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How to rapidly Save Your marriage in a crisis

Marriages don’t just find themselves in a crisis from one day to the other, there’s usually a progressive deterioration that leads to an icy cold or hostile marital environment. This is when a marriage is either heading to an end or a lonely existence where two individuals live parallel lives without ever feeling intimate with each other.

The flavour of the crisis can be slightly different for each and every couple, although what tends to be present is criticism, emotional distance, a lack of intimacy, and unresolved conflicts that dominate your day-to-day life.

Whilst this isn’t optimal, it doesn’t mean it has to be the end of the road. There are various things you can do to save your marriage. Let’s look at a few of them.

Adopt a Relational Mindset

You might not have been brought up in an emotionally secure household, which means that your parents might have stayed together but never really enjoyed each other’s company or had the prerequisite skills to maintain a loving and passionate marriage.

What is familiar to you might not be the best for you.

This is such an important principle when you start learning about how to navigate your marriage successfully or save it from an ongoing crisis. What feels normal and comfortable to us, might not be healthy or useful. This shift in perspective can help you be less attached to expecting your partner to change and accept you as you are and look for compromises that benefit both of you.

We tend to make our parent’s mistakes, unless we learn to see things differently, heal any relational trauma we might still carry, and mindfully familiarise ourselves with alternatives.

When it comes to mindset, the biggest change is looking at your marriage through the lese of “us” rather than “you against me” and “me against you.” If your marriage is based on the premise that one of you needs to be right all the time, and you compete against each other in achieving it, you can’t be happily married.

Relational mindset is “us” based, meaning that the overall health of the relationship is more important that who is right or who wins. If one needs to win, that means the other loses. Hence, the relationship loses. In everyday life this looks simple: when you’re bickering about things in an attempt to find who should do something and who shouldn’t not because you try to divide chores equally, but to engage in a dominance fight or to retaliate for a previous disagreement, the marriage loses. And when the marriage loses, you both lose.

Neither of you can win if one of you loses.

Marriage isn’t a solo game, it’s an “us” game, where two people equally strives to do what’s best for the relationship and for the other, without having to sacrifice themselves or expecting the other person to do so. You’re looking for ways to cooperate and to find solutions together.

Next time you have an argument, ask yourself what you’re really arguing about. It’s rarely about who cooks the dinner or takes the rubbish out, there’s a deeper layer and that’s the real issue that needs to be discussed and done in such a way that it serves you both rather than just one of you.

Of course, this can be challenging if you tend to lose it or freeze up as soon as there’s an argument, which is why we’ll look into what you can do in action.

Learn emotional regulation and make it a daily practice

A lot of disagreements happen automatically either as a response to a familiar stimulus, feeling tired, hungry, or just mindlessly following a pattern. Regulating your emotions won’t take away the topics you’ve been avoiding, or replace anger, sadness, or any other emotion with serenity, it will, however, allow you to choose your battles more wisely and the intensity of your conflicts.

When we’re stressed, we tend to say or do things that we might not have done otherwise, which can lead to a lot of hurt and even resentment. One thing that Dr John Gottman found about stable marriages is that there’s a 5:1 ratio of positive affect to negative one. It’s natural and beneficial to have disagreements with your spouse, but you need to have five times as much loving kindness and support for each other. Get this wrong and your marriage could be doomed.

Instead of trying to think yourself out of feeling flooded by emotions such as anger, sadness, resentment, rage, etc., which, by the way, is impossible, it’s better to create daily practices that brings you back to a sense of calm in the body.

I’ll teach you a centring technique called ABC (devised by embodiment teacher Mark Walsh).

A= awareness, B=balance, C=core relaxation

Sit on a chair in a relaxed position, with your feet flat on the ground. Feel your feet on the ground. Feel your bum on the chair. Then, notice if you’re sitting in balanced position. If you aren’t sure, move a little bit until you find a position that’s most comfortable in this very moment. Relax your jaw, relax your shoulders and let your belly out. Then say “ahhh” letting a sigh of relief out of your mouth. Practice this with your eyes open so that you can do it anywhere and any time.

Using this ABC centring technique, you’ll be able to feel calmer and less tens. But doing it once is just as useful for the rest of your life as having one last dinner.

Just like eating, you need to do it daily. And preferably several times a day!

I’ve been doing it for almost a year, five times a day. I set up reminders on my phone, so when the pone rings, I do it. It only takes a few seconds to do it and it works wonders! Here, I want to bring your attention to an important principle: practice isn’t application.

If you want to be able to use a skill, you need to learn it in the dojo first. Basically, you need to practice it in a less stressful environment where you can make mistakes without consequences. You can also devise ways to make the practice progressively more difficult, by creating more challenging situations. Once you’ve been doing that for a while, you can start applying it in an emotionally challenging environment, such as during a conflict with your partner.

Obviously, you could try it immediately, but if you fail, just be patient and compassionate with yourself. It takes a while to master a skill and even longer to be able to use it automatically in a highly stressful situation.

Learn the “no and I love you” attitude

You might associate disagreements with something negative and with feelings you might find overwhelming. So you might avoid them or stay silent and make yourself as small as you can whenever you find yourself in a conflict.

We now know that marital arguments are healthy for relationships. You’re not married to yourself, so it’s inevitable to have different opinions and preferences, which will come up. Being able to engage in discussions about these topics is soothing in and of itself. Besides, staying silent is harmful for both of you: you’re neither standing up for yourself or for your partner, you’re creating a barrier between the two of you and that’s one of the worst things you can do in a marriage, unless this is the way you both created a stable relationship. In which case you wouldn’t be reading this article.

Saying no to your partner and disagreeing with them can be done with kindness and love. These two things aren’t opposites of each other, they can easily coexist.

Marriages need kindness: directed towards the self and the other. If you’re sacrificing yourself and not kind to yourself, you cannot be kind to your partner either. He or she might feel good in the moment for whatever you do for them, but you’re depriving the relationship from maturing and growing, and you’re depriving yourself from self-care.

If you feel that you’re going into freeze when there’s a disagreement, acknowledge it, you might even label it: “I’m freezing up”, you might even say it to your partner and ask for their support, such as “I would really love a hug.” Bringing awareness to your tendencies, acknowledging it, and labelling it can help you change it through acceptance and kindness.

Then voice what you feel, you can say “no and I love you”, or just “no” and still look at them and think of them with love and kindness. They will feel it and respect you for your strength.

Rekindle passion

If you’re in crisis, you probably hunger intimacy and passion. You might want to get it from your partner or end the relationship to get it somewhere else. It’s normal to feel this way!

Passion requires two ingredients: togetherness and autonomy.

Togetherness you get from adopting a relational mindset and nurturing an “us” culture that cherishes your relationship: you spend quality time together, you constantly learn about each other, do things together, and reminisce about the past, etc.

Autonomy requires that you reserve your sense of self as an autonomous being, someone who isn’t merely defined by the relationship but by other factors too: such as your hobbies, interests, quirks, friends, career, etc.

You can nurture autonomy by doing things separately too, by going on holiday on your own from time to time, even if that’s just a weekend away, or one of you sleeping in the guest room sometimes.

Putting too much space between the two of you will create parallel lives, putting no space between the two of you kills passion and sexual desire. You need to strike a balance if you want to rekindle passion and a healthy sex life.

Talk it over with your partner, either with the help of a professional, or just the two of you and experiment. Bring some playfulness into the project. Just because you’re working on your marriage doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.


At the end of the day, not all marriages will survive or should survive. But before you make your final move, it’s good to give it a last chance and do it wholeheartedly. You might save your marriage and make it stronger than ever, or you might learn things about yourself that will help you avoid repeating the same mistakes.

And if you’re asking, what about the “rapidly” part of the title? Using the body is the simplest, fastest way to create lasting change, but I also invite you to consider healing your relational wounding, which you can do at the subconscious level. Get in touch, if you’d like to know more.

Do you need personalised support?

If you’re interested in honing your embodied relational intelligence skills to build a loving, mature, and lasting romantic relationship either with your current partner or the one you commit to next, reach out or simply buy one of my coaching and or hypnotherapy services and I’ll meet you on Zoom.