You may be thinking: “Why should I even attempt to make my spouse happier, if they aren’t?” You may not feel responsible, because in most cases you are doing everything right. So if they happen to still be miserable, that’s on them. Well, their happiness is your problem, because it has lasting affects on your household. In order to get your spouse out of his/her funk, here are 7 actions you can take, today.
1. Pray with your spouse. Your spouse may not even understand why they feel the way they do. Ask God to remove any unhappiness and replace it with joy. Pray over your entire household and ask God to bless your home and fill it with His love, wisdom and a sense of peace. Even when you experience trials, remember James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds”.
2. Show concern, instead of judgment. Reminding your spouse they are in a loving and supportive marriage where they can share anything, without judgement, should create a safe space for your spouse to open up about what’s bothering them. At that point, just listen.
3. Ask questions, lovingly. It’s okay to ask what’s wrong. However, when we hear the answer we can’t minimize it. All feelings matter, even when you don’t quite understand. Another solutions-focused question to ask is: “what needs to happen to improve how you are feeling?” When your partner feels as though you are in their corner, it usually changes everything.
4. Help your spouse find resources and help. Individual counseling and marriage counseling might be necessary to take your marriage from gloom to bloom. Don’t be afraid to bring up the topic of seeking help, or even recommending books that speak specifically to what your partner is experiencing.
5. Remind your spouse of the blessings in their life. Just have them take a moment to look around and point out all the things to be grateful for. Individuals sometimes need to be reminded of just how often blessings happen in their lives to help them escape that unhappy space.
6. Explain the impact it’s having on the children or the relationship in general. Share the damage it may be causing overall. For example, is their behavior turning you off and causing you to not want to be intimate, or not even want to be in their presence? If so, that’s a major problem and needs to be corrected immediately.
7. Demonstrate what happiness looks like, by being it yourself. You may think it’s difficult when you’re around someone else who isn’t happy, but it’s possible. A genuine smile, laughter and some good positive energy can definitely rub off on your partner. Give it a try.
The joy, or lack of joy, that exists in your home is up to you. You have the power and privilege of loving your spouse through any of life’s challenges, even a bout with unhappiness. These very specific actions will definitely help to get your spouse and your marriage out of the funk it may be experiencing.
BMWK, are you currently dealing with an unhappy spouse? What are you willing to do about it?