When the marriage is on the rocks, couples typically seek advice from friends, family and marriage counselors.
However, according to relationship expert Mort Fertel, that's precisely the wrong thing to do.
Fertel said in an e-mail to Huffington Post that much of the advice people get about their marriage problems is wrong, even though it sounds good and made sense.
What he suggests instead are six unconventional steps that run counter to traditional relationship advice.
Firstly go it alone. One person's effort can change the momentum of a marriage, and very often, it's that effort that motivates the obstinate spouse to join in the process of saving the relationship.
Secondly, stop asking yourself the wrong question. The key to succeeding in marriage is not finding the right person, it's learning to love the person you found.
Know that absence does not make the heart grow fonder. In marriage, particularly in a broken marriage, absence separates people.
It creates distance, and that's the opposite of what we're trying to achieve, which is closeness.
Next is don't talk about your problems. Talking about the problems in a marriage doesn't resolve them; it makes them worse.
It leads to arguments and bad will. Besides, you'll never talk yourself out of a problem that you behaved yourself into. Marriages change because people change. Say little; do much. Speak in the vocabulary of your actions.
Marriage counseling does not work in most situations. The success rate is dismal.
Most couples report being worse off after marriage counseling.
Don't talk to family or friends about your situation. One of the most important values in a marriage is privacy; therefore, it's a mistake to talk about your marriage or your spouse to family or friends. It's a violation of your spouse's privacy and it's wrong.