One of my greatest passions is helping couples. I listened to God’s calling on my life nearly 10 years ago when He guided me into becoming a certified life and relationship coach. Since then, relationships and marriages have been my business. Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love the idea of love and how fascinated I am about making it work. This is the reason it frustrates me to no end when couples around me suffer.
Sometimes they keep it from me because they don’t want to hear what I will say. Other times they would rather not deal with the pain, so they choose to suffer in silence. Both choices are upsetting. There are far too many options when it comes to dealing with and healing a marriage. If your marriage is holding on by a thread, here is some hope for you and a little bit of advice.
Determine what the thread is that’s holding the marriage together. Is it love, the children, or convenience? It matters. If you’re holding on for the wrong reasons, then that thread may just break anyway. However, if there is something real there, you will discover your marriage and spouse are worth the fight.
Discuss how you feel and where you stand. Don’t let the challenges fester. Neither of you benefit when you sit with frustrations until you’re ready to explode. Share with your spouse the changes you feel need to be made to strengthen your relationship and listen for their solutions as well.
Take ownership, full ownership of what you contributed. This is always key in my opinion. So many couples struggle in this area. Take a look inside and see at what point you could’ve been a much better spouse. And follow that up with actually becoming a much better spouse.
Understand that your marriage needs more than just the two of you. In Ecclesiastes chapter 4, verse 12, we are reminded, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” This scripture is the perfect reminder that our marriages need God. Couples must pray together and surround themselves with other healthy couples. Please know you aren’t the only one experiencing obstacles in your marriage. Other couples have survived even worse than what you may be going through at the moment.
Know that marriage is always a choice. With our choices, we must remember that we make them. Sometimes there are consequences to poor choices. When we cheat, there’s a consequence. When we disrespect our partner there’s a consequence. When we give just a little bit of effort there are consequences. We can’t be surprised when our marriage is barely hanging on when we never put enough energy and effort into making it work from the beginning. Choosing the wrong mate is also a choice that, of course, leads to certain results. Be aware of the type of spouse you desire as well as the type of spouse you are willing to become.
Don’t have too much pride to apologize. Don’t let that pride prevent you from saying that you want your marriage and your spouse. There’s no place for ego and pride in a marriage. Apologize when your spouse is hurt, whether you did something intentionally or not. If you want your marriage to work, proudly proclaim that. Don’t get caught up in what other people might think. Do what’s the absolute best for you and your marriage.
We have to also enter our relationship with the results in mind. Do you want to be happy? Do you desire a healthy marriage? Do you want to be a great spouse? Do you want your partner to be a great spouse? In order for each of those results to occur, there are certain actions that must be taken and some that need to be avoided.
Couples, you are in control of the results of your union. It’s time you took your power back. Choose to fight for your marriage, seek resources and help when you struggle. Most importantly, allow God to be the head of your union.
BMWK, what advice would you give to couples who are barely surviving?