How to Keep Hope Alive During a Marriage Crisis

During a marriage crisis, you can feel like your whole world is falling apart and all of your dreams are being shattered. Hearing the words "I don't love you anymore," "I want a divorce," or "I don't know if I want to stay married" can leave you reeling from the shock.

Many feelings surface after the initial stunned reaction: anger, fear, anxiety, confusion, resentment, bitterness, desperation, and depression. Everything seems mixed up and slightly unreal, as though this is really happening to someone else, not to you. But, unbelievably, it is happening to you.

This is when you have to use every ounce of courage and strength that you possess and a lot that you didn't know you had until now. Immediately, you have to create space for some private time so that you can take care of yourself, regroup, and create a plan of action.

You might need to take a day off from work, spend some time talking with a close friend, buy a notebook and start writing down your feelings and thoughts, or take a long walk in the park. Another option is to call and schedule a counseling appointment for yourself as soon as possible.

Next, spend some time thinking about how you'll handle the situation. Your goal is to buy time so that your spouse doesn't bolt out of the door prematurely. You want to slow things down so that your spouse can have time to reconsider and, if at all possible, agree to go to counseling with you.

During this time of crisis, you will have to be the "guardian of the marriage flame." It will be up to you to keep hope and love alive so that the fire won't go out. You can complain that it's not fair and that it shouldn't be this way.

But the bottom line is that if you want to save your marriage and your partner wants out, it's going to be up to you to take positive action. During the crisis, you'll need to be willing to do much more than your fair share to keep your marriage alive.

And that means that despite your fear and anxiety, it's up to you to keep hope alive-hope that your marriage will make it-hope that your partner will change his or her mind-hope that your marriage can survive this and be even better than ever.

Here are some tips on how to keep hope alive and cope during this time:

1. Don't give up on your marriage no matter what your spouse has said. People often change their mind. No situation is hopeless if at least one partner is willing to do whatever it truly takes to preserve the marriage. There is always hope that your marriage can be transformed by loving energy. Many spouses reconsider their initial impulse to leave and decide that they have invested too much time and energy to just throw their marriage away without at least trying marriage counseling.

2. Don't take everything your spouse says personally. People often say extreme things when they are upset or trying to justify what they're doing. A partner who feels guilty about telling you she wants a divorce may get really angry instead. A spouse who has never expressed his true feelings about things may finally explode with a long list of your faults through the years.

3. Really anchor in your mind that how you react to the situation will have a major impact on how things go from here. If you keep badgering a spouse who wants some emotional space, you are giving her the perfect excuse to go ahead and leave. You can't control what your spouse chooses to do or not to do, but you can control how you choose to handle the situation.

4. Allow yourself to be "confused." If your spouse asks what you're going to do next, just say that you're confused and need time to think, that you don't want to make any rushed decisions. Being "confused" can defuse a spouse who is just waiting to pick a fight. It also buys you some time.

5. Honor your spouse's request for emotional space, if that is an issue. Back off and take some time to regroup, stabilize yourself, and take the spotlight off of your partner for the time being. You have much to lose if you let your anxiety take over and demand immediate answers to difficult questions.

6. Make a list of all the different things you can do to ground yourself and get more balanced emotionally and physically. Include things like working out at the gym, getting a massage, walking or hiking, letting close friends be supportive, listening to inspirational tapes on the way to work, reading books about people who have survived hard times, receiving power from your spiritual roots and connections, attending services at your church, temple, or mosque, or starting individual counseling sessions. Then make plans to implement the ones you think will help the most.

7. Decide that whatever happens in your marriage, it's important to you to know that you gave it your best shot and that you tried everything you knew to do. So instead of trying to constantly try to figure out what the odds are that your marriage will survive, instead put your energy into doing what you can in a helpful way every day. Be proactive and take positive action.

8. Start expanding your life to include some new interests and activities. Don't wait until everything is settled about your marriage before you start enjoying as much of your life as you can. Your marriage situation may be unresolved, but that doesn't mean you need to brood and obsess about it all the time. Stretch yourself to broaden your world. When you are enjoying yourself by participating in activities that interest you, you become more interesting to others, including your spouse.

9. Make a conscious choice to remain positive and to have the expectation that something good and helpful will come out of this experience in the long run. Your expectation will affect what happens. If you are doubtful, the energy of doubt will permeate your efforts. Tell yourself that there's always a creative solution to any problem. Trust in your ability to be creative, flexible, and resilient.

Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" This is available as an e-book at ,where you can also sign up for the free Keep Your Marriage Internet Magazine. Nancy can be contacted at

Wedding Loans: Perfect Finance Option for a Perfect Wedding

After seeing each other for years and being tagged as 'in love' since eternity, you... Read More

Belize Honeymoon Resorts

The enchanting Belize honeymoon resorts captivate every visitor through the appealing secluded jungle atmosphere as... Read More

Choosing a Maui Wedding Package

Just like anywhere else in America, there are a variety of businesses offering different Maui... Read More

Unhappy Marriage: Should You Stay or Leave?

There's no one simple answer to the question that I'm often asked, "Should I stay... Read More

Choosing your Wedding Favors

How do you give thanks and make a lasting impression on your guest? The answer... Read More

Wedding Speeches Made Easy: Wedding Speech or Best Mans Speech Tips

Have you ever had to give a wedding speech? As the groom or best man?Do... Read More

3 Emerging Trends In Custom Invitations

There is an overwhelming demand for high quality, custom stationery that really reflects the bridal... Read More

Should You Send Save the Date Notices To Your Guests?

You've probably heard about Save the Dates since they have become quite popular with brides... Read More

Six Ways to Decorate Your Wedding Arch

Sometimes a wedding arch is a no-brainer way to spruce up your ceremony site. No-brainer,... Read More

Bridal Shower Games Are Extremely Fun!

Bridal shower games are a wonderful way to put your guests at ease and to... Read More

Organising your Wedding Stationery

Of all the things you need to do, buy and organize in preparation for your... Read More

Marriage Advice: Seven Marriage Myths You Can?t Afford to Ignore

If you're like most people, you probably entered into marriage with a number of unchallenged... Read More

Choosing Your Groomsmen: No Matter What They Say, Nobody Must Be In the Wedding Party

Your lovely fianc?e has chosen her 'maids, and now you're stuck with the task of... Read More

Marriage and the Election

Dear Friends of Marriage,There is a lot of talk on both sides in this election... Read More

Is Conflict Healthy in Marriage?

Today my three-year-old daughter told my husband that she wants to be married. When he... Read More

Man Made Diamonds, The Affordable Alternative

Diamonds may be a woman's best friend, but modern man made diamonds are so good... Read More

Bridezilla Bride!?

Nobody, I repeat nobody likes a bridezilla bride. If you feel this feeling taking hold... Read More

How to Keep Hope Alive During a Marriage Crisis

During a marriage crisis, you can feel like your whole world is falling apart and... Read More

Here Comes the Bride

As we hear the music begin to play the Bridal March, we all stand to... Read More

Wedding Extravaganza

The extravagance of weddings is a popular topic. We blame it on modern commercialism. But... Read More

Classic White Color for Bridal Gown

Ever since Queen Victoria wed in 1840, however, white has remained the traditional color for... Read More

You?re Making Your Wedding List and Checking It Twice?What Have You Forgotten?

Preparing for a wedding, large or small, is overwhelming! A way to combat that feeling... Read More

Get Organized for Wedding Planning!

You've had friends to your home for dinner. Maybe you've hosted a Super Bowl party... Read More

Marriage Proposals ? Why Doing It Right Will Make All the Difference

Proposing marriage to your beloved is a very big step. You get the ring, but... Read More

The Right Age To Marry!

An ideal combination. A good career, a great husband and a mess-free life. But with... Read More

Getting Married? What You Should Do With Your Checking Accounts and Credit Cards

Marriage is a wonderful thing, but planning the wedding is a difficult task. The coming... Read More

Spotlight on the Asian-Themed Wedding

Asian-themed weddings are on the rise, and at first this might come as a surprise.... Read More

Wedding Invitation Tips and Advice

You're well into planning your wedding and have finally decided on the design of your... Read More

For Second Weddings Only - Eight Tips

Planning a second wedding? Prevent favorite guests comparing your second wedding, to the first wedding.... Read More

Faulty Expectations: 4 Essential Don?ts

The more realistic you are as you prepare for marriage, the more likely you are... Read More

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Wedding Officiants

Tracking down a wedding officiant can be a little intimidating. Perhaps you remember a time... Read More

Do We Still Need Wedding Traditions?

Traditionally at weddings the speechs are made after the wedding dinner but do the speech... Read More

Wedding Gifts for Second Marriages

Second marriages can be a tricky situation for a variety of reasons. There may be... Read More

The Bridezilla Syndrome: Do You Have It? Ten Ways to Avoid All the BS!

In a fast-paced world of wedding planning, stress levels are high; immune systems are low;... Read More

Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

Your wedding vows are the words that will forever remain in your partner's heart and... Read More

The Second Time - Another White Wedding?

That first wedding was a dream, a gorgeous long white wedding dress, a beautiful church,... Read More

Emotional Infidelity: A KEY Tactic to Save the Marriage

Hearing that your cheating spouse is "in love" with someone else is devastating. I hear... Read More

Wedding Reception Made for You

No matter how well you plan all the aspects of the wedding, one deciding factor... Read More

Expert Tips on Making Your Own Wedding Stationery

Vital tips on making your own wedding invitations - by Claire, Invitation Express Wedding Stationery... Read More

Marriage Counseling Tips: What to Do When Your Spouse Wont Talk

How to get a spouse's attention so that he or she will communicate with you... Read More

Make Sure You Do: Before You Say ?I Do?

Tina Turner asked an important question in the title of her hit song; What's Love... Read More

Celebrate With Butterflies ? The Flying Flowers

Make your upcoming event the most memorable ever by adding butterflies to your special day.... Read More

Marriage Dreams When Fails!

Marriage and Attraction: Relation is successful as long as there is attraction between the partners.... Read More

Groomsmens Gifts

Your groomsmen will be donating their time to your big event. They will appear at... Read More

The ?EX? Factor: Why Men and Women Over 50 Don?t Remarry!

Thinking about remarrying? Consider these reasons why others have chosen not to. One out of... Read More

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Gown

Selecting a wedding gown is possibly one of the most exciting things for a bride... Read More

Who Should Get A Gift At Your Wedding?

Planning a wedding is hard enough without having to think about who you should be... Read More

Wife Smarter Than Husband?

Is it safe for a wife to be smarter than her husband?Of course! Men who... Read More

Bridal Shower Basics

A bridal shower is an excellent way for the bride to surround herself with her... Read More

Basic Tips for Planning a Wedding

Planning a wedding should be fun and exciting. However, if you don't do the proper... Read More