How Long Does it Take to Save or Improve Your Marriage?

how long does it take to save your marriage
While it is true that some people do experience immediate changes in their relationships, it’s also true that, in most marriages, change takes much longerHow much longer? It depends on many factors: the severity of the problems, personalities of the spouses, length of time people have been experiencing difficulties, each spouse’s level of motivation to do what it takes to make a marriage work, outside influences from extended family and friends, and the level of both partners’ problem-solving skills.  Every marriage is different.

But the consistent message I’ve gotten from those in the trenches is that patience is not only a virtue, it’s an absolute necessity.  Resign yourself to the fact that improving your marriage might take weeks rather than days, or months rather than weeks.  This will help you avoid becoming disappointed if results aren’t as immediate as you had hoped.  Furthermore, you need to know that you can expect your good days and your bad days, good weeks and bad weeks.  Sometimes, you’ll feel as if you are really out of the woods, and then a day later, you’ll feel as though you are back to square one.  That’s how change happens.  You must expect these hills and valleys and teach yourself not to get despondent.  Resist feeling sorry for yourself.  Just remember that, chances are, tomorrow will be a better day.

You also need to keep in mind that even if you’ve been doing everything right, your spouse is likely to be suspicious if you’ve changed a great deal.  S/he might think that you are just putting on an act to try to win him/her over.  This is natural, and if your spouse expresses this doubt, don’t be reactive.  Just quietly tell your partner that is the new you, and that you plan on remaining this new person no matter what happens to your marriage.  Reassure your spouse that you can fully understand his/her skepticism.  As long as you keep on track, your spouse will eventually see that this is the “new you,” and not some impostor.

The bottom line is that you should take comfort in the fact that you are being proactive about improving your marriage.  Even if you have a ways to go, at least you’ve started the journey, and that’s more than a lot of people can say.

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About mwd27

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW is an internationally renowned relationship expert, best-selling author, marriage therapist, and professional speaker who specializes in helping people change their lives and improve important relationships. Among the first in her field to courageously speak out about the pitfalls of unnecessary divorce, Michele has been active in spearheading the now popular movement urging couples to make their marriages work and keep their families together. She is the author of seven books including her best-selling books, DIVORCE BUSTING: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again, and THE SEX-STARVED MARRIAGE: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Their Marriage Libido. Michele's work has been featured in major newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Time, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Woman's Day, Men's Health, New Woman, and McCall's. Michele is a marriage expert on Redbook's advisory board, and She has made countless media appearances on shows such as Oprah, 48 Hours, 20/20, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, CNN, and Bill O'Reilly. Michele's Keeping Love Alive program aired on PBS stations nationwide. She recently completed a reality based show for the BBC about helping couples save their marriages. Michele maintains that her true expertise in helping couples have great relationships is derived from first-hand experience. She and her husband have been married for more than thirty years.
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