In our last article, we discussed ways you can work with your spouse to improve your marriage in 2013. But what if your spouse isn’t willing to participate? Many clients come to us frustrated not only by their marital issues but also by the fact that their spouse was unwilling to attend marriage counseling or even discuss their problems. The fact is, some people are simply happy to maintain the status quo, despite being miserable in their marriage.

As you’ve heard before, we always encourage our clients to take every possible action to save their marriage before resorting to divorce. You may be unhappy and recognize that your marriage is in need of repair, while your spouse doesn’t see the problem. If you are dealing with a spouse who is a passive participant in your marriage and is unwilling to work with you, there are still some actions you can take as an individual to improve your marriage:

Stop trying to change your spouse. It’s easy to fall into the trap of depending solely on your spouse for validation, comfort, and entertainment. If your spouse is failing to meet your needs in any of those areas, take control of the situation from your end. Consider speaking to a counsellor to get to the root of your issues. You may be surprised by what you learn. Join a club or take a class. Reconnect with friends. Start an exercise program. When you find happiness in things you can control, you may find that you depend less on your spouse and feel less need to try to change him/her.

Focus on today. Try to let go of resentments and disappointments from the past. It is easy to let small issues get blown out of proportion when you feel that your spouse continues to make the same mistake over and over again. Focusing on the past causes you to lose sight of the present.

Ultimately, you are the only person you can control. Always make sure you’ve tried every possible solution before resorting to divorce.

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