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          Saving a Marriage

          October 09, 2003

          Couples who are trying to work their way back from a near-divorce are faced with the ultimate challenge. Rebuilding trust and infusing the partnership with love takes introspection, forgiveness and a lot of time and effort. Dr. Phil presents the following points for couples to consider when trying to heal a damaged relationship.

          Homework: Write down what you need from your partner.
          Dr. Phil asks couples to write down the 10 things that they would like to see more of (or less of) from their partner. This exercise can illuminate many of the misunderstandings that couples face.

          What are you doing to contaminate your relationship?
          Each partner carries emotional issues from the past into the current relationship. Be sure to examine what you are bringing into the dynamic as well as looking at what your partner is doing.

          Have you built an emotional wall?
          Many people have unconsciously built emotional walls that prevent them from truly becoming close with their friends and family. As you attempt to reconnect with your partner, be sure to ask yourself if you have blocked yourself off emotionally from the one you hope to be intimate with once again. And remember that you have to knock down your emotional wall — nobody can do it for you.

          Make an effort to communicate from the heart.
          When speaking to your partner, especially in a time of crisis, be sure that you are speaking from the heart and not simply saying the words that you think he or she wants to hear.

          Ask yourselves if you’ve ever really met each other.
          It is possible to be married for years and still not truly know each other. Many people hide behind social masks — a protective measure that keeps friends and family from really understanding them. Take the time to get to know yourself; it is a process that will ultimately lead to others knowing you as well.

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