Saving a Marriage From Divorce

Can a marriage be saved from the brink of divorce? What would that even look like? I’ve collected stories and advice for couples hoping to save their marriage from divorce.

When someone signs up for my email list, they get a little welcome email which asks them to respond back stating something they are currently struggling with in their marriage.

I get quite a few of these emails each week.

At first I was surprised to find how many of these emails expressed marriages in dire straights- on the brink of divorce, dealing with things like infidelity, addiction, abuse, etc. I’ve received three such emails dealing with infidelity just this week.

This has caused me concern many times because I feel inadequate to offer them anything helpful, never having experienced any of those problems firsthand.

But then I thought, while I don’t have experience with a marriage in dire straights, I can certainly point you to people who have been there and who can offer hope.

So the past two weeks I’ve been scouring the internet for helpful articles and stories for couples on the brink of divorce who are making it work.

Because if you are in this situation, it can often seem like you are all alone- surrounded by happy couples with no problems. Like this woman said,

“I always wound up asking [my friends] if they knew anyone—anyone—who had been through this and made it out the other side, anyone who’d survived an affair and come out happily married. Because I wanted to believe it was possible, and to know how it could be done. What was normal? Was there a road map? How long would it take? None of my friends seemed to know such a couple. Other marriages might have survived an affair, but no one was talking.”

At the outset, let me say that you are certainly not alone, and I sincerely hope you find peace and hope and forgiveness regardless of where your marriage lands.

Let me be clear (again) that I am not anti-divorce. I do not think every marriage should be saved and I don’t judge couples for whom this is the best option (the stories of hope section includes two such couples).

Saving a Marriage From Divorce | The best articles on coming back from infidelity and the brink of divorce.

This post, however, is primarily for those who have already made the decision to stay and need some hope and direction for what is ahead.

So here are the results of my digging for stories of hope for couples on the brink of divorce:

Stories of Hope: Saving a Marriage From Divorce

(the titles are links)

He Cheated: She Stayed: One Woman’s True Story of Getting Over Infidelity

I found this little gem in O Magazine online. The author is utterly real and relate-able.

Her story starts out with her being the mistress to someone else’s affair before she was married, so she begins by outlying why affairs are so alluring.  Then, years into her own marriage, her husband cheated and she got the other end of the experience.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“The year following Sam’s confession was wretched. I felt as if I were living forward and backward at the same time, excavating details about the past—ours and theirs—as I tried to figure out what came next: How could I keep our family on an even keel, and what could I do to fix our marriage, and was it even worth the trouble?
…It is very hard to fall back in love with someone you know as well as you know a spouse after 12 years. You have none of the momentum of early love to propel you forward, and all the habits that drive you crazy to drag you down. But we both cared for our marriage enough to want to give it a chance, and to try our best not to damage it further.
Much as I am loath to admit that anything good could come out of his affair, our marriage now is, in important ways, often better than it ever was. Sam doesn’t dismiss his anger in hopes that it will go away—and he’s getting better at pinpointing some of the vulnerable feelings that the anger, like a guard dog, protects.” 

How I Saved My Marriage

This one, written by Richard Paul Evans doesn’t involve infidelity and I’ve shared it before because I find it so powerful. Definitely worth the read for any relationship.
“Our fighting became so constant that it was difficult to even imagine a peaceful relationship. We became perpetually defensive, building emotional fortresses around our hearts. We were on the edge of divorce and more than once we discussed it.
. . . Finally, hoarse and broken, I sat down in the shower and began to cry. In the depths of my despair powerful inspiration came to me. You can’t change her, Rick. You can only change yourself.” 
Saving a Marriage From Divorce
Richard and his wife Kerri. Source: Hoopes Vision

Surviving Infidelity

This is written by a man whose wife of 35 years cheated on him. I was very impressed by how committed they both seemed to be to making it work (I’ll say more about this one in the ‘my two cents’ section).
“. . . even after I forgave her, I still hurt, I still hated, and I was still crying. But I realized at that point how much I loved my wife. And I believed that, even though she did what she did, she still loved me.”

The Big “D” Word

This is another long-time favorite marriage article of mine. All about disappointments and adjusting your expectations.

“There may come a time when you look at your spouse and look at your life and come to the hard realization that the dreams you once had will never come true with this person.  That truth hits hard.   You may feel trapped and backed into a corner with the only feasible solution being the big “D” word.  The thought of moving on can be so scary and yet alluring all at the same time.  The thought of a fresh start, a second chance to begin again and to get it right this time around.  These thoughts begin slowly at first like a quiet whisper at the very back of your mind.  But with every argument, every hurtful word, every disappointment, that voice that tells you that, ‘you deserve better’ gets louder and stronger.  It will convince you that you’ve done all you can.  It will try to steal your hope.  That voice will make you believe that things will never change.  And then, as the final and fatal blow it will stir up bitterness and resentment.  That voice will aim to harden your heart and convince you that the only thing left to do is walk away.” 

Pam and Greg. Source: Clean Life, Happy Wife

Life After Porn Addiction, Affairs and Lies . . . It Does Get Better

Alright, so this couple did get a divorce, but I put it in here first off because it shows that even with divorce, there is still a lot of work to be done in healing, forgiveness and self-growth. Also, I like what he says about the importance of overcoming shame (which secretly underlies a lot of our misery and bad behavior) and how he describes why he cheated.

“You can change your thoughts which change your actions. You do this by getting help from someone you trust. You do this by choosing to believe that you can be more than just these addictions, or problems. You CAN do something about it.

. . . To this day, Lynn and I are still friends, business partners, and co-parents and we get along just fine. That is thanks to both of us, putting in the work to heal, grow, forgive, and strengthen our relationships with ourselves.”

The Lie and Truth About Marriage

So this couple also eventually ended up splitting up years after this was written (yet remain very close), but I include it here because it is such a good description of what making it work when its hard actually looks and feels like.

“Real love is about METAMORPHOSIS, and metamorphosis IS FIFTY SHADES OF PAIN – just ask the butterfly. To let love work on you, to let the metamorphosis happen- you must allow the illusions of who you thought you were to fall away,  look reality dead in the eye and open your arms wide to the REAL him, the REAL you, REAL marriage.  

. . . Start feeling loving feelings a little each day. Download the truth that: Yep. FEELINGS FOLLOW WORK.  REPEATEDLY ACT LOVING AND EVENTUALLY- You will find yourself FEELING LOVING. Promise yourself you will never forget that love is not something to wait for or wonder about or search for or hope for but SOMETHING TO SHOW UP EVERYDAY TO CREATE. LOVE Does Not Just Happen. It’s FORGED.”

Advice from Experts

If You Want to Save Your Marriage After An Affair, Read This

This is a great article written for a spouse who has had an affair who wants to save their marriage. It is full of experts and authors sharing actionable steps.

“Research shows that if the betrayed spouse needs to process what happened or talk about feelings, healing won’t happen unless the unfaithful spouse is willing to participate in the conversation openly and honestly, in a reassuring way,” she said. “Sometimes the unfaithful spouse’s shame gets in the way of being present for these conversations. Know that you can acknowledge that shame and still be willing to put it aside so your partner knows their needs are paramount.”

I Just Discovered I Was Cheated On, Now What Do I Do?

Written as a partner article, this is what to do if you have been cheated on. Again, full of helpful quotes from experts.

“Give yourself permission to feel every emotion that comes your way: sadness, bitterness; hopelessness; total, utter rage — all of it. 

. . . You may feel like a victim now but you remind yourself that you haven’t been totally robbed of your agency. You still have a say in what happens next in your relationship.” 

We’re On The Brink, Can My Marriage Be Saved?

This is a reader question answered by a couple’s therapist. In it, she gives eight insightful questions to ask yourself as well as some strategies to heal.

“As a couples therapist, I see many couples that come into treatment despondent and angry.  There are years of damage and mistrust. . . . In all of these cases, at least some of the time, there is hope for true and genuine reconciliation.  Of course, this can happen if and only if both spouses are open to the idea of changing how they think of the relationship and how they interact with each other.  Don’t expect this to be a quick or easy process, but it is possible and I have seen it happen.”

My Two Cents

As I read through story after story after story of infidelity and broken marriages this week, I started thinking about my research as a graduate student studying criminology.

For my master’s thesis, I wanted to answer the question, “Why can some prisoners come out of prison and stay out and when so many end up back in? What is the difference between them? What characteristic or factor is the turning point?”

To answer this question, I spent hours and hours interviewing prisoners and former prisoners. I attended re-entry programs and questioned the instructors.

I’m not the first person to ask this question of course, and the literature outlines many contributing factors to recidivism: employment, family support, access to good programs, social economic status, race, etc.

But what I found in my interviews was that some people could have every box checked- a good job, friend and family support, the best programs and still end up violating their parole time and time again. Whereas others had everything against them and were still able to stay out of the system.

I concluded that the biggest factor boiled down to DESIRE. The important role of personal desire and conviction just couldn’t be ignored. If a parolee didn’t REALLY want to stay out of prison or get clean- no program, child or job could make them change.

And for those who seemed to have all odds against them who got clean and stayed out of the system- the difference seemed to be that they really, really wanted it. Wanted it enough to change at great personal sacrifice. Wanted it enough to seek and receive help. Wanted it enough to go through the really, really tough times.

Saving a Marriage From Divorce | The best articles on coming back from infidelity and the brink of divorce.

I wonder if it isn’t the same for the couples who make it work and those who don’t? (not that I think marriage should be likened unto prison 😉 ) I’m no expert in this field, so it’s just a hypothesis.

The tricky thing in marriage, though, is that it takes TWO people who really, really want to make it work. Want it enough to change at great personal sacrifice. Want it enough to seek and receive help. Want it enough to go through the really, really tough times.

We can only ensure one-half of the desire necessary unfortunately. Our spouse is responsible for the other half.

I think this couple is a great example. While reading this man’s story, it felt different from the many, many other infidelity stories I had read that day.  It felt like, wow, I actually believe they are going to make it work. The difference was that they convinced me that they both REALLY wanted to make it work.

Its like what Richard Paul Evans said, “We’ve learned how to take care of each other and, more importantly, we’ve gained the desire to do so.”

The desire needs to be there. A lot of it.

I know its not that simple- that a strong enough desire isn’t the ONLY thing necessary. Just like its not that simple for parolees to break free of the criminal justice system for good. Some people have every factor against them and for them its almost impossible. Its SO much easier to go back.

Likewise, some couples have every factor against them- histories of addiction, infidelity, depression, mental illness, personality disorders, financial strain.

For every couple though, I do believe a strong desire to stay is the starting point. And I definitely believe in the power of selfless love, devotion and commitment to work miracles. I really do.

I don’t believe saving a marriage is the best path for every couple. There is legitimate abuse out there.

Only you can decide whether or not your marriage should be saved. If you are trying to make that decision, marriage therapist Jennifer Finlayson-Fife offered some great questions to ask yourself in my interview with her for my upcoming book. She said to ask yourself:

  • Is making room for this person going to make me give more than I can really give?
  • Am I prepared to live with the consequence of breaking my family?
  • Can I stand by my decision weighing the cost it will be to all of us?
  • Is this decision being driven by my fear or by my clarity?
  • Ultimately do I want this enough? If I don’t want it, is it because of my weakness or my strength?
  • Is my decision coming from the best in me or the worst in me?

Whatever you choose, I believe the path ahead must include a lot of inner-work toward healing, peace, hope and forgiveness.

Good luck friends. I’m rooting for you.


15 thoughts on “Saving a Marriage From Divorce

  1. September will be three years since I learned of my husband’s affair. We’re still together, have a 1 year old daughter now but it hasn’t been easy. It’s taken a lot of hard work and effort to keep things going. is a great resource for couples wanting to save their marriage after infidelity.

    1. Thanks so much for responding to share your story Chelsea! I can only imagine how difficult it must be. I checked out Affair Recover- looks like a great resource! Thanks for mentioning it!

  2. This is a story of an incredible experience i had when my marriage crumbled which i eventually got helped and i like to share this to everyone out here and to those that have similar issue.. I’m not a believer of magic powers but they say the world we are living is powerful, then finally i met Dr Amigo who helped me reunite with my husband and make our relationship even stronger and brought peace and joy into our marriage. Want to reach out to him Google his name as Dr Amigo the online spell caster for a review of his full article. I’ve found happiness with myself with the help of this savior man, what about you! reading this post?

  3. ‘ve noticed that people are calling this black magic and its wrong; here’s the thing….if your husband or wife is screwing around on you, you have every right to do what is necessary to stop it. You aren’t harming anyone….they are the ones doing the harm and have it coming. My situation was hopeless me and my husband was on the verge of divorce. I was in a awful state and felt that I was not able to cope with life any longer. I found out about this Dr Lawrence and tried him. Well, he did return and now we are doing well again, more than ever before. Thank you so much drlawrencespelltemple @ gmail. com Thanks and remain Bless

  4. My husband changed dramatically towards me, doesn’t communicate anymore.He disrespects me and accuses me falsely of infidelity because of wicked gossip …but I’m simply AMAZED at the results of priest manuka who did reunion love spell for me. Everything is going so well and EXACTLY how he said it would be. Even though it took 5 days to fully progress, it was so worth it because things are just about at perfection! How he took my situation and completely turned it around to give me exactly what I wanted is beyond me, but something I will never question and just be completely grateful, God Bless priest manuka for turnimg sorrow happiness. i will live his contact here also. [ lovesolutiontemple1 @ gmail. com]

  5. Thank you very much Priest manuka. i never thought any thing could make my husband come back to me as his wife again, after he broke up with me and left to settle down with another woman who never Knew how we both suffered and share feelings together, thank God today i was lucky to see this great spell caster on a site after seeing a lots of testimony and good work he have done in the lives of people helping them to get their ex,husbands and wife renewing their relationship i was convinced and i contacted him and just in 7 days after the spell was casted my beloved husband came looking for me and right now we are together again and he is taking care of me and the little kids as his responsibilities and family. Once again thank you here are his contact to reach him. lovesolutiontemple1@ gmail. com or priestmanuka@ yahoo. com

  6. I found this post really interesting, thanks for your precious insights. Getting a divorce is a huge decision, especially if there’s a chance you can rebuild what’s been lost. I think the best way to try is starting from recognize what’s working and forgive the past if painfull. In today’s stressful modern world, we have a lot on our plates and the risk is to drain us of our energy until we have nothing left to give to ourselves, let alone others.
    Personally in the past when I was in trouble and stressed about my relationship with my husband I had also very good tips and inspiration by reading this Hope this can help you.

  7. my testimony about priest manuka how he restored peace back to my family when my wife left me and the kids for her ex boyfriend who she dated before we got married and cut off from my family, life without her was useless to me and kids i really needed her back and i don’t want want my kids to grown up without proper care of there mom, but thank God today for using priest manuka to restore and bring her back home to where she belong. here his contact to anyone who read my testimony and in need of his service. lovesolutiontemple1[@]

  8. priest manuka is one spiritual man i would forever give regards to, he brought my husband back to me after my old friend tried to blackmail me to take over my husband and made him divorce me with wrong accusation. But priest manuka did a spiritual prayers that resolved issues with my husband and push the other lady far away from him. I am happy to have him back again, priest manuka is great and powerful. his contact to reach him. lovesolutiontemple1[@], he really surprised me once again thank you.

  9. A miracle that happen in my life that God use priest Manuka restore happiness in my marriage. It all happen when I travel to see my mom few months ago when my husband met a Mexico lady who took his attention away from his family and made him seek for a divorce, in just few months I was away, I was driven from our home because of her my husband was lavishing our savings on her that pains was really too much for to bear seeing my man in the arms of another woman, I decided to take decision to save my family from the bondage of this wicked lady. Today am here to tell everyone here that my marriage has been finally restored by priest Manuka who did all he could do to bring back peace to my life again. My advice to anyone who read this testimony never to give up in any situation just ask God for direction and have faith he will lead you just the way I was lead to priest Manuka who help me out of my problem. Once again thank you for you help I will also recommend him to anyone else who needs him for any situation. Here is his contact….. Lovesolutiontemple1@gmail. com

  10. ( HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK) I want the world to know a great man that is well known as priest manuka, he has the perfect solution to relationship and marriage problems. The main reason why i went to manuka temple was for solution on how i can get my husband back because my husband left home to another woman and he was seeking for divorce and i don,t want that to happen and i need him back home. And i have read some testimonies on the internet which some people has written about manuka temple and i was so pleased to contact him on his email (lovesolutiontemple1@gmail. com) which he did a perfect job by casting a spell on my husband which made him to come back home to me and beg for forgiveness.I will not stop publishing his name on the net because of the good work he is doing. I will drop his contact for the usefulness of those that needs his help. You can contact him today and get your problem solved.

  11. (HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK) I want the world to know a great man that is well known as priest manuka, he has the perfect solution to relationship and marriage problems. The main reason why i went to manuka temple was for solution on how i can get my husband back because my husband left home to another woman and he was seeking for divorce and i don,t want that to happen and i need him back home. And i have read some testimonies on the internet which some people has written about manuka temple and i was so pleased to contact him on his email (lovesolutiontemple1@gmail. com) which he did a perfect job by casting a spell on my husband which made him to come back home to me and beg for forgiveness.I will not stop publishing his name on the net because of the good work he is doing. I will drop his contact for the usefulness of those that needs his help. You can contact him today and get your problem solved.

  12. I was searching for help online to get my ex lover back whom we got divorced 5 months ago and i came across so many testimonies online on how this wonderful man called Doctor Kala help them to get back their loved ones and restore broken marriages and i contact him on the email that was provided on the comment and explain my problem to him and he did a nice job by helping me to get my divorced husband back within 48hours.. I never believe that such things like this can be possible but now i am a living testimony to it because Doctor Kala actually brought my lover back to me, If you are having any relationship problem why not contact Doctor Kala for help via email: kalalovespell @gmail. com or you can call and WhatsApp him on 2347051705853. Then i promise you that after 48hours you will have reasons to celebrate like me. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *