Everyone wants to know how long it takes to improve a marriage. In our microwave quick culture we all want fast results. The question is, do you want long-term results, or just any results? Common results average a 45% divorce rate. To get good long-term results the couple has to focus on the root cause of the problem. Today, common marriage advice focuses on microwave quick results that focus on just the symptom, or surface issue.
How would you answer that question?
It does depend on whether one or both partners are actively interested in making improvements. It also depends on how long the problems have been going on. The longer the problems have been festering, the longer it takes to rebuild trust.
So, the short answer is... there is no quick answer to that question. BUT... there are 3 steps all marriage improvements follow.
Step 1 - A Spark
Somehow one or both partners have to get some new insight that drives them to take action. I call that the SPARK. A spark can happen in an instant. In all of my coaching programs I try to deliver a spark in every session. It's how you start to improve your marriage.
A spark is often a new way of thinking or mindset. It adds to or changes your beliefs how things work.
A spark does nothing to change the quality of a marriage by itself, but is required for the change to take place.
Step 2 - A Decision
Once one or both partners get a spark of enough magnitude, a decision is made to take action. Nothing you or I do happens without a decision, consciously or subconsciously.
It is in your decisions that your destiny is formed.
A decision is not saying you want to try something or should do something. A decision is to cut off all chances of failure. A decision is a commitment to succeed.
Step 3 - A New and Consistent Action
An improved marriage happens when one or both partners make a new and consistent action for enough time to convince the partner the new action is serious.
Inconsistent action destroys all momentum. Just like an apology is worthless without changed action, a changed marriage requires a new and consistent action.
Depending on how much lack of trust there is between partners, hurt, pain, and lack of love depends on when a partner comes to realize the new actions are serious.
When your partner recognizes that you are serious about improving the marriage, through consistent action, the marriage starts to improve!
What if only one partner is making an effort to improve the marriage?
That is very common. Many marriages live where there is an imbalance or unequal sharing of love.
What do you do? You do the right thing. You become the best partner you can be. You love and cherish your partner even when they are unloving and undeserving of such actions.
In time, when they see your consistent actions, their heart softens and awakens. In time, they realize how you have treated them, see how unlovable they have been, and reciprocate the love they receive.
Marriages often fail when the loving partner keeps score of how long there has been an imbalance of love. Marriages fail when the loving partner sets a time limit on how long they will love. Marriages fail when the loving partner puts the focus on themselves and not the partner.
It's not easy. It's just the way it works. Here's the real benefit to consistently showing love and meeting your partner's 3 sets of needs. When the time comes for the unloving partner to wake up and realize what's been happening, that partner is often so ashamed of how they behaved, they become a partner so filled with love and gratitude for you, you will get everything you always wanted.
There are countless stories of this happening. It's such a beautiful thing.
So here is a question you should be asking right now.
How can the unloving time be minimized?
The answer is simple. You get expert help quickly.
One of the many reasons the divorce rate is consistently so high is because couples wait waaaay too long before they get help.
Don't wait to get help. The longer you wait, the longer the pain, hurt, and mistrust, invades the heart. The longer you wait, the longer it takes to heal.