Should I Give My Marriage One Last Chance?


How to save a marriage when only one is trying… Were you met with surprise from your spouse when you disclosed your desire for a divorce? If so, it’s not an uncommon reaction and you’re most definitely not alone. Your spouse may have thought that the union was not entirely a happy marriage but it still may come as a shock to see your feelings as stark evidence of a failing marriage. It may even be represented as only one is trying and it’s not you. Needless to say, it’s a complex emotional space for everyone.

Save Your Marriage From Divorce: Common Reaction To The Mention Of The ‘D’ Word

Men especially may feel a significant shock when they learn of their partner’s desire to end the marriage and may launch into a significant overhaul of lifestyle, attitude, and behaviors as a way to save the union. Meanwhile, women may carry resentment and anger towards their spouse’s belated actions.

“It’s frustrating! I shouldn’t have to resort to divorce for him to change.”

“His efforts are self-serving and insincere.”

“He’ll revert to his old ways and I’ll be left wasting time and causing family turmoil in the process.”

“I’m ready to move on, it’s too late. Too much water under the bridge”

“I love him, but I’m not ‘in love,’ and that won’t change.”

Save A Marriage: Decision On One Last Chance

However, giving your spouse and the marriage one final chance may not be a poor decision, provided the right conditions. While these ideas are primarily from a female perspective, most of the recommended conditions can apply to men.

Women And Divorce: Where They Often Find Themselves

Women often seek financial security and parenting arrangements, which are both subject to higher levels of sensitivity during divorce proceedings. Women are, in fact, often expected to be the primary caregiver following a split. Moreover, they also tend to earn significantly less following a divorce than they did during their marriage. These complications often put women into a bind: they feel pressure to be the primary provider while accepting a significant reduction in income.

Why The Desire For Divorce?

But what are the reasons behind the desire for divorce? Issues such as substance abuse and domestic violence may unleash irreversible damage, making reconciliation impossible. Fear of physical violence or emotional abuse from a partner will deter one’s ability to feel love towards them, despite paradoxically, still experiencing intense feelings of love for their abusive spouse.

Emotions can be misleading in these situations; for example, the bonding hormone oxytocin can create a false sense of attachment and obstruct sound judgment. This post does not directly address individuals experiencing violence or substance abuse because that is a situation that requires specialist one on one assistance from a psychological professional, not the general guidance that this post represents..

Why Marriage Anyway?

Why do people get married in the first place? If 50% of planes crashed, would you still fly?” Nearly half of first marriages end in divorce, yet people continue to marry.

Why? The thing is, people who get married don’t feel like they are helpless passengers on a plane, instead they feel more like they are pilots in charge of the plane. Everyone who answers ‘yes’ to marriage does so because the pilot has control over the plane. However, in marriage, only one has control while both individuals are “pilots” – which results in a more complicated human dynamic.

Ultimately, the main reason why divorce occurs is that people change. Different changes in two people can lead to overall incompatibility and dissatisfaction.

Keep Trying: One Final Chance?

And now, your spouse is asking for one final chance.

Of course, this recommendation isn’t for those who are unyielding in their determination to end the marriage. This is for those who are ambivalent about whether or not to end it (although the uncertainty of a belief does not necessarily validate it).

Weigh Up The Pros And Cons

If you’re considering offering your spouse a final chance at reconciliation, it’s important to make a list of pros and cons for divorce versus staying married. Weighing the importance of each factor in your decision will help you get a clearer picture of what to do next. If you decide to try and salvage the marriage, it must be under the condition that your spouse is willing to change or is currently committing to changes.

Risks And Rewards

One important aspect to consider is assessing the risk involved in giving your spouse one final chance. Do you have the time to devote to this effort? Is anything significant compromised if you attempt to work on your marriage?

Can You Sign Off On The Full Commitment Required For A Second Chance?

Next, you need to be fully committed to the idea of giving your spouse one final chance. Of course, this doesn’t mean compromising your own values or engaging in sexual activities if you’re not ready.

It does, however, mean attending therapy, following advice, engaging in conversations, and making an effort to connect meaningfully with your partner.

Beware The Guilt If You Stop Trying To Save The Marriage

Besides finances, children, and family identity, guilt can be a significant factor. You might be burdened with thoughts of whether things could have worked out differently, particularly if you have kids. Your spouse may even tell your family and friends about it, and their opinion of you may affect your decision to give another go. However, the question remains – should you even give them one more chance?

If you feel that it’s a moral or ethical obligation, then you may consider it. But where does this belief come from? Is it from your religion, parents, or friends, or from a personal conviction? The validity and authority behind this belief should be examined carefully. If you find you can’t rid yourself of the guilt, that might be just one more issue to work through after the divorce that you need to have, it is not a clear reason to stay in a relationship that is better and healthier for you if it ends.

Outside Pressure

If you feel the need to reconcile despite not agreeing with the idea, family and friends may give advice that gratifies them more than you. They will most likely advise you to stay married like they did, not because it’s right for you, but because it reaffirms their judgments and self-worth.

Nevertheless, living up to rules that align with your values and the significant people around you can prevent guilt and shame.

Work Through Feelings Of Anger Before Giving Another Chance

If you choose to offer one more try to your spouse, you must do so wholeheartedly. Anger towards your spouse about forcing you to give them another chance is a valid feeling, but you have to work through that before trying to save the marriage.

Conditions, Punishment And Restitution

However, what happens when words aren’t enough to express your anger towards your spouse or when their ‘I’m sorry,’ doesn’t seem believable? Administering punishment could help alleviate anger. Although one can argue that punishments are only possible for children, marriages might benefit from absolution or restitution. Punishments should be agreed upon by both parties, and the guilty party should not dictate the type of sanction. If your spouse refuses to agree to your punishment, they don’t deserve your forgiveness, and you can move on without holding back.

This approach may not apply to everyone. Some marriages may end without a specific cause, while others may fall apart because of the inability to compromise certain values. However, for those who believe that there is a possible solution and wish to reconcile, offering one final chance with conditions, punishment, and restitution may be the way forward.

One Final Chance Is Not For Everyone

One final chance is not for everyone, but it’s worth considering during a trying period. The decision to offer one final chance should take into account personal conviction, honest efforts to resolve anger, and the willingness to absolve or make amends.


Q: Should I give my husband another chance?

A: Giving your marriage one last chance is a personal decision that only you can make. It depends on the specific circumstances of your relationship and whether both you and your spouse are willing to put in the effort to work on your marriage.

Q: What should I do if I’m the only one trying to save my marriage?

A: If you find yourself in a situation where you’re the only one trying to save your marriage, it can be challenging. It’s important to have open and honest communication with your spouse and express your feelings. Consider seeking professional help from a marriage counselor who can provide guidance and assistance in navigating through these difficulties.

Q: Is it possible to save my marriage if only one person is trying?

A: While it can be challenging, it is possible to save a marriage when only one person is trying. By taking responsibility for your own actions and making positive changes, you may be able to influence your spouse to also work on the relationship. It’s important to have open and honest communication and seek professional help if needed.

Q: What is marriage counseling and can it help save my marriage?

A: Marriage counseling is a type of therapy that focuses on helping couples resolve conflicts and improve their relationship. It can provide a safe and neutral space for both partners to express their concerns and work towards finding solutions. Marriage counseling can be an effective way to save a marriage and rebuild trust and communication.

Q: Can I save my marriage alone without any professional help?

A: While it’s possible to make some progress on your own, seeking professional help such as marriage counseling can greatly increase your chances of saving your marriage. A marriage counselor can provide you with guidance, support, and practical strategies to navigate through your challenges and improve your relationship.

Q: How do I know if my marriage is worth saving?

A: Deciding whether your marriage is worth saving is a personal decision that only you can make. Consider the reasons why you want to save your marriage, the level of effort you and your spouse are willing to put in, and whether there is still love and commitment between you. It can be helpful to seek guidance from a marriage counselor to gain clarity and perspective.

Q: What are some ways to save a marriage when only one partner is trying?

A: When only one partner is trying to save the marriage, it can be helpful to focus on personal growth, communication, and setting boundaries. Engage in self-reflection, work on improving yourself, and express your feelings and concerns to your spouse. Seek professional help from a marriage counselor who can provide guidance and support.

Q: Can a broken marriage be saved?

A: While it can be challenging, a broken marriage can potentially be saved with a dedicated effort from both partners. It requires open communication, willingness to address and resolve underlying issues, and a commitment to making positive changes. Seeking professional help from a marriage counselor can also provide valuable guidance and strategies.

Q: How do I know if my marriage problems are too difficult to overcome?

A: Every marriage faces challenges, but if the problems in your marriage seem insurmountable or if both partners are unwilling to put in the effort to make necessary changes, it may be a sign that the problems are too difficult to overcome. However, seeking professional help from a marriage counselor can provide perspective and assistance in making this evaluation.

Q: What should I do if my spouse wants to leave and I want to save my marriage?

A: If your spouse wants to leave and you want to save your marriage, it’s important to have open, honest communication and express your feelings. Try to understand the reasons behind your spouse’s desire to leave and work on addressing any underlying issues. Seek professional help from a marriage counselor who can mediate and provide guidance during this challenging time.


Deciding to offer your spouse one final chance may be a tough decision that comes with considerable risks. It’s essential to conduct a thorough evaluation of the factors before making the final call. Reconciliation requires a sincere and wholehearted effort from both parties, where everyone must be willing to change and make meaningful amends.

If you choose to offer another chance, it’s crucial to deal with anger towards your spouse in a productive, respectful manner. In some cases, absolution or punishment may be beneficial in finding common ground and moving forward. It’s important to be prepared to put in the effort to save the relationship, including attending therapy, engaging in conversations, and making a genuine effort to connect with your partner.

On the other hand, if you are resolute in ending the marriage, it’s important to be honest and true to yourself, and not be swayed by family, friends, or guilt. Whatever decision you make, always remember that your well-being and happiness are also of great importance.

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