Can This Marriage Be Saved?

  • Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC
  • Series: Spring 2011 Volume 18, Issue 2
  • Download PDF

Pretend you are 9-years-old. Your mom and dad are fighting in the kitchen. You are in the living room. Your dad goes to work and stays away for three days. When you are 10-years-old, this happens once per month. When you are 11-years-old, your parents get a divorce. You live with your mom. Your dad remarries. You see him twice a year.

You are now 30-years-old. You are married. Your wife leaves to stay at her mom’s place when you and she are no longer able to discuss difficult things. You stay secretly angry with her for weeks after she returns from her time-out with her parents.

What are the chances you and your wife will be able to develop successful ways of dealing with upsets in your marriage?

Most of us would say the chances of learning the skills to resolve differences in this marriage are slim. Yet there are proven ways for this couple to acquire and apply the skills to move this marriage toward success. That is if both parties will get on board to work on these skills: Not with any counselor, but with an experienced, trained professional. This professional must be knowledgeable in providing specific skills proven to work with COUPLES (this is very different than individual counseling) who are willing, after some help, to stop demonizing each other in their minds as well as face to face criticizing one another: A very difficult thing to do once the verbal trashing of one another starts.

Most couples do not start out mistrusting each other. Many people in marriage have never seen or experienced people who know how to walk through disagreements to the resolution side of being together. It is impossible to know what you do not know.

Early in my career, I remember literally praying that there would be a way to help couples acquire the skill set it takes to handle differences. This set of skills is now available, outlined by solid research, and is fully aligned with scripture. The research has stood up to 25 years of testing. The studies are not haphazardly done. Dr. John Gottman is the originator of this research. We have cited these studies as foundational in our very successful work with couples at the Center for Family Healing.

Very few times in 24 years have I “done a commercial” in my writing for our PFL Newsletter. Because the covenant of marriage is critical to children, society, and couples themselves, and because couples are so loved and important to God, I urge people who long for a more positive marriage to find help from a qualified couple’s expert at the Center for Family Healing. Phone: 920-720-8872

Compliments of Practical Family Living, Inc.

P.O. Box 1676, Appleton, WI 54912 (920) 720-8920

You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute our articles in any format provided that you credit the author, no modifications are made, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you include Practical Family Living’s web-site address ( on the copied resource. Quotations from any article are also permitted with credit to the author and citing the web-site. Any use of other materials on this web-site, including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication, without the prior written consent of Practical Family Living, Inc., is strictly prohibited.