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How to Save a Marriage That is Falling Apart

Tips on How to Save a Marriage

Facing the challenge of how to save a marriage brings us to unexpected places for wisdom, such as Rudyard Kipling's iconic poem "If--." While it might seem unrelated, the poem's call for resilience, patience, and integrity echoes the virtues needed in the tough journey of mending a relationship. Let's dive into how Kipling's timeless advice offers a unique perspective on how to save a marriage, highlighting the importance of focus, choice, and action in healing and strengthening the bond between partners.

If you can keep your head when all about you   

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

    If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

You’re probably thinking, what does Rudyard Kipling’s poem have to do with me and my wife and how to save our marriage?  

Well, if you read Kipling’s poem carefully, he implies that the keys to being a successful man is focus, choice, and action.  I’m inclined to agree.

And when it comes to a marriage on the brink of divorce, the more you can focus on the right things, make the right choices, and take the right actions, you exponentially increase the chances of your marriage being reconciled.

tips on how to save your marriage from divorce

How To Save A Marriage - 7 Tips We Share With The Men In Our Brotherhood

So, what should your focus, choices, and actions be when you’re faced with a marriage that is falling apart?  

Allow me to share with you seven (7) things we teach, train, and share with the men in our brotherhood to prevent them from “falling apart” even when their marriage is falling apart.

  1. Focus on who’s holding you and keeping you together.  

It’s not you, it’s not your wife, your family, or your financial security; it’s the one and only sovereign God.  God is the one who brought you and your wife together; and focusing on Him is the only thing that will successfully bring you back together.  

It takes only one person to forgive another, but it takes two people to reconcile a relationship.  And the only way you can do that is by taking the primary focus off your marriage and putting your primary focus on God.  Jesus reminds us of this in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all things will be added unto you.” 

  1. Choose to fight the right enemy.  

When a marriage goes south or when one or both spouses become what I call, “stuck on stupid,” it’s easy to blame each other on the demise of the marriage.  Disagreements escalate to full-blown arguments, and it’s easy to feel like your back is against the wall, and feel your spouse is trying to destroy you or at least exhaust your will to keep trying.

But we quickly forget what the Bible tells us about the relational battles we face. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  

That means, your spouse isn’t the enemy; Satan and his followers are.  Satan’s job is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) and he’s prowling around like a roaring lion looking at who can devour (1 Peter 5:8). But he wants to deceive you by getting you to think that you or your wife is the lion who’s looking to destroy and devour your marriage. But don’t fall for it; instead, wage your spiritual warfare against him, your real enemy, not your wife or yourself.

How Can You Save Marriage On The Brink Of Divorce

  1. Remember who’s watching.  

No, I’m not talking about an all-knowing, omnipresent God – even though He sees everything.  But rather, if you’re a parent, I’m referring to the collateral damage caused by marriages that are falling apart – our children.  And even if you don’t have children, others are still watching – I’m talking about your parents, your siblings, your friends, as well as your neighbors.

But I’m NOT talking about you worrying about what others think of you and your marriage, but rather about what you and your wife represent to others when it comes to reflecting the body of Christ. 


As Believers, we are all ambassadors for Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:10 reminds us of this, Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

If your marriage is indeed falling apart, even if the marriage can’t be saved, those closest to you are watching to see how you’re responding to each other during this season. If you’ve professed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, they will be able to observe firsthand if you are loving your wife like Christ; forgiving your wife like Christ; extending grace to your wife like Christ; enduring long-suffering with your wife like Christ; and whether or not you’re laying down your life for your wife like Christ did (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Can My Marriage be Saved

  1. Identify with your identity, not your role.  

Typically, when we fail at a task, whether it be marriage, our careers, or our finances, it’s not uncommon for us as men to get depressed, be downcast, and get discouraged.  We can find ourselves in an emotional pit, scratching our heads wondering, “What happened?”  And then we proceed to tear ourselves apart piece by piece – questioning our intelligence, our self-confidence, our ability, and our self-worth.  

Why? Because when our marriage (or life) is falling apart, we soon realize we’ve been identifying more with our roles as a husband, father, worker, or entrepreneur than we did with our identity in Christ.  

Think about it, you were God’s child before you were a husband; you were His chosen one before you became a dad; you were God’s adopted son before you started your career; you were set apart for great things even before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5).  If you want to save a marriage that is falling apart, don’t allow yourself to ever lose sight of who you were before you were married.  Your wife married a child of the living God, not a perfect man, husband, or father. 

  1. Focus on feeding your faith, not your fears.  

Fear and faith can’t co-exist in the same room.  The Bible says love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).  Yes, your marriage may be falling apart, but instead of worrying about the end of your marriage, put your faith in the only one who can save it, and that’s God Almighty.  

That doesn’t necessarily mean God will save your marriage, but put your trust in Him, not in your own ability to save it.  Remember, it takes two people to reconcile a relationship. So, knowing that, focus and pray that God strengthens your faith; renew your mind daily with His word; memorize and meditate on His word as you speak His promises over your life; and consistently fast and pray for your wife’s heart and emotional well-being.  

  1. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.  

You would think taking care of yourself would go without saying, but when a marriage is falling apart, we tend to think we’re being selfish whenever we choose to focus on our own needs.  I get that, but there’s a difference between being selfish and self-preserving.  

When you’re on a plane, and the flight attendant reviews the safety guidelines, he/she is not asking you to be selfish by placing your oxygen mask on first before assisting a child.

Just the contrary, the flight attendant knows that you can’t “serve” anyone if you don’t first “pre-serve” yourself.  

If your marriage is falling apart, that means something was broken – in you, in her, in your relationship.  And since you can’t “fix” anyone else, at least start examining the broken pieces of your own life.

What are your daily habits; what are your priorities; how vulnerable have you been with your wife; how honest have you been with her; how consistent have you been in speaking her love language; what have you done to grow as a husband, a friend, a spiritual leader, a protector, communicator, provider, lover of her soul?  These questions are not to condemn you, but rather to convince you that you have to work on “you” before you can save your marriage.

Can my marriage be saved

  1. Finally, remember that marriage is a team sport.  

If your marriage is falling apart, and it seems like it’s beyond reconciliation, my guess is that you’ve probably tried to do marriage alone.  You’ve probably tried to figure it out on your own; you’ve tried to improve it on your own; and you’ve tried to save it on your own.  But the truth is, most men need help in learning how to be a spiritually strong, godly husband – especially if he didn’t have an example of a godly man in the home to teach him.

That’s why we should never attempt to do marriage alone.  Instead, seek godly counsel, mentors, marriage coaches, counselors, and community to help you grow as a husband and spiritual leader (Proverbs 15:12).  

Some say experience is the best teacher, but sometimes the tuition can be too high. A better way to learn is from the experience of others who’ve gone before you. Reach out to them, talk to them, and ask them about their struggles as well as their successes, and the lessons they’ve learned from each.  Find out how they were able to save their marriage when it was falling apart – find out what worked and didn’t work. But if you never ask, then you’ll never know – or at best, you’ll have to learn the hard way – which is on your own.     

Like I said earlier, it takes two people to reconcile a broken relationship, but if you at least focus, choose, and act wisely, even if you don’t see the results you want as a husband, you’ll at least achieve what Ruyard Kipling concluded in his poem “If—," You’ll be a Man my son.”

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