How to save a marriage when only one is trying? If you are both contributing to your relationship nightmare, or more likely you think it’s your spouse’s fault, how can you possibly improve your relationship if you are the only one doing anything about it?

Know this, that it only takes one person in the relationship to change in order to cause a shift in the marriage. While it would be easier and more efficient to have both parties working together, don’t underestimate the power you have to save your marriage when only you are trying.

Need some more inspiration on how to fix a marriage when only one is trying? Explore this topic deeper with other related posts on The Marriage Restoration Project blog and take the 10 Steps to Winning Your Spouse Back challenge.

Wondering how to bring up the idea of couples therapy to a resistant partner?

Suggesting relationship therapy or marriage counseling to your partner without freaking them out can be challenging if you don’t approach the subject carefully. Just bringing up the subject of counseling can make a defensive partner think you’re implying that something is wrong with the marriage. It could also make your spouse or partner feel like you are a problem or he/she is ready to leave the relationship. There is also the fear that going to couples counseling might exacerbate an already bad situation or stir up the pot.

That’s why it is important to learn how to bring up the subject of counseling to your partner without freaking them out. We’re so proud of you for taking the first steps toward a healthier relationship, and we want to help it go smoothly.

We’d like to give you some pointers about how to actually broach the subject of getting marriage help. (For couples in crisis, we advise that you look into coming to a marriage retreat together- despite his/her lack of interest, here’s why.

If you want your relationship to be better, and you really want to see your spouse change, you are going to have to start helping your spouse feel safer, heard, and important. Setting out to fix your marriage alone is also going to REQUIRE that you change your attitude about your spouse. The latter can have a huge impact in that it transforms the way you approach the marriage and helps you take responsibility for your role.

It is quite common that the one who is trying to save the marriage blames the other partner and looks at him/her through a lens of judgment. Instead of blaming, take ownership for your role in the relationship and see what you may be doing to set off your partner.

The only behavior you can control is yours and while you wish theirs would be different, blaming or being self-righteous won’t make a difference. As you change yourself, you will notice your spouse responding differently. You may even get to a place where you can do the work together!

Step 1: Know that it only takes one person in the relationship to change in order to cause a shift in the marriage

Step 2: Help your spouse feel safer, heard, and important

Step 3: Think differently about your situation, not just that your spouse is the problem and that he/she is the problem and needs to change. Make that mental shift!

Step 4: Instead of blaming, take ownership of your role in the relationship and see what you may be doing to set off your partner.

Step 5: Start noticing how changing yourself instead of focusing on changing your spouse naturally causes your spouse to begin acting differently!

Our online Marriage School is a program for couples as well as for individuals who want to save their marriage, even when there is only one trying. It will teach you:

  • Why you are experiencing difficulties in your marriage
  • How to approach those challenges
  • Provide practice tools that you can implement on a daily basis

Although you may feel like you’re the only one trying to save your marriage, you need to learn how to do it in a more effective way so that you actually get the result you are looking for.


For more help on winning back an uninterested spouse, take the 10 Steps to Win Your Spouse Back Challenge.

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Enjoy the results of a renewed mindset and newly accepted personal responsibility on your part to be the change that you want to see in your marriage. It’s the easier way to begin seeing the results that you want to see in your marriage, without having to nag or blame or feel hopeless. Talk with us about our private 2 day Marriage Restoration Retreat and how to save a marriage when only one is trying. It’s the most effective way for you to begin restoring your marriage. We can help!

How to Bring up Therapy Example Script 1

“Honey, I realize that I haven’t been the greatest spouse to you- I know I’m not the best x, y, z (listener, reliable, whatever you can HONESTLY take ownership for).
I know I’m difficult to live with.
I’d like to be a better spouse and I need your help so that I can meet your needs better.
I found a program that I think could be helpful so that I can learn the skills that I need to understand you better and work on my reactivity and help meet your needs.
Would you be open to hearing more about it?”

How to Bring up Therapy Example Script 2

“I understand that you’re not interested in getting help on our relationship, or you’re just done (tailor this to your particular situation).
I still feel that it would be helpful for us to get clarity moving forward so that we can make a conscious choice instead of just leaving because it’s too hurtful.

It doesn’t mean we have to stay together, we can walk away without being bitter or angry with each other and with the clarity of what went wrong, as well as an understanding of what role we both played so that we don’t repeat it in future relationships.

(If you have children) Even if we end our marriage, we will always be in relationship because of the kids, and for their sake, it’s important that we learn how to work together without bitterness and resentment.

I think this program will teach us skills to get beyond some of our differences and work better together as well as learn how to communicate without hurting each other.”

Couples often come to counseling for this closure and goodbye process, which we call conscious uncoupling therapy, but they end up deciding to stay together because they become aware of what is really going on in their relationship.

The purpose of this is not to be deceptive and trick your spouse into coming, but if you have no other chance, it is your BEST OPTION and truthfully, it is beneficial, to get some closure and to work on things.

There’s nothing quite like the power of gaining clarity on a confusing situation. Complete the form below to talk with Rabbi Slatkin to see what he thinks would be best for you and your unique situation.

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Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact or