Marriage isn’t easy
I recently had a chat with a woman who was frustrated in her marriage and basically needed to vent. I tend to be a good listener, so it worked well. Once she’d cleared herself of her frustrations, she started asking my opinion.
Being a coach, I turned the questions to her, and the conversation continued.
I then mentioned something I heard recently on HisRadio. I think it was from Focus on the Family. One woman was telling about how frustrated she had gotten with her husband, that he just couldn’t do anything right, in her mind. One day she realized this fact. She decided to keep a journal. Every day she wrote one thing she liked about him that day. After forcing herself to look for the good, she started seeing more of it. She began writing three things a day, and eventually five things a day. This process encouraged her to see her husband in a positive light and it changed their marriage.
It’s rather like catching your child doing something good and praising the positive instead of only commenting when they have done something bad.
Have you seen the movie “Fireproof”? When the husband starts purposefully treating his wife kindly, she was a little taken aback. She certainly wondered what was up with her husband. He was intentional and persistent, showing her that he still loved her and cherished her. Eventually, the wife came to realize that she wanted the marriage to work and together they made their marriage something they both wanted to stay in.
Marriage is not easy, at times it’s hard work, but there are two of you in your marriage. Instead of blaming it all on him, him, him (or her,her,her) try looking at me, me, me.
• How might you be contributing to the troubles?
• What can you work on, within yourself that might improve things?
• The only person you can truly change is you
Some people keep a journal that includes all their feelings, good and bad. I’m not suggesting you stop that. Getting your feelings out, harmlessly on paper, is better than keeping them all bottled up with the possibility they may explode. What I am suggesting is starting a journal, or notebook, or computer document that lists the good things you see about your spouse. Like the woman on the radio, it may be hard to find at first, so just start with one if you have to, but start.
If you are struggling in your marriage and you want to have a better marriage, you have to work at it. You may even need to seek professional counsel, or the wisdom of a trusted friend, someone who will keep a confidence and not go blasting it all over social media.
Marriage isn’t easy, but a solid, happy marriage is worth the work.
*Pam & Jim Horton are certified Marriage Mentors.*