Keeping your Marriage Alive

Jun 23, 2015

They say that you have to work at most things, but especially at marriage. If you doubt that, just look at the divorce rate. Many people believe that, once their marriage is ‘established’ – perhaps ten years old – there’s no more need to work at it.


Of course, you may have a freak marriage, where relationships are almost always smooth and harmonious, but reality tells us that that is almost never the case. There’s always something – whether it be stress from work, children, finances, health, annoying personal behavior or tics, other family members and so on. Any of these can put enormous pressure on a marriage.

If you are with me in acknowledging these risks to your relationship, what steps can you take to ensure that you remain a team?


One of the first things that go in a relationship is romance. Once you’ve hooked your spouse, you probably take your foot off the gas. Priorities change. You may well begin to take each other for granted.

To put that right, you may be able to make some sort of sacrifice for your partner, which may well give the right message that you still care.

The odd romantic gesture – be it flowers, a meal out or even a love message on a card – can make a real difference, and say “I do still value you”. Making time to share some fun moments together is invaluable, and leads nicely on to my next point.


If there are areas of contention (and which relationship is without any?), then it is important to bring them out into the open, sooner rather than later, otherwise they may fester. Feelings then can run so deep that it may be impossible to save the relationship.

Mediation may be an option, whether via a relative or friend or professionally.


There are always going to be differences of opinion and mutual respect is essential here. Some issues will need to be worked out, but others can be resolved before they escalate. Humour is very often the catalyst for a happy solution, and far more likely to help than finger-pointing and accusations.

You can laugh at mistakes, make fun of yourselves – but the smiles and jokes should be affectionate, never aggressive.

Last-ditch attempts

Of course, if counselling does not work, rather than resort to divorce, a solution might be to try a period of separation. This can free partners from what might be the suffocation of too much time together – and they may begin to appreciate what the other brings to the relationship, when away from it.

Alternatively, separation can be less dramatic and merely take the form of doing pastimes or activities, or visiting friends, apart, on a regular basis.

Re-cement the Relationship

There are a lot of reasons to have a Vow Renewal ceremony.


For example, the vows you shared at your wedding may now be a distant memory; if your relationship has gone through a rocky time, why not declare to the world that you are well and truly together again; maybe you married abroad and friends or relatives never had a chance to be with you originally; you may want to declare your bond in front of children and even grandchildren. Either way, it is a beautiful ceremony that you can arrange just the way you want. A civil celebrant will be able to advise and guide you.

So be aware that a marriage is a very special relationship. Yes, it has to worked at (as do all relationships), but success is attainable and oh, so worthwhile!

Good luck with it – but remember that it is in your hands to make your own luck!