When is it Too Late to Save a Marriage? Why I Think It’s Almost Never Too Late

I often hear from wives who are worried that they’ve waited too long (or not done enough) to save their troubled marriages. Many tell me that they think too much time has passed before they tried to make any positive change so they worry that there’s really nothing they can do to fix what’s been broken for a long time. And, many aren’t at peace with this and don’t want to give up. Many of these wives are looking for some latch ditch effort that’s going to repair their marriage before they are forced to throw in the towel.

I often hear comments like “when is it too late to save or fix your marriage because I’m worried that it’s just too late for us. Sometimes, I think that there’s nothing there anymore or that our relationship is so far gone that nothing is going to save it.”

Frankly, it’s my opinion that it’s almost never too late. I’ve seen couples who’ve actually been divorced get remarried. I’ve seen couples who had begun relationships with other people get back together. And, I’ve seen couples who can’t even stand to be in the same room eventually turn things around. In short, I’ve seen marriages that had long been left for dead rebound with a little effort, luck, and diligence. I will discuss this more in the following article.

If You Worry That It’s Too Late To Save Your Marriage, You Might Be Right Because Your Fears Can Become A Self Fulfilling Prophecy: I often hear from wives who say things like “I’m not ready to give up on my marriage. I actually still love my husband, but I know that it’s too late for us.” This is so unfortunate because the wife is going to give up, all but ensuring that she’s absolutely right about it being too late. If you allow these fears and assumptions to keep you from taking any real action, then you’re pretty much guaranteeing that you’re going to get precisely what you don’t want and what you fear the most.

If you truly want and intend to save your marriage, then you’re much better off vowing to take a measured approach, to do your best, and to wait and see what happens before you make potentially dangerous assumptions. It’s often best not to try to quantify emotions and relationships that often don’t fit into neat little categories. Focus on what you can control and try to believe that if you do that well, all of the other pieces will fall into place.

Times When It May Be Too Late For The Marriage To Be Saved: There are some instances where I’ve observed that the marriage is more likely to be over. These are instances where one spouse has been abusive to another (or to the couple’s children) and just can’t or won’t make any permanent changes to ensure that this will stop.

Another instance where marriage are sometimes over is when both of the parties has become completely indifferent and not invested. What I mean by that is that no one is angry, fearful, or jealous anymore. Both parties are at peace with the decision to end the marriage because both of them know that it came to natural end and that, although they did everything they could to prevent this, they fell short anyway.

However, I have to say that most of the time, this isn’t the situation that I see. More often than not, at least only one spouse is indifferent. Although it’s a bit more difficult to save the marriage when one spouse is indifferent (or thinks they are,) it’s not impossible if the willing spouse is able to make some noticeable and necessary changes on their own.

Instances Where It’s Not Too Late To Fix Your Marriage: Often, I will hear from people who tell me that they’re sure that their marriage is too far gone. They’ll confess that they and their spouse tell each other that they hate the other, fight all of the time, or are unfaithful. It’s as if they believe that if they can heap on a bunch of negative descriptions, I’ll finally give in and admit “OK, your marriage is too far gone. It can’t be saved.”

This almost never happens. Why? Because if people have taken the time to find and then ask me about their marriage, they most certainly are not indifferent about what happens to it. So, it’s obvious that at least one of the spouses is still somewhat invested and not indifferent. And frankly, it doesn’t always matter that they hate each other or are constantly fighting. Sure, they will have to change these emotions and behaviors. But the presence of strong emotions (even negative ones) at least show me that mutual indifference isn’t present.

And yes, people tell me that one of them are going to or have moved out. They tell me that they’re going to or have separated. None of these things derail me all that much. Because I’ve seen marriage such as this (including my own) rebound. I know that it can be done. The question if often not: “is it too late to save my marriage?” Instead it’s: “what am I going to do to save my marriage before it’s too late?”

Rather than worrying about placing a definition or restriction on your relationship, you’re often much better off coming up with an effective and workable plan. I learned this the hard way. Trust me when I say, it’s almost never too late to save your marriage, but the longer that you wait to take some effective and definitive action, the harder it becomes.