I know first hand that it is an absolutely horrible, terrifying feeling when you begin to feel in the bottom of your gut that perhaps your marriage is over. This is made even worse if the state of your marriage has brought about anxiety and unhappiness. You already feel bad enough. But when you begin to think of this actually being the end, you feel even worse. This is a vicious cycle because your being unhappy and upset can make it more difficult to save your marriage.

An example is a comment like: "over the past couple of years, it seems as if I have had one struggle after another. I had to move when my company relocated. And I miss my old town. I miss my old friends. I have felt very isolated and this hasn't helped my marriage. My parents got divorced. My paycheck took a hit. Basically it was just one bit of stress after another. My spouse started telling me that I was bringing him down. He would travel to our old town to escape but I could not because of my job. My husband started to say he hated coming back home to me because he would go from a good situation to a bad situation. After a couple of months of this, he started just not coming home for weeks at a time and then months at a time. Last week, I asked him when he was coming to our new home and he said that he doesn't think that he is. He says that I am so unhappy all of the time that it makes him feel unhappy too and he doesn't want this. He said he thinks it's best if we just separate for a while. I told him that he wasn't making much sense and was being pretty selfish. He said he needs to start looking out for what he wants - not what I want. At this point, I'm starting to feel like this is the beginning of the end of my marriage. I think that my marriage might eventually be over. And now I'm more unhappy than ever. I know that in order to have any chance of saving my marriage, I have to show my husband the happy woman that he originally married. But quite honestly, I don't feel like that same girl. That girl didn't have all of these things to worry about. I feel stuck and trapped. I can feel my husband slipping away from me and this is absolutely heartbreaking. How do I shake myself out of this and try to save my marriage?"

Be Careful That Your Fear And Depression Don't Damage Your Marriage Even More: I have been in a similar situation. When my husband began to pull away from me, I got depressed. My depression only made him avoid me more. As bad as this was, I didn't really begin to get serious about making a change until I saw myself one day in the mirror. I looked so tired, worn, and just beaten. And this is when I decided that I needed to change some things for myself - and this was true regardless of what happened in my marriage.

Do This For Yourself: I believe that this distinction is very important because when you are doing it for yourself, it seems much more genuine and your husband is more likely to believe in it. I did get some counseling and this helped some. I would highly recommend this. But, I think what helped me turn the corner more than anything was taking a serious inventory of my life and determining where I was missing the things that used to bring me joy. I realized that I hadn't been doing anything at all other than moping around and placing my focus on what was wrong with my life. (You can read about how this helped me turn my marriage around during my own separation by clicking here.)

I was not placing any focus whatsoever on what was still right and on what I still had to be grateful for. I started journaling, did a lot of yoga, and reached out to family and friends who were more than happy to help me in any way possible. I also got really serious about no longer isolating myself because, for me, that is a sure path to depression. Sometimes, I accomplished this by volunteering or giving my time to others. I took on additional work projects that weren't meant to advance me in any way other than the fact that I just wanted to do them.

I started saying no when people asked things of me that didn't make me happy. I decided that life was too short to make others a higher priority than I was making myself. These changes made a big difference in the way that I felt and in the way that I was perceived by others. And I believe that my new outlook did help me save my marriage. But I am hoping that this information isn't the only thing that you take from this article. I want for you to know that your happiness is very important. Do not put yourself last. If you need help getting yourself back on track, please get it. And don't feel bad about this. It is normal when you have your life filled with stress. It takes work to turn this around. But you are worth it. And recognizing it is half the battle.

I know that turning the corner is difficult.  It was hard for me also.  But I guess at some point I just got tired of feeling lousy.  So, I made a point of doing at least one thing each day that brought me joy.  After a short time, this truly made a difference in both myself and in my marriage. (I actually saved my marriage after separating.) If it helps, you can read more of my story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

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