Restore your marriage by exploring your strengths and weaknesses.

How to Restore a Marriage That Has Ended

by Shannon Philpott

It’s no secret that marriage is hard work. However, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the relationship ends. If you are longing to reconnect with your ex and restore the commitment you once cherished, it’s time to explore your feelings, actions and goals to ensure that the marriage will be reconciled on a solid foundation. With open communication and counseling, you and your ex may soon recapture the love you have for each other.

Seek Professional Counseling

Consult professionals to help you restore your marriage. Marriage counselors can help couples discuss conflicts, differences and barriers that may have led to the end of a marriage, says Mark Dombeck, clinical psychologist and former director of

Trust in the process. Marriage counseling can be a draining experience. It forces you to look at your own faults, weaknesses and actions that may have contributed to the breakdown of your marriage.

Know that counseling is designed to help you both heal. By talking through your feelings in a safe environment, you and your ex may be able to better understand each other and empathize with each other.

Accept Each Other

Try to understand that marriage is a two-way street. Although you may not like your ex-husband’s hobbies or interests, it’s important to support him.

Pick your battles. Accepting each other involves acknowledging that your ex-spouse may not operate or function in the same way that you do. He may prefer to sleep in while you’re an early riser. You may prefer to dine in while he wants to dine out. Try not to focus on the small stuff and positively reinforce each other's strengths.

Avoid launching into arguments about every little thing and choose to accept your ex-spouse for who he is instead of trying to change him. Accept what you can’t change, recommends Maud Purcell, family therapist at

Communicate Regularly

Make time for communication on a daily basis. Marriage breakdowns often occur because spouses fail to communicate with each other.

Work past the excuses and schedule one-on-one time with each other. Whether you take a brief stroll through the neighborhood for 15 minutes or embark on a dinner and movie date once a week, use this time to reconnect and enjoy each other's company, suggests Purcell.

Keep conversations light. If the goal is to get to know each other better during these daily communication sessions, avoid tackling tense topics, such as finances or fall-outs from the past. Instead, discuss your day, your hopes, dreams and goals. Take the time to learn something new about each other each day.

Build Your Confidence

Work to restore your marriage by working on yourself. If you are feeling well emotionally and physically, your spouse will surely notice. Your confidence will also soar, enabling you to see your own value in the relationship.

Pamper yourself, exercise regularly and eat healthy. Your physical health directly affects your mental health, according to Purcell, so taking care of yourself can ultimately lead to a clear head when expressing your feelings, wants and needs with your spouse.

Initiate changes that will improve your well-being. If your habits or vices are damaging your health, work to eliminate these activities. If you are fostering feelings of anger, sadness or jealousy, talk with a trusted friend or therapist to help you cope and rebuild your sense of self. Once your ex-husband sees the efforts you have made to improve yourself, it’s likely he will follow suit to help restore the marriage.


  • Avoid hanging on to the past or placing blame on your spouse. If you wish to restore your marriage, you will need to learn how to forgive your spouse.

About the Author

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

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