As a former counselor at an anger management program, I often heard, “Is it ever too late to save a marriage?” It was an often used expression but not one I agreed with. Although we would never admit it, many of the couples that enter marriage counseling have already lost too much time and energy to salvage what is left of a relationship. This is a common problem. Couples who do not address emotional problems early on in a relationship often find that the emotional bond has deteriorated to the point where keeping that connection is no longer possible.
In today’s culture, when it is considered too late, should it ever be too late to save a marriage? The answer depends on how you define “too late.” For some, if the issues have been ignored for long enough, it is never too late to make a difference in the lives of your future spouse and your family.
Sadly, there are many marriages that end because the spouses do not recognize the signs of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is any type of mistreatment that impacts a person’s sense of self-worth. This includes verbal abuse, which can include comments like “you are stupid, fat, or lazy” (not to mention degrading clothing choices and constant innuendo). Intimate partner violence is another type of emotional abuse that goes beyond the verbal spectrum. When one partner resorts to violence to punish the other, it becomes “unethical behavior” and is grounds for ending the marriage.
While each case is different, the message is the same. When one partner treats the other badly, it is never too late to remedy the situation. Whether it is verbal or physical abuse, there must be visible and verbal communication that exists between both partners to effectively bring the problem to light. Both parties should speak up to voice their concerns and complaints at the earliest opportunity. A couple should never be afraid to call each other out on hurtful actions. If a married couple is experiencing problems with infidelity, it is always wise to speak up and talk to each other about the affair.
For some, infidelity may bring forth certain emotions which may make it too late to save a marriage. If a marriage has been built on deep emotional bonds, these bonds may be torn asunder and divorce could become the only solution. It is important to remember that people change over the course of time and that a couple who has been together for many years may still be able to have children and nurture a close emotional relationship.
One way to find out if it is ever too late to save a marriage is to speak up in anger without being verbally abusive. Some relationships have ended because of the person who was angry getting so much attention that it overwhelmed him or her and they snapped. If this is happening in your relationship, it is imperative that you find a way to get your feelings and emotions out in the open without being destructive.
The ability to communicate and get your needs met is key when it comes to saving your marriage. If you two are not speaking to each other often, chances are you will begin to feel disconnected. When this happens, resentment begins to build and your partner may become defensive. This will only serve to create an environment where the two of you are no longer communicating. If you and your partner do begin to communicate again, chances are that the communication will be positive and the issues will be resolved.
It is never too late to save a marriage. Every day there are new couples that get married and then divorce. This does not have to be you or your spouse. You can save your marriage if you work on it every day and make it a priority in your life.