Nearly half of all American couples give up on their marriage. According to the American Psychological Association, 90 percent of people marry by age 50. Out of those marriages, 40 to 50 percent end in divorce.* One question is when is it too late to salvage a marriage if one or both of the spouses wanted to do so? Attorney Paula Lock Smyth has advised clients on what steps to take to make that determination.
When is it Too Late to Save a Marriage?
The short answer is never. Some marriages start with a solid foundation but run into problems as part of daily life or other pressures. Spouses forget the reasons why they wanted to get married in the first place. Challenges with finances, raising children, or just living under the same roof can overshadow enjoyment in the relationship. However, things can turn around with commitment, willingness and hard work.
It Takes Willingness and Work to Save a Marriage
When clients want to file for divorce, I always ask if it’s possible to reconcile. This gives them a chance to think about what they’re about to do and consider whether they can work out their problems. If they agree to try to work things out, I recommend starting with counseling. Whatever the problem is, there are third party professional counselors they can talk to who often help mend hurt feelings and rekindle love.
In certain situations, the Texas Family Code authorizes a Judge to order the parties to counseling to determine if there is a reasonable chance of reconciliation. The counselor will meet with the couple and evaluate and report if there’s any chance of repairing the marriage and if so, how many sessions of counseling they should have. This strategy has worked in the past for some couples.
As mentioned, there are counselors available to work on all types of situations. Anger management sessions, couples therapy, individual counseling, 12-step programs, or religious counseling could help. The key is both parties having the desire to work through their differences. In situations where there has been physical, emotional or substance abuse, reconciliation may no longer be possible.