Depending on how long you’ve been married, marriages can start to drift over time. How do you turn a marriage around that has gone bad? Or even change a marriage that is not where it used to be? The answer may surprise you. It starts with your attitude.

We see day in and day out the critical role which attitudes play in life: an employee’s attitude goes south, so does productivity. If a college quarterback’s attitude heads toward the turf, so does his performance. Attitude is important, especially in regard to the marriage God gave you. Here’s what it takes answer the question how to save my marriage? 

How to save my marriage

It’s not only important for you to be up to speed on the latest tips and techniques of how to romance your husband, communicate more effectively with your wife and listening techniques and behaviors, but you must also assess, monitor, and change thinking, attitudes, and expectations through the seasons in marriage.

Here’s what I learned through the years regarding my own marriage: if my attitude is based on bogus ideas, expectations, and bad thinking, then the behavioral things I do will not be very effective over the long haul.

I communicate with couples all over the world that attitudes in marriage are like the engine of a train: emotions and behavior like the caboose. If our thinking or attitudes are off base, our emotions and reactions will likely follow. For example, if you tell a child daily that they are stupid and the child believes it as truth, what happens? Most likely they will feel stupid and eventually start acting that way.

If you base your marriage on false ideas and beliefs, those false ideas will eventually affect your feelings toward your spouse and how you treat them daily.

For many years I wore myself out trying to fix my marriage by focusing on the most obvious things—what I was doing, not doing, saying, not saying. In other words, all behavior stuff. But what I was missing was that as important as the behaviors are, my heart, attitude is also as important, if not more important. I then began diving into books including the Bible about this topic and was struck with the emphasis experts and even our Creator place on the importance of guarding our attitudes and thinking:

  • “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” —Romans 12:2
  •  “…for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” —Matthew 12:34
  •  “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” —Proverbs 4:23
  • “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” —Proverbs 27:19
  • “…stop thinking like children… in your thinking be adults.” —1 Corinthians 14:20
  • “Guard your heart in regard to the wife of your youth…” —Malachi 2: 15

Through my studies, I realized these verses certainly apply to various topics of Christian living. But in principle, they also apply to my marriage. And through the years, as I have worked with couples, I have found the following to be true: when a husband or wife’s attitude and thinking gets off balance, the health of that relationship begins to go downhill pretty quick.