There’s no marriage in this world that is perfect or smooth, or without its ups and downs. Indeed like every other thing in this world, there are two sides to marriage; the good times and the bad times.
Marriage is like salt and pepper, honey and bile, thistles and thorns etc; but it doesn’t mean you cannot have the best of it.
There are many reasons why a lot of couples grow apart and live like strangers or decide to separate. It could be adultery, misunderstanding, mistrust, monetary issues, family interference etc. whatever it is; you can always find ways around it.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with the problems:
A family that prays together stays together. There is nothing beyond God Almighty. There is a hymn that says, ‘what a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear; all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’ The Bible makes us understand that, ‘by strength shall no man prevail.’ 1Samuel 1:9 Come together as a family and put your burdens upon the Lord and He will guide your path and answer your prayers and bring you peace.
Communication is a key ingredient to a successful marriage. As human beings we are naturally presumptuous and always feel that people should know better, as a result, we have the same attitude towards all our relationships. Some times when we are offended by something someone said or did and they fail to apologize, we naturally assume they are intentionally refusing to do that. And so we hold the offense in our hearts and look for ways to hurt them back. What we fail to understand is that, sometimes, it might not be intentional and also we differ in opinions and point of views. What might be offensive to you might not be offensive to the other person. If your spouse offends you by deed or words, sometimes he/she might not be aware; therefore you should try and let them know gently, that is if you feel like you can’t let go without an apology. Don’t keep things within you and assume he/she should know better, because we are all fallible. Don’t let a third party into your marital issues. Most married couples prefer to talk to their friends and extended families about their problems rather than their spouses. Coming from a different point of view, these individuals might end up giving bad advice and causing more harm. Keep your friends and extended family out of your marital problems and have a healthy communication with your spouse over your issues.
Unforgiveness creates bitterness and bitterness over time creates hatred. Sometimes you must learn to let go, even when your spouse refuses to apologize for an offense. And if he/she does, don’t be hard hearted; graciously forgive him/her. Give him/her a hug and kiss to let him/her know that all is forgiven. Whenever there is an argument, do not continue to remind him/her of what he/she did in the past; even if it was the day before or an hour ago. When you say you have forgiven, you must learn to forget. If you keep reminding your spouse about his/her past mistakes or offenses, it gives him/her the impression that you still harbor anger in your heart towards him/her and that can also create bitterness in his/her own heart.
There is an inner ‘child’ in all of us who makes us behave immaturely or babyishly occasionally; which can be very annoying sometimes. There are times when you have difficulty getting through to your spouse over what you may believe as a simple matter and you find it very irritating and annoying. Sometimes, you feel like you are talking to a brick wall or to a child; just learn to be patient with him/her. In times like this, learn to deal with your spouse patiently. Fire for fire will definitely set your house ablaze. Sometimes; even when you are right, for peace to reign, concede. And if you are wrong, learn to admit your fault. Remember, ‘a gentle answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.’ Proverbs 15:1
Whatever is causing the disagreement, learn to come to an understanding. Find a common ground on that issue and compromise. If it’s little habits about your spouse that you don’t like and you feel like pointing out to him/her will create a problem, then learn to live with it. He/she might feel the same way about you and might not even be offended by yours. Remember, you are not perfect either, so don’t make a big deal out of his/her bad habit if you can live with it; If you can’t, then patiently help him/her to overcome it.
Learn to trust your spouse. Nagging or questioning him/her over every little lateness or phone calls or text messages creates the impression of distrust. Be worthy of the trust your partner places in you. Be open, honest and truthful. Don’t make coming back home late from work a habit. If you will be late, inform your spouse about it. Do not be secretive about your phone calls. Make or receive your phone calls in front of your spouse. After all, you are one and there should be no secrets between the two of you. There’s nothing wrong with your spouse receiving your calls or reading your text messages; there should be nothing like privacy between husband and wife, unless one has something to hide. If you see each other’s nakedness then what else have you got to hide?
Respect they say is reciprocal. What you give is what you get. Garbage in garbage out; you cannot disrespect your spouse and expect him/her to respect in return. In the matter of arguments, think carefully about your words before you utter and be mindful of where you are and who is around. If you disrespect your spouse in public, know that you have given others the right to disrespect both you and him/her. Don’t be ruled by ego or pride; it can destroy your marriage.
8. MAKE UP:
‘Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.’ Ephesians 4:26. Don’t go to bed angry without solving your problems. If talking gets you nowhere, have make up sex; a passionate one and you will feel calmer in the morning and more open to a truce. Cook a special meal, buy flowers or card or chocolate and present it to your partner. Nothing says, ‘I am sorry’ better than these things.
9. GET COUNSELLING:
If any of these don’t work, then you can seek counseling from a professional counselor or at best from your pastor. Also depending on your parent’s disposition about your marriage or spouse, you can seek for their advice; only after you have tried to resolve it between the two of you and have failed.
I do not profess to be an expert but I believe there is no problem on this earth without a solution; as long as you stick it out together, you will always find a way. Remember on the day you took your vows, you promised, “for better, for worse, till death do us part,” so you must also be prepared to endure the worst part to have the best part.
Shalom! The peace of Christ reign in your homes!
Stay blessed and know that Jesus loves you dearly just as I do.
By: Trudylove Smith-Freeman/ [email protected]