I tried everything, from losing weight and wearing a new sexy dress that accentuates my new figure to learning how to love football (but still secretly hating it a little), and I kept wondering how to save my marriage.
But my partner didn’t take notice. I work so hard day in day out to get him to “love me more”. Yet he remained distant. I continue to pour my heart and soul into the relationship, maybe even becoming clingy. I did so much for my partner I didn’t even recognise myself anymore.
We’ve all been there. You’re not the only one. Sadly, after a long-term relationship fizzled out in the very same way that was described, my ex-partner had turned to me and told me he wished I had been more self-confident. He told me I was no longer the person he had fallen in love with.
For an extrovert, I thought my loudness and willingness to participate in everything meant that I was confident. But I was mistaken. At home, behind closed doors, my behaviour reflected that of a small, insecure girl. This change happened so subtly, so quickly.
I secretly checked his messages everyday, I downloaded apps to know where he was, what time he was last online, whose Facebook profile he had last checked.
I increasingly wondered about how to save my marriage… if I even could. I shunned all my hobbies and friends to try and “save” my relationship. These weren’t signs of a self-confident woman. They were signs of a woman destroying yet another relationship. I had unknowingly started a vicious cycle that couldn’t stop.
Are you asking the question, “how to save my marriage?” more and more?
Once that relationship came to an end, I (almost immediately) met my now-husband and realised what a different person I was. I had taken up new sports, I had picked up reading again and I went out with friends on food hunts more often.
I found who I was again. And I remembered what my ex had said to me about losing myself and not being the same person I was before. It’s not like he had given me any reason to be suspicious. It was just my lack of self-confidence that turned me into a green-eyed monster I didn’t recognise.
I wasn’t going to let the same thing happen in this marriage. So this time, I wanted to know how to save my marriage and surprisingly found the solution when I focused on myself.
You can only love someone and be loved back when you learn to love yourself.
Easier said than done? Yes, it is a process and it does take time. You can’t just look yourself in the mirror and say, “okay, I love myself”.
Loving yourself, like loving others, lies in the little things. Start now and you will see that putting yourself first, prioritising your needs above the relationship will transform any relationship into a thriving one.
“How to save my marriage?”: Start with these 5 steps
1. Treat yourself the way you think you deserve to be treated
Do you think you deserve to be pampered, showered with love and attention by your partner? Start doing that for yourself first. Do you think you deserve to be respected by your partner?
Respect yourself first! If your partner sees how easily you put yourself down, or how easily you neglect your needs, they will be likely to mimic that too. Treat yourself like the queen you know you are and they will follow suit.
2. Set clear boundaries for bad behaviour
If your partner is playing you hot and cold, texting you one day and totally forgetting about you the next… you really shouldn’t be with that person.
You shouldn’t allow yourself to be treated that way. But if you want that relationship to work out, talk to your partner about it. Don’t be afraid to bring up bad behaviour and your feelings about it. A good partner will recognise these bad behaviours and respect your boundaries for them.
3. Stop putting your life on hold for them!
I was so guilty of doing this in the past. I would set my entire schedule around my partner and not only was it toxic to the relationship, it was toxic to every aspect of my life!
If you allow your partner OR ANYONE for that matter, to just walk into your life whenever it suits them or whenever it is convenient, and have them ignore you whenever it is inconvenient, these are not people you want to have in your life in the first place.
You have to show them, “ain’t nobody got time for that”. Make your own plans, stick to them. Respect your time and they will respect yours.
4. Independence is key
When your partner feels that your entire happiness and being is dependent on them, they might feel that the relationship is more sacrificial of their freedom rather than an equal partnership.
Do remember, when you enter a relationship, everything is two-way. You wouldn’t want your partner to be too reliant on you either!
5. Learn to love being on your own
This is a tough one for many. But start small. Have a meal on your own, watch a movie on your own. Go get your hair done. All these things add up to some precious alone time that you (and the relationship) direly need.
Taking care of yourself is not a selfish act. You’re not neglecting your partner. It’s about restoring yourself to your fullest potential so you can be the best partner you can be for them and you will see this being automatically reciprocated.