of happiness to keep moving towards the rocks of destruction.

Trouble in marriage is like an infection.

It only worsens over time.

We are against confrontation, as it causes nothing but trouble if you want to remain married, but that doesn’t mean ignore the problems. One must do what works for the best results.

But what could have been done, even if you knew things weren’t as they should be?

Most people don’t do anything because they don’t know where to turn, what to do.

Especially now that the “secret” is out, that couple’s counseling rarely heals a marriage, people are at a loss about what to do. So, they wait and hope things will improve. But the inevitable explosion of reality hits, and if they are fortunate, they find us.

We know exactly what needs to be done, and I don’t care if this sounds like an ad, because it is the truth and it is how we help people!

We are in charge of our destiny. Click To Tweet

Popular sayings promote the ideal that we, as individuals, are “in charge” of our destiny. Self-awareness and self-improvement study is growing in popularity, and there is no reason to exclude awareness about marriage, where it comes to creating our happiness through personal, positive action.

But the bottom line is:

Marriage is, after all, the biggest part of each of our lives.

Shouldn’t we have a handle on our own marriage?

Should we remain victims of random outer circumstances, or inner reactive habits? Heck no!

Unfortunately, though, not very many of us were exposed to any practical marital or relationship education while growing up. Nor do we learn how to correctly utilize our free will to gain the happiness we seek. We didn’t learn it in elementary school, middle school, high school, or college, and schools continue neglecting to teach about actual life experience.

We never learned how-to-live.

It is only later in life, if someone wants that kind of specialized education, that they may take a course from any one of the self-improvement experts, like Tony Robins, Dale Carnegie, or Napoleon Hill. Even from my own book, Breaking The Cycle which has been acclaimed by some as a great self-help book (for unmarried individuals, too), you can gain the knowledge to have that missing inner control, which you need to change your life. But you have to want it. You have to be motivated.

But the truth is very few of us are motivated to go the extra mile, beyond what “they” taught us in school, until some catastrophic event makes us realize how important it is to take charge of, and responsibility for, the outcomes in our lives.

Does this make sense?

What you need to do, to save your marriage, boils down to the exact same efforts and processes you need if you want to make your marriage great. So, our point of view is that one might as well go for the “great” marriage.

Why settle for just saving it?

Why allow your current difficulties to limit your desires and expectations?

FOR EXAMPLE: A person who slips through ice, will immediately think, “All I want is to get out of this icy water”; but that is just until they are safe on land again, and then they want more: to be dry, warm, and live with no consequences of the fall. They want a great life after they are free from the immediate peril.

We think the same way.

We want your focus to be on a happy future, not just a quick rescue (which is quicker than you may think). And, of course we want you to know about avoiding thin ice in the future.

So, the very first question almost everyone asks is whether their marriage is “recoverable,” or will they have to live through the hell of separation and divorce?

Will things ever be “good” again?

Is it possible to regain the lost trust and rebuild the connection?

Sometimes we get a lot of details in the requests, as they understandably need to share. Other times a betrayed wife is so distraught we only get angry accusations; not even a real question. But everything is understandable.

Betrayal in marriage is not easy for anyone, in any “case.” Discovering one’s husband is unfaithful, or “on” porn, is not easy to process. And, yes, the actual revelation, even when a wife has known for years, as we hear about in some cases, does change everything.

But we also know that in over 95% of the cases, the marriage is just going to “start fresh” (if and when the couple, or just the wife, takes the right steps), so none of us coaches want any wife to think it is the end of the marriage; that’s the last thing that you should be thinking!

We want you to know a “normal” marriage is a great marriage; even if yours was never really “great,” it can still get there. In MOST cases, the newly re-created marriage is so much better than when couples look back after a year or so, they think of this present trial as a great blessing.

I know it sounds idealistic, but it is truthful.

Now I also have to tell you, with great candor, that in the past years I rightfully earned the title of “iron fist, with velvet glove” when I worked with people individually. I am NOT the type of man anyone would go to for a comforting “there, there, everything will be just fine.” Nor will I ever jump on the bandwagon of wrathful blame. I was the marriage expert that individuals and couples came to when they wanted to hear the raw truth and get honest advice that yielded positive results.

I hate giving up!

I think people appreciated that my advice was clear and concise, even those who had seriously tough situations. I prefer they rely on explanations that can be scientifically (biology plays a huge role in marriage) explained. So if someone’s odds for recovery are along the lines of climbing Mt. Everest, I do not pretend their situation is a walk in the park.

On the other hand, I stood apart from marriage counselors by helping individuals who psychologists had refused to help. Most psychologists refuse cases when there is chronic spousal abuse, for instance.

In fact, a number of the cases I took (in which the women succeeded) were individuals I met, or was referred by another speaker at a Second Saturday meeting. Many of those clients were truly at the “end”; or at least they thought so.

For me, it wasn’t what they thought, or should I say “imagined” (we always imagine the worst when we face the unknown) that mattered.

It was not even critical if their husband was out of the house or had a girlfriend.

I’ve seen too many successes that most psychologists consider impossible. So what I share with you, although it flies in the face of nearly everything else you may have heard, is the honest truth.

Nearly 100% of the time, although this doesn’t include the very few instances when a husband is truly deranged, due to alcohol, narcotics, or a true clinical mental illness, when a woman makes up her mind to re-create her marriage, and follows through, her husband will become the husband of her dreams.

In this day and age, too many women are tempted to choose a divorce instead of putting in the effort, because they think it is “easier” or a shortcut to happiness. But I say emphatically, with almost NO exceptions, that divorce is infinitely more difficult, for EVERYONE!

Divorce is NOT the easy way; even when it is the only way.

In case any of my points are misconstrued, I want to make it abundantly clear that I never mean, or imply, that women are the cause of their husband doing bad things! Men who break the most basic rules of marital loyalty are wrong to do so. No excuse makes it okay. But, we aren’t going to play judge and jury, because it will not be helpful. We are going to stick to the path of simplicity. We are going to show you your options for moving forward in a positive way.

There is a reason I underlined the word “re-create” when I spoke about your marriage. This needs further explanation.

Marriage isn’t something that “happens” simply because you “got married,” any more than a brick can be said to be flying just because you throw it into the air. Bricks can’t “fly.” Nor is a marriage a marriage just because you “get” married.

What does all this mean?

Marriage has to be created, built from scratch, and then built upon every step along the way, from the moment you agreed to get married.

That is, in fact, how it is supposed to be. Of course nobody really knows this, which brings us here.

You and your husband were supposed to pro-actively create, build, define, and, in that way, live within the marriage of your collaborative creation. When done correctly, intentionally, you can use our term to define your marriage: The Sacred Space of Marriage.

But, who knew?

Hardly anyone knows enough about marriage. Hardly anyone knows what creating your marriage actually really even means. It sounds more like greeting-card words to most people — nice but not practical. And that’s why things go sideways. Because you needed to do something you couldn’t fathom, it didn’t get done. Instead of building your marriage, you both dug a hole.

However, building your marriage IS practical, and it is necessary for success.

You had, and still have, all the materials, all the intentions, but no idea where to begin. So your marriage became more frustrating than fun. AND you became disconnected. Disconnection means neither of you are getting the marriage benefits you signed up for, it means both of you have been trying crazy things to find that elusive happiness.

It is precisely because you and your husband didn’t proactively construct your marriage, because you took things day by day, doing whatever your habits had you do. Your marriage was never “created” in the image of your soul’s desire for LOVE and connection. So here you are!

  • If you want to start constructing your marriage now, you can
  • If you deliberately choose to start right here, and right now, allowing the past to be chalked up as a big “we had no idea — so no blame, no foul,” you can do it.
  • And, if you build your marriage correctly, your marriage will not just be “saved,” it will be spectacular; I promise you that.

The next logical question is: “Where do we begin?”

How do we gain the knowledge to build our marriage?

And this is where you have to accept some harsh truths. The biggest “shocker” is that you and your husband have no idea how to be married. Yes, it is true.

I can’t tell you how many people believe they know how to be married, despite the fact that their marriage is rapidly sinking. They blame this, or that, or their husband, or their in-laws, or some ex who shows up, or kids, etc.

The list goes on and on.

But if you knew how to be married, your marriage would be working. It literally only takes ONE of you to make your marriage work. It is not quite (but almost) as good if only one of you knows what they are doing, but it really only takes one to make your marriage work.

There are so many components to marriage, all of which are important. When ladies write to us for help, we are (100% of the time) caught in a quandary.

What do we tell them “right now” when they feel so helpless?

How do we explain that there is no “all you have to do” solution to the mess they are currently in?

How do we say kindly that they are only seeing just one symptom of a dysfunctional marriage?

Perhaps most importantly, how do we guide them to our programs, which will truly help them much better than marriage counseling in most cases, without it sounding like a sales pitch?

Because we really do care!

We seriously want their marriage to succeed!


Marriage is literally “designed” to bring each one a feeling of unbelievable happiness

In my humble opinion, which I personally value highly, marriage (as an institution) is among the top three gifts from God (I’m not sure what the other two are, but I will leave that up to you). Because unbelievable happiness comes from feeling unconditional love and marriage is a perfect setup for experiencing unconditional love.

Do you even know what “unconditional” love is?

If you have any idea, it is only because you have felt it, and having felt it, you know exactly what I am referring to, and you know it is impossible to feel a greater happiness from any other experience.

What can bring you more happiness than unconditional love?

Is it a new car?


Is it lots of money?


Or, is it anything material?

Unfortunately, nothing brings more happiness than unconditional love. It is that simple, and it is that profound!


So, where am I going with this?

A long time ago, I met with a couple who wanted a divorce. I offered to help them save their marriage if they gave me some months to figure things out. Before we met again, I began my “research” efforts by asking a poignant question: “Why get married at all?” Then I realized I’ve never asked that question before I got married, and my first marriage ended like most marriages end; it wasn’t pretty!

From there, I was able to see how beautiful the ideal marriage is and how to create it. I saw all the mistakes I, and others, made or make. I saw what was required to re-create virtually any marriage (exceptions exist, but they are rare) and how to get there. My first couple is still happily married.

Then I began helping more couples, and wow. Their successes were off the charts!

Over time, I created more, and better, processes, techniques, and methods. I began training licensed marriage therapists, and I developed a unique program, which uses our videos, written lectures, and personal help.

Now, we see positive results all the time. We see so much happiness come out of the ashes, and, I have to say, it feels wonderful to save families!

So here it is: Don’t despair. Have faith!

The future is going to be brighter than this low point, and you will see; your marriage will be happiness. In the words of one of our clients: Your marriage will be everyday amazing.


It all comes down to this: DON’T SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE!

Yes, I know what you’re thinking right now.

“After making me read all 8k+ words article on how to save a marriage, you’ll tell me to NOT SAVE IT?! Are you seriously joking?”

It isn’t worth saving your marriage just so you can go on suffering, fighting, and making yourself and everyone around you miserable. All you’re doing is complaining and waiting for your spouse to change and suit you.

Don’t save your marriage if all it means is holding on to the idea of marriage and your old habits. If you save your marriage, but don’t change, it is only a matter of time before the same old issues comes up.

Save yourself!

You think the problem is this or that. Marriage counselors, and other marriage professionals, including judges, divorce lawyers, and family law lawyers (yes, it is an industry that preys on people like you), know that you can’t save your marriage.

Here’s the scary part: They count on you as customers.

So, even if they knew what you could do, they probably wouldn’t tell you.

The only way to truly save your marriage is too much trouble.

We don’t believe in just saving marriages so they can sink again.

Why should we pull people up from under the waves if they won’t learn how to swim? Learning about marriage, like learning how to swim, is a lot of trouble. But how else can your marriage survive?

Here’s the secret: Don’t save your marriage, change your perspective about marriage.

There is no better way to change your perspective about marriage than to take a marriage course. And there are no better marriage courses than those offered by TMF.

Marriages don’t need just saving!

Saving your marriage sounds crazy to us, who understand marriage. How can you save your marriage if you don’t put in the effort yourself?

It would be like putting me behind the controls of a jet plane and asking me to pilot it safely.

I couldn’t do that!

But if you put someone behind the controls who has learned how to fly, that is a different story! They will not just save the plane, but they will enjoy flying it.

Don’t just save your marriage, learn to operate your marriage!

Why waste time doing something here and there that will create a bit of relief? Learn to see your marriage as a “thing,” like you would any other thing. Think of marriage as this “thing” intended to bring happiness. Marriage is an exact science. So when you understand it that way, you will not just save your marriage, but you will have the ability to make it soar!

Don’t save your marriage, make it amazing!

Breaking The Cycle is the most complete marriage book available. All of our certified counselors make sure their clients read it as an adjunct to their counseling. But you can read it without marriage counseling. It will change your life. Marriage education is the key.

The choice is yours.

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Paul Friedman
Paul Friedman
Founder & Executive Director
Paul has written two books, produced several video programs, regularly speaks on marriage, and continues to guide the growth of The Marriage Foundation to help enrich the marriages of as many couples as possible around the world.

4 thoughts on “How To Save A Marriage That Is Falling Apart (Alone)

  1. CassieReply

    I read this entire post, but still feel entirely helpless. I don’t think our marriage can be saved. I don’t know how to move on from years of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and intense controlling behaviors. He alternates between cruelty and gentle kindness; treating me like a treasure one day and then telling me all of the things that are wrong with me and acting like I will never measure up to his expectations the next. I don’t want to destroy my child’s life by getting a divorce, but I feel like I’m going to lose my sanity and/or will to live if this continues. I read this entire article, but don’t feel like it really applies or can help this situation….

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Although it is true that not every man will respond to positive loving behavior, we have seen that it is rare. For that reason, because you are not in a position to know, we always suggest you at least try. Then, if your case is the rare one, you will at least know you have tried your best.
      Too many try using psychological based efforts; but they will never work. Marriage is much more than a psychological relationship. So please give it a shot. Use one of my books as a guide, or the course. We really want you to be successful in your marriage.

  2. Lucy ComptonReply

    I met my partner 12 years ago, we got married September 2017, 12 years to the day we first met. We have had a few problems in the past and took a break from each other for a few months in 2010 6 months after our son was born. My Husband has 2 other children one is in the proccess of being adopted by his step father, he is from my husband’s previous marriage that did not end well, his eldest son is now 20, my husband has a good relationship with him and his ex. From the first time I met his eldest son we hit it off and the 3 of us used to have so much fun. Of course my son came along just as my step son turned into a teen and things went down hill. My step son doesn’t live with us and has never had a stable up bringing, he then turned to drugs and alcohol. I don’t think children should be in that kind of environment and I don’t want that for my son (who loves his big bro) so we didn’t see him much for a while. He now works for my husband and just recently I have noticed a change in my husband. Last night my step son stayed at our house and we trusted him to watch our 7 yr old son while we went food shopping, we came back to find my step son in our kitchen with 3 of his friends the house smelt so bad of cannabis I was almost sick, they were using bad language and had left my son in the front room on his own, all my husband did was to get angry at me because I was fuming about the situation. To me this is unforgivable and I don’t know how to get past it. We are meant to be going on a cruise in August as a late honeymoon but at the moment I can’t even look at my husband, what can i do?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      First, you must recognize the futility of expectations.A person, your husband, your step son, your biological son; all will do what they do based on more influences than you can decipher in a thousand years. People who ascribe a behavior, or attitude, to one or two things are imagining themselves to have a much greater power of reasoning than is humanly possible; though sometimes they may get it almost right.

      Therefore, fuming at your husband is a waste of time at best, and an undermining behavior at worst.

      Do you want an improved relationship with your husband? If so, you ought to read one of my books, or take the course, to get clarity about what works to bring love and harmony into your marriage; then focus on those things where you can see it will do the most good.

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