How to save a failing marriage?

Many couples promise “to death do us part” and continue to have challenges which results in a failing marriage. Marriage is the most important factor that predicts the whole scale actions of a society. Without disrupting that process that leads to a failing marriage the societal outcomes will continue to be more catastrophic than what we are facing today. Couples can save a failing marriage by using strategies that eliminate the cycle associated with a dysfunctional organization. 

According to the article, 6 Reasons Christian Marriages Fail, a plethora of inclinations provide the symptoms of a failing marriage. The first challenge that contributes to a failing marriage is cheating. Cheating begins with an infidelity betrayal resulting in the severance of trust in the marriage. The second challenge is a communication breakdown. Good communication is a fundamental necessity that will avoid a failing marriage. The third challenge is “Old lies”. Old lies from avoiding certain conversations during the dating process in a hope that the entrance into marriage will nullify the effect. Next, there are value differences. Value differences are the fundamental center that can contribute to a dysfunctional or failing marriage. Next is “Altered Ambition”. Altered Ambition is the unplanned growth factors that contribute to a failing marriage. Finally, the articles points out that “Workahalism” is the final factor. Each factor that the article contributes to a failing marriage is a symptom of a dysfunctional organization. 

What are the characteristics of a dysfunctional organization that result in a failed marriage?

Dysfunctional organizations exhibit several characteristics that result in a failed marriage. There are five different levels that contribute to a dysfunctional organization. Figure 1 reveals that the foundation for the dysfunctional organization begins with each person’s use of defense mechanisms for coping. Defense mechanisms are the unwritten rules an individual learns and utilizes to effectively deal with circumstances that are upsetting, embarrassing, or threatening. defensive mechanisms create challenges associated with differences in values.

The second level is skilled incompetence, which is the outcome of the defense mechanisms we have internalized. When the defensive behaviors we’ve learned are transformed into a learned behavior, that behavior becomes a skill – albeit an incompetent skill – that we consider necessary in order to deal with issues that are embarrassing, threatening, or upsetting. A skill that is learned from the regular application of a defense mechanism has a high degree of incompetence embedded within it, because we are unaware of how this skill will impact our future. The challenges associated with avoiding conversations during the dating process are a product of skilled incompetence.Skilled incompetence transforms into a defensive routine. Defensive routines are the third level. When the skilled incompetence is automatically exhibited at all times, the behavior is now a defensive routine. “Workahalism” is a routine that can protects an individual from closeness with their spouse resulting in a failing marriage.

Defensive routines lead to fancy footwork. Fancy footwork is the fourth level. Fancy footwork happens when individuals try to deny the behavioral inconsistencies they exhibit, or else they place blame on other people, which results in distancing themselves from taking responsibility for their behavioral inconsistencies. Cheating is a result of fancy footwork because the individual refuses to take responsibility for their actions. 

Fancy footwork leads to organizational malaise. Organizational malaise is the final level. During this phase the individuals in the organization – which in a church includes church leaders – will seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The individual continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility. The lack of good communication could be a product of organizational malaise due to the individual only focusing on the negative rather than the positive and therefore resulto9ing in a failing marriage.

Overcoming the challenges related to a failing marriage will require that couples implement two major steps. The first step is for the couple to develop a shared vision for their marriage. A shared vision will provide mental image that two or more persons agree on. It will provide the focus and energy necessary for the husband and wife to begin the learning process necessary for the development and fulfillment of their family goals. It is a powerful tool that unites any family or organization. The shared vision process must begin with the development of agree upon values. This process will eliminate the impact that spousal differences contribute to a failing marriage.

Next the couple must develop a strategic plan which includes goals for each of the following areas:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Family
  3. Social
  4. Educational
  5. Physical
  6. Employment/Work
  7. Recreation/Fun
  8. Financial

When developed according to Dr. Campbell’s book – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land – the process will help to save a failing marriage.

Related Articles

The surprising new way to save your marriage: discuss divorce terms — while you’re still together

5 ways to save your marriage — with little help from your spouse

9 Ways To Save Your Failing Marriage (And Avoid Divorce)

In Christ,

Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell
PO Box 4707
Cherry Hill, NJ 08012
(856) 566-3267

Published Books


  • Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land
  • Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives)
  • Advanced Marriage Training for Singles
  • Husband Leadership Principles

“I was blessed by the love and sensitivity that you and your wife showed during the presentation”.


Bishop Joseph P. Ravenell

Samaritan Baptist Church

Trenton, NJ

“I would highly recommend you to any church or organization desiring to provide their people with timely marital wisdom and practical application skills”.


Dr. James E. Woods, II

El Shaddia Christian Assembly

Philadelphia, PA


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *