It may sound like a lost cause or even a waste of time, but there are things one spouse can do on their own if the other spouse is reluctant or unwilling to make the changes necessary to try to save the marriage.
It all comes down to realizing that the only person you have any control over is yourself, your actions and your commitment to your marriage.
Here are three steps one spouse can take on their own to start making positive changes in the marriage.
Strengthen Your Own Commitment
It does not matter about the lack of effort that your husband or wife is putting into the marriage. You can, however, strengthen your personal efforts in repairing pieces of your relationship that affect you.
One huge problem is that often the spouse who wants to work on things may already be going all out in giving their marriage everything they possibly can.
To save your marriage, you may have to dig deeper and draw on inner reserves that you did not even know you still had, and gather strength enough to give some more.
What this does is give you a sense of empowerment by the strength and resolve you are giving to the quest to save your marriage. You are the only one who can say what your relationship is worth to you and which measures you are willing to tackle.
Act Like A Best Friend
It is easy to forget that your wife or husband may need you to be a friend.
Take a closer look and you probably will notice that you both have forgotten how to be friends.
So many couples find that as time passes it seems like the only ways they interact are when they disagree or have downright arguments. Somewhere along the way, things moved from supportive roles to more adversarial ones.
Stop and think for a moment about your best friend. Now, what do you do when that friend is having a down day? What do you normally do to help?
Remembering that you can only control your own actions, you could make a positive step and be lead by example.
Just by making simple changes in the way you talk to your spouse and behave when you are together could be all that is needed to show them that they could make some changes too. If nothing else, a friendlier manner creates a safer less stressful environment.
Work on Yourself
Even though we say you need to give the relationship your all, it might be hard to see how there is any time left for you.
This is important because in any giving relationship, in order for it to work, you have to be strong on the inside.
Look at it this way, you nurture yourself as much as you nurture the relationship. One or the other (or both) will feel they are the only ones putting energy into the relationship, they are the ones giving in to the other and always caving in by giving up the things they want or need. When that happens the only thing you are building on the inside is resentment.
It is crucial to figure out a way to get some self-time, to stop and take a closer look at your thoughts, your emotions, and let yourself deal with whatever struggles are happening inside. You can’t forget to celebrate your hopes and dreams too.
Save the marriage
To summarize, you have to first strengthen your own commitment to the marriage, then lead by example and be a friend to your spouse, and finally, work a little on yourself!