First, you need to believe that it can be done, especially with the Lordâ€™s help. The future of a particular relationship cannot be predicted, but many couples are able to repair and strengthen the most lifeless and frustrating marriages.
Second, you must really be willing to work at it, because it will take sustained work before the feelings of dedication and enthusiasm return. This is sometimes where couples become overwhelmed. The effort seems colossal and the results insignificant. You will have to work against your present feelings and some tendencies that now exist in the relationship if you are to see long-term positive results.
Remember what you used to have together. What were things like when you first met? What attracted you to each other? What did you do on your first date? What kind of things did you do for fun? Do you still do any of these things? Most couples find this kind of reminiscing enjoyable and enlightening. It reminds you that at one time you had some pretty great feelings for one another. This step can be an attempt to regain an appetite or desire for the relationship.
Decide to turn things around. You can do this whether or not your partner is willing to; although making a commitment to do it together is far better. This is fundamentally a decision of your will. Repentance means to change your mind and your direction. Most people have enough control over their own lives to make a decision and stick with it when they want something badly enough. This step brings the Lord into the equation as you ask Him for help in turning things around.
Repeat the things you did at first. The point is simple but the impact can be profound. Early in a relationship couples talk more as friends, do more fun things together, are more forgiving, and are more likely to look for the good and not the bad in the other. The things you do to renew and restore life in your marriage are the same things couples can do to avert marital distress and divorce in the first place. What you must supply, with the Lordâ€™s help, is the willingness to act.
Listen. An important part of how to rekindle a marriage is taking the time to listen and digest. When you listen to your partner and look for what is right about what he or she is saying, instead of the flaws, you can learn how to disagree and make decisions in a productive and enjoyable way. Listen to your spouseâ€™s concerns and take them seriously.
Love. A key part of how to rekindle a marriage is increasing positivity and warmth in your relationship. This means catching yourself when you make negative comments and reactions. This is tricky because they are often automatic! It also means being loving. Love is sharing, appreciating, and admitting mistakes. It is also showing affection, with gestures big and small, physical and verbal, sexual and non-sexual. The more loving energy you radiate, the more that others, including your spouse, will want to be around you. No need to gush. Just emanate light, not darkness. Being more loving is an important spark in how to rekindle a marriage.
Learn. Marriage is a high-skilled activity. Learning how to save a marriage takes time and practice. Fortunately, because it is a skill, that means anyone can learn how to rekindle a marriage! Instead of focusing on ways in which your partner could change, focus on your own learning journey. The results will be even better if both of you are learning togetherâ€”at the same time, even just one of you learning and practicing can have a huge impact on your marriage. Spouses react to and bounce of each otherâ€™s habits and energies. As you learn and apply more healthy marriage skills, your spouse will begin to mirror the positive changes.