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The online alternative to marriage counseling

Learn How To Save A Relationship With Dr. Susan Heitler

Learn how to save a relationship with Dr. Susan Heitler

Dr. Susan Heitler has spent years counseling couples on how to save a relationship. And the good news is, most marriages can be saved from divorce! Even if just one spouse working alone can do lots to make the marriage recover and even flourish.

Here’s an example of how to save a relationship straight from Dr. Heitler’s experience. This is based on a common story she sees in her marriage counseling practice...

Laura and Sam were sick to death of their marriage. Many years ago, their marriage had been wonderful, and while they still cared for each other, years of nagging and fighting had bitten away at their love. The only solution to the fighting, it seemed, was to build separate lives. They remained isolated from one another and led separate lives, even dating other people.

Finally, Sam decided they had had enough of being in marriage limbo. “Laura, I hate our marriage. We barely talk. I’ve had enough. At the same time, I don’t want to give you up. There’s a lot about I still love. I think that’s why I’ve stayed in this situation…I can’t bear the idea of divorce.”

Then Sam made this proposal, the first step in how to save a relationship. “Enough with our old marriage, then! Let’s end it, keep each other, and build a totally new kind of marriage together!”

Laura thought about it—how much divorce costs, how unpleasant it would be to start a new life all over, how much her own parent’s divorce had hurt her as a child—and agreed.

Sam and Laura had the right idea: focus on starting a marriage, not ending one. But where do they go from here? When Dr. Heitler sees couples in this situation, she recommends using the 3-L’s cure for how to save a relationship.


Instead of trying to prove her way is right, Laura starts to really listen to her husband’s concerns. She takes his complaints seriously and tries to understand what seems to bother him. Sam notices this and starts listening more and being less defensive too. This is an important part of communication in marriage.

2. LOVE.

A positive and loving attitude is the key part of how to save a relationship. Love is sharing thoughts and concerns, coming clean about mistakes, and appreciating each other. Love is also radiating positive energy by helping your spouse out, showing small tokens of affection, being playful, and giving each other open, joyful sexual attention. The more loving energy you radiate, the more that others, including your spouse, will want to be around you.


Marriage is a high-skilled activity—learning how to save a relationship takes dedication and time. Learn helpful skills and practive them constantly. And remember to keep learning and skill-building as you move on. There’s no such thing as a too-great marriage!

Laura and Sam may be fictional, but they represent the true stories of thousands of couples. You, too, can start a new marriage with your spouse! Join Dr. Heitler for marriage counseling 2.0. at Power of Two. Become a member and start working with your coach today! It’s never to late to start your happily ever after.

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123.Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.