Can Your Marriage Be Saved? Dr. Fillmore Answers that Question and More


Here are Dr. Dana's answers to the top four questions people ask when trying to save their marriage. If you have a different question, we want to help you too. Please comment below and tell us what you’d like to know.

Here are the answers to four of the most common questions:

1. Can my marriage be saved?

Absolutely! Almost all marriages can be saved and even made much better. But let’s face it, not everyone wants to save their marriage, meaning not everyone wants to keep it the way that it is. But, I’m talking about saving it and making it better, making it the marriage you actually want. To do that it’s important to know this one thing: it’s normal to fall in and out of love in a long-term marriage. People who are married for a long time are not typically “in love” with their partner the whole time. They fall in and out of love many times over the years.

You know that 80 year-old couple that’s dancing at the wedding that clearly adore each other and still look madly in love? Well, those people will tell you that they were not madly in love everyday for the last 60 years. In fact, there were many times when they wanted to toss their partner out of a window! We all want to be that 80 year-old couple, right? We want people to say, “Wow, look at them, I want that kind of marriage.” Well, that couple will tell you that it took two things to get to that point: commitment and the willingness to work on it.

In fact, here’s one of the stats we quote in our upcoming book. Research indicates that 86% of unhappily married couples that stay together and work on their marriage report being much happier later on in life. In other words, they’re glad they put in the effort to make it work and stuck with it. On the flip side, we all know that when couples give up on their marriage and divorce, their financial resources are cut in half, which is seriously lousy! We all know that not many people can afford two households. Research also shows that children of divorced parents often have lower self-esteem and may have significant difficulties later in their own relationships. And did you know that a divorced person’s life span can actually be shorter? These are all things to think about when considering whether to give up on or save your marriage.

So in answer to the question, “Can my marriage be saved?”   The answer is yes.  Now you know that you can save your marriage.  You also know that falling in and out of love is normal.   I hope you have hope again.  I hope you know that if you’re willing to do the work, things can get seriously better for you and your spouse.

2. My spouse isn’t willing to work on the marriage, is the marriage over?

The answer is no or, more accurately, not necessarily. Everybody has heard the saying, it takes two to tango, right? Many take that to mean that both people have to take dance lessons to do it right. But what it really means is, if just one person learns some new steps, some new moves if you will, and does something differently, the whole dance can change.

Let me tell you a real-life example that just happened the other day. We heard from one of our email list members, Charlie. He’d read a few of our articles, watched a few of our videos and was considering buying the System. He wanted it because he and his wife, Cindy, had been fighting over a messy house for over 20 years. He’s a neat freak and she apparently is a bit of a slob. So, his way of dealing with this was to go to work all day, come home and complain about the house -- pretty much making Cindy feel lousy about herself until they went to bed.

There was a glitch, though. Charlie told us that Cindy, was working all day and taking care of their four kids and she had no interest in putting one more thing on her plate. In other words, she wasn’t willing at this time to try out the Save My Marriage System with him. We assured him that just one person applying the lessons can make a big difference. He went ahead and bought the System and later contacted us. He told us that after watching the sections on Understanding Each Other and Resolving Conflict, he had decided to change his approach. He stopped complaining and blaming and took the time to find out what was really going on with Cindy. As you can imagine, she was more than happy to tell him! Turns out that Cindy had all kinds of reasons for not cleaning the house, some from her childhood, some based on her and Charlie’s relationship, and some just out of sheer exhaustion.

Once Charlie figured this out and what was really going on with Cindy, two things happened. One, he stepped up and started helping a lot more, but more importantly, Cindy stepped up once she felt like Charlie really understood her. Miraculously, Charlie reports that the house is clean today. On a side note, when this was so effective, Cindy did finally actually agree to use the System. So what’s the moral of the story, one person learning a new skill and changing their behavior, changing their steps, if you will, can dramatically change the dance.

3. What do I do if my partner has moved out, is dating someone else or has even already filed papers? Please help!

This question is really tough to answer, not because I don’t know the answer but because it’s not an answer that most people want to hear. Sometimes a marriage is actually over. Or more accurately, it should be over. As detrimental as going through the divorce process is to both people and to the kids, prolonging the process and leaving everybody in a state of limbo is even more damaging. Sometimes we have to make the call, take the time to grieve, then heal, then move on with your life.

4. How do you know when to call it quits?

Let me give you my personal answer. If I were going to walk away from my marriage and break up the family, I would have to be able to look myself in the eye and know that I have done absolutely everything in my power to make it work. Maybe I’ve ended friendships, quit my job, sold my house, read self-help books, and learned and practiced all the marriage skills I could get my hands on. I would have to know that I had done everything in my power. If, however, I truly believe that I have done everything I can to save my marriage and it has not worked, then I could hold my head up and move on knowing that I did everything I possibly could.

Hope you found the answers to these questions helpful. The webinar was so successful, we’re already getting requests to do it again.

Have More Questions?

If you would like to have any of your questions on the next webinar or on our blog posts, please comment below and ask your question:

To save your marriage, check out our free video presentation...

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

If you’d like to sign up for the next webinar, we're holding another one over the next three days...

Revitalize and Save Your Marriage With Our Free Webinar "5 Secrets to Save Your Marriage"

You will discover:

  • The answer to "Can my marriage be saved?"
  • How to fix your marriage even if you're the only one trying
  • 4 Relationship Myths that are probably getting in your way
  • How to avoid common mistakes you may be making in your marriage. /li>
  • The most important thing you need to do to save your marriage – And you’ll be surprised it’s practical and easy to apply for almost everyone
  • Clear, straightforward steps that you can take immediately to get your marriage on track

Register Now for 5 Secrets to Save Your Marriage

If you'd like to learn Marriage Success Skills to save your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System.

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, StrongMarriageNow.com

  1. gloria tejeda says:

    Hola, he leido y visto sus videos y me interesan mucho ya que estoy pasando por dificultad en mi matrimonio porque mi esposo y yo no nos entendemos solo en la cama tenemos afinidades el problema es que siempre soy yo quien debe ceder en todo por ejemplo cuando nacio la 1 nina tube que dejar mi trabajo, para cuidar de la nina y despues vino la 2 ya han pasado 8 anos y no he podido volver a trabajar, le pedi a mi esposo que nos mudaramos a florida y no quiere nos mudamos de atlantic county para old bridge pero no me siento bien y en este sitio tengo 3 anos y no he conseguido trabajo, en mi pais desde los 18 anos siempre trabaje y fui independiente economicamente siempre en todo soy yo la que tengo que ceder algunas veces pienso en el divorcio pero tambien pienso en las ninas ahora una de 8 y 7 anos pero no me siento bien con esta relacion ya que digo que una buena relacion se da cuando las dos parte ceden un poco pero no solo un quisiera me ayude en una orientacion para mi esposo tenemos 12 anos de casados y me gustaria seguir con el pero necesito que el me entienda a mi tambien.

  2. I can't read i guess it's spanish. so i'll just ask a question . we been seperated for nine month communication has its ups and down some more ups then down . some times. my husband cks in emontionaly and then gets scared and cks out . iv'e done alot of work on my self through your help thank you for that.do you think he might just be testing the waters to see if things have changed on my part.He has work to do on him self. I know we didnt get to this point all by are selfselves we had alot of out side help our and then we added the cherry. do you think i should keep letting test the waters.he takes baby steps and then he seems to get scared and jumps back. How can i keep him cked in longer so he can see more. any sagestions. so far you been right on. thank you again amy r.

  3. Jill Macpherson says:

    You address the issue of people having an affair. what do you say about someone who had at least 20 sexual parnters over a period of 12months. who treated me like he hated me whilst doing it to the point where I spent every day wondering what I had done wrong and what i could do to keep him happy and trying to not do anything that would upset him. A man who walked blatantly flirted with a woman i knew at my best friends wedding then later that night and also the next morning walked donw the hallway where we were staying and had sex with her. A man who had at least 2 others on the go at the same time, telling him he loved them, most of them thought he was single apart from the last one. A man who arranged a special "business" trip to meet up with the woman I knew, which is the point when I found out about another one, a man who told me in that time that when he came home from his trip he would sort it out and he still loved me - then staying his 3 days with the other woman who I did not know about at the time . This all happened a year ago and still i am struggling. No he has not done anything since then. Fianlly in January this year he commited to counselling realising he had serious issues . He is working through them, whilst I am stuck. Have just got Dr Gunzbergs program and you know what, I really don't know if i can ever get past all the things he has done and the way it makes me feel. Even the thought about sex makes me feel ill ,as though it is dirty and shameful, I never used to think that way. I still don't trust him although he says he loves me and wants to work it out..I am not sure as he told so many people he "loved them". I guess I am in the stuck phase of not knowing what to do or what I really want.

    • Go see a counselor, yourself. Get some help to get over what has happened to you. Think about YOU for a change.

      We teach people how to treat us. Learn how to hold your head up high and make the decision to be mentally healthy, yourself.

      Once you feel better about YOU, the world looks like a different place; not just in your marriage, but with everything you do and all of your relationships.

      Good Luck to you!

  4. I caught my husband with a very dear female friend of our together at 4am in our truck at his work. My husband called her and asked her to come spend time with him while he worked late through the night. Our female friend replied and accepted his invite. When I cauht her there with him I was so furious I wanted to beat the crap out of her. But I held my cool. I felt so betrayed by it all!!! However my husband and I are still talking and are trying to work past this. We have been together 25 years and married 22 years.

  5. standleymt@live.co.uk says:

    I have just been diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome at 47. I live in England and my wife returned to New York to work, then once there she decided we are seperated. She has my 5 year old daughter with her. I have to remain in the UK as I have my 11 year old son from a previous marriage with me 50% of the time. My daughter is the apple of my eye and I love my family so very much but...

    Having researched Aspergers and realising my views and way or relating is different and not the "right way" as I used to believe or try to justify - I now feel so sorry for my wife and truth be told myself too but not in the normal self pitying way of the past.

    Is the kindest thing to "let her go" so she can meet a man who can give her the empathy and connection she so needs?? Or do I need to fight for this relationship even though I love my wife so much and just want her to be happy?

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