12 Powerful Reasons Not to Give Up on Marriage (and What to Do)

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Marriage is a beautiful and complex journey, but it is not without its challenges.

In today’s fast-paced society it’s easy to have doubts about whether it’s worth fighting for.

But as you’ll read in this article, there are many eye-opening reasons not to give up on a marriage, even when times get tough.

Inside this article, you’ll discover:

  • Reasons why your marriage is worth saving
  • Why divorce doesn’t necessarily make things better
  • How to prioritize your relationship
  • Ways to rekindle emotional connection

Before we dive in, you need to be aware that many traditional marriage-saving methods don’t work well because they are overlooking the “WE.”

If you want to save your marriage, learn how to put your relationship first with a guide like Dr. Lee Baucom’s Save The Marriage.

Click the link above now, or find out why you shouldn’t give up on your marriage—and how to strengthen it—below.

Why you shouldn’t give up on your marriage

1. Marital happiness fluctuates

woman hugging a man eating toast at a table with a quote about married couples making their own happiness in their marriage

Happiness is not a constant state of being.

Life is full of ups and downs, and it’s totally normal to experience both in your marriage.

Still, it can be hard to remember the joy and love when your marriage feels overwhelmed by sadness, anger and frustration.

It can bring you hope, however, to realize that you’re not at the mercy of fluctuations in marital happiness—because it’s not the marriage itself that makes you happy.

Rather, it’s what you do to create a loving, nurturing and joyful environment that makes you feel happily married.

Consider, too, that while happiness is important in a marriage, it’s also not the only goal.

In a successful marriage, two people work together to build a life, support each other and overcome challenges—as a team.

This is what leads to happiness in your marriage—not the other way around.

Read Next: How to Save Your Marriage

2. Leaving may not make you happier

Research shows that divorce won’t necessarily make you happier.

A famous Linda Waite study found that, surprisingly, people who got divorced weren’t any happier on average than those who stayed in their unhappy marriages.

Counter to what would be expected, divorce generally didn’t reduce depression symptoms, increase divorcees’ self-esteem or give them a sense of mastery.

So if your goal is to improve your personal happiness, divorce in and of itself may not be the answer.

3. Because you made a commitment

close up of a womans hand putting wedding ring on a mans hand with a quote about commitment making marriage special

Marriage is a big deal—so much more than a legal contract.

It’s a promise to stay together and work through your marital problems. To love and support each other through thick and thin.

And yet, giving up on your marriage means breaking that promise.

The commitment you made is what makes marriage special and sets it apart from other relationships.

And while there’s no shame in divorce if that’s what you know is right for you, it’s worth the effort to try and honor it before you make the decision.

4. Things may get better if you wait it out (seriously!)

A longitudinal study aimed at identifying marital quality over couple’s lifetimes found an interesting trend.

Marriages that stayed together showed improvements in relationship quality—such as happiness, participation in shared activities and diminishing discord—over the 20 year mark.

These results were documented for marriages despite declines in happiness in the early years.

Which makes you wonder—are some couples who decide to get divorced giving up too soon?

It may be that at least for some, choosing to stick it out through difficult times leads to happiness, harmony and marital satisfaction—with statistical evidence.

5. Divorce is difficult

Some may be unprepared for just how difficult divorce can be.

They may be hyper-focused on the singular result of ending a bad marriage, but the reality is that divorce involves a significant loss.

Even if you and your spouse are always angry at each other now, it’s emotionally challenging to let go of the person you once loved and shared your life with.

On top of this, divorce is a long and complicated legal process.

All the negotiations, court appearances and paperwork can be overwhelming and emotionally and mentally draining.

Sometimes all of this is worth getting a divorce in the end—but you will need to consider your own personal situation, and whether working together to solve your issues is the better option.

6. Most times, a troubled marriage can be fixed

woman laying her head on a mans shoulder with a quote about working through marriage issues to make a couple stronger

The problems in most troubled marriages are not unsolvable.

But many couples struggle to identify the root of their issues, making them feel bigger and more ominous.

The truth is that every marriage has its problems—there is no “perfect” relationship that’s free of conflict.

But with the right support and effort, most times, you and your partner can work through your issues and rebuild your relationship.

In fact, going through hard things together can actually make your marriage stronger.

If you want to fix your marriage, we highly recommend starting the steps in Dr. Lee Baucom’s Save The Marriage Program  now.

7. Financial security

Marriage can provide financial stability and benefits, including combined incomes, shared expenses and tax advantages. 

Divorce, on the other hand, can lead to financial hardship for both parties.

Divorce can be expensive, particularly when it comes to dividing assets.

Then there’s loss of income if one partner was financially dependent on the other. 

This can be especially challenging if there are children involved, as child support and alimony payments can also impact a person’s financial stability.

Then there are legal fees. Hiring a divorce lawyer can be costly, and the longer the divorce process takes, the more expensive it can become.

It’s not a particularly romantic reason to stick by your marriage, but for many couples, the financial reasons are very real.

8. If you think you’ll regret not giving it another chance

If you have doubts about whether you’re making the right decision, consider giving your marriage another chance. 

While there are certainly cases where divorce is the best option, many individuals don’t feel so confident.

They ask questions post-divorce like:

  • “Did I pull the trigger too fast to get divorced?”
  • “What would have happened if I chose to stay and work on my relationship?”
  • “Would staying together have been better for my family?”

This is why it’s so important to get your issues squared away to the best of your ability before making a decision like getting divorced.

9. Relationships are hard work

couple hugging and kissing with a quote about paying attention to your marriage to save it

Many people assume that a “good” relationship doesn’t need work.

This is false.

Anything you stop giving your attention and effort to will eventually fade away.

Like a houseplant—

You have to water it regularly, check to see how it’s doing, if it needs more sunlight, less sunlight, better potting soil, a bigger pot.

To thrive and grow, your relationship needs regular maintenance too.

Challenge yourself to nurture your relationship back to health—and then do the hard work to keep it there.

It takes patience and vigilance, but it’s a humbling and rewarding experience.

10. Sometimes we expect too much of our partners

Are you waiting for your spouse to change?

Perhaps you blame them for your unhappiness in your marriage and believe that they should be working harder to meet your expectations.

But this can be tricky.

The trouble with expectations like these is that they can leave you in a constant cycle of disappointment and make you feel helpless in your marriage.

They make your personal fulfillment your partner’s responsibility, instead of learning what you can do to change things yourself—or how to inspire your partner.

Then again, there are things that we can’t change—like our partner’s personalities, interests, beliefs and desires.

Nobody is perfect, and expecting your partner to become an ideal version of what you want may at the very least ensure you’re never satisfied, but also make you overly critical.

11. Divorce doesn’t solve everything

While some people feel better after a divorce, it’s not a magic fix.

Not only does divorce not have the power to grant you instant happiness, it also doesn’t solve ongoing issues between you and your spouse that may follow you post-divorce.

For example, if you have kids together, you will still have to learn how to have a harmonious relationship so you can peacefully coexist in your kids’ lives.

If you’re arguing about raising them, about money and about every last detail of parenting now, getting a divorce won’t necessarily stop it.

For you and your family, it may be better for you to work on that now.

12. You can rekindle your love

couple dancing on a dock with a quote about keeping the spark in your marriage

If your marriage is struggling, it’s possible to rekindle your love and passion for each other.

It may not feel like it right now, but there are plenty of stories of other couples who have done this that you can read on the internet that will give you hope and courage.

Married couples who work on listening to each other, communicating in a healthy way and rediscovering each other’s personalities can reignite their spark.

Romance is what romance does.

It just takes giving your relationship the space to breathe and staying open and curious about each other.

How not to give up on marriage

Avoid hasty decision making

Before making any life-changing decision, give yourself time to think and process the situation.

Marriage challenges can be overwhelming, but it’s essential not to react impulsively. 

Consider the long-term consequences and the impact on both of you and your family’s well-being.

Do some self-reflection

person sitting on a rock looking out at a large lake with a quote about doing self reflection to save your marriage

Take a step back and evaluate your actions, emotions and contributions to your marriage.

Self-reflection will help you recognize areas where you may be unintentionally harming your relationship. 

By understanding your own behavior, you can become more mindful of your actions and make positive changes.

This can also promote self love, which can in turn have a positive impact on your relationship.

Reignite your romance

Complacency can lead to dwindling passion. 

Make an effort to keep the spark alive by planning regular date nights, engaging in heartfelt conversations and practicing small acts of love and appreciation. 

This renewed attention can help revive the love and excitement in your relationship.

Put the “we” first in your marriage

husband and wife running together with a quote about being a team to stay married

Working together as a team and prioritizing your relationship can create a healthier marriage over time.

It takes a mindset adjustment of “you vs. me” to simply, “we.”

In fact, Dr. Lee Baucom teaches how to do this in Save The Marriage.

Consider seeing a licensed marriage counselor or family therapist

Seeking professional guidance can be a game-changer for your marriage. 

If you feel comfortable talking to someone, a therapist or counselor can provide insights, tools and resources for you and your partner to navigate through any challenges and strengthen your bond.

It’s not a guarantee to save your marriage, but finding the right kind of help can make all the difference.

Build strong communication

Effective communication is crucial for a healthy marriage. 

Yet the vast majority of the time that there are problems, it’s missing.

Actively listen to your partner, express your needs and concerns openly and promote a safe space for both of you to share your feelings.

Good communication fosters trust, understanding and connection.

Recommended Reading: Signs of Poor Communication in Marriage

Learn successful conflict management

husband and wife holding hands on a couch with a quote about learning conflict resolution to work on your marriage

Disagreements are inevitable, but managing them effectively is essential. 

Learn to address conflicts in a respectful, constructive manner that promotes problem-solving and compromise.

 Avoid escalating tensions and prioritize finding common ground instead of playing the blame game.

Be generous with your partner

Practice kindness, support and empathy regularly. 

Small acts of generosity, such as expressing gratitude, offering encouragement and providing a listening ear can immensely impact the overall happiness and stability of your marriage.

This is also an easy way of rebuilding your emotional connection.

Set realistic expectations

Marriages are beautiful but imperfect unions. 

Understand that both you and your partner will have flaws and make mistakes. 

Embrace these imperfections and set achievable expectations that foster growth and development in your relationship.

Final thoughts

While it may be tempting to give up when the going gets tough, there are numerous reasons to hold onto your marriage.

If you need encouragement, here are some takeaways to bolster your confidence.

  • Problems are opportunities for growth: Facing and overcoming issues as a couple can lead to significant personal growth and deeper understanding of one another.
  • Marriage offers companionship: A loving, supportive partner can be a significant source of comfort and friendship, making life’s journey more fulfilling and enjoyable.
  • Shared dreams and goals: Couples can work as a team to achieve mutual aspirations, resulting in a more meaningful life together.

Lastly, don’t forget the value of open communication, trust and mutual respect. 

Continue to nurture and invest in your relationship, and remember that giving up shouldn’t be the first option when facing challenges together.


How do I know when to give up on my marriage?

Recognizing the right time to give up on a marriage is a very personal decision. However, some general indicators include:

  • Consistent feelings of misery and unhappiness within the partnership
  • Recurrent thoughts about separation or divorce
  • Unwillingness or inability to put in the work needed to repair the relationship

Read Also: How Do I Know If My Marriage Is Over?

At what point is a marriage not worth saving?

Some situations may seem beyond repair, making it difficult to decide if a marriage is worth saving.

Red flags include:

  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Toxic patterns of manipulation, control or deceit
  • Substance abuse issues that are not being addressed

Deciding whether to save a marriage should involve a balanced evaluation of the issues at hand and the ability of both partners to change and grow.

Signs you have given up on your marriage

It’s important to recognize the signs that you may have given up on your marriage, especially if there’s any hope of saving it.

Here are key signs that you’ve stopped putting in the effort:

  • Lack of intimacy, both emotional and physical
  • Inability to communicate openly or honestly
  • Disinterest in spending quality time together

While these signs may be concerning, it’s important to remember that every marriage has its challenges.

Acknowledging these issues is the first step toward addressing them and working toward a healthier, happier relationship.

Remember, too, that problems can follow you or exist in some way in your next relationship—so don’t be too quick to assume they’ll go away just by giving up.

If you need help fixing your marriage now and you can’t wait for a marriage counselor, check out Dr. Lee Baucom’s Save The Marriage Program.

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Marlene Davis is an experienced blogger with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Her dream is to help improve people's lives and relationships through sharing of practical knowledge and evidence-based practices.