Question From A Reader:
We are having serious difficulties in our marriage. Where can we begin to get help?
Answer: Most married couples have gone through intense times of trials or stages in their relationship. So you are not alone.
I want you to know that there is hope for marriages. If you and your spouse are willing to work on your marriage – your marriage can change.
May I suggest that you look at several aspects of your married life and take steps to grow:
Spiritually: Commit yourselves to doing God’s will in your life and marriage. You will never be sorry. Proverbs 3:5-6 reads: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Don’t rely on your own feelings or circumstances right now. Study the Bible and pray together. Get to know God and His love for you better than you’ve ever known Him. He will change both of you from the inside out when you seek to know Him.
God is in the business of not only directing our steps but giving us the desire to follow His will and plan for our lives. His will is that you remain married and love each other.
Grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ so you can learn to forgive each other, gain spiritual insight and strength to cope with the issues in your relationship.
People and life disappoint us, but God remains faithful and truly desires to help us and give us strength for the problems we face. When you grow in your relationship with God and Jesus Christ, your perspective on life, people, the future, problems and relationships will improve. And with Christ there is forgiveness, there is hope, there is healing. (1 John 1:9; James 5:16).
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”(John 10:10)Jesus wants an intimate relationship with us. He can change your life and marriage. Read about this in the articles on faith.
Work through the marriage problems you have encountered by attending a seminar or counseling together. Attend a Family Life conference or a Prep workshop. See theAmerican Association of Christian Counselors site and directory for a professional counselor near you.
Improve how you communicate to your spouse. Maybe you are experiencing bad patterns of misunderstanding and conflict. Take this Couple’s Anger Management course(includes books, workbooks, DVD) to learn how to manage anger through positive assertiveness, problem-solving, empathy and forgiveness skills. Learning to improve your communication, listening and empathy skills with your partner will greatly improve your relationship and intimacy.
Read some good books together:
Love and Respect: the Love She Most Desires; the Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs
Cracking the Communication Code: The Secret to Speaking Your Mate’s Language[AUDIOBOOK] [CD] [UNABRIDGED] (Audio CD) by Emerson Eggerichs
Fighting for Your Marriage : Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love by Howard Markman, Scott Stanley, Susan L. Blumberg, Dean S. Edell
A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage by Scott Stanley, Howard Markman, Susan Blumberg, Dean Edell
Fall in Love, Stay in Love by Willard F. Harley – the author of His Needs, Her Needs
Your Marriage is Worth Saving! Why not begin to resolve the issues that have kept you stuck in the stage of “disenchantment”? Why not begin to resolve and forgive the resentments and disappointments that have brought you to this hurting place?
Why not begin to learn new patterns of communication, conflict management and forgiveness? Why not ‘begin again’? In Isa 43:19 the Lord says: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV) Your marriage may seem like a wasteland right now, but with God all things are possible. I have seen numerous couples ‘begin again’.
Take the marriage inventory to explore the areas you and your spouse can work on changing.
© 2019 Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC