Think of a movie you love like Forrest
Gump, The Wizard of Oz, the Indiana Jones series, The Sound of Music or Star Wars. Would
you love it if those movies, halfway through their struggle gave up on their finding solutions? You know Dorothy just looks down at Toto and says, “Eh.Forget it. It’s too much work.” Or Indiana goes, “Snakes? Nope. I’m out
of here.” Although I think I’d respond the same way to the snakes. No. We love these
movies because they find solutions to their outcome. They fight through the
struggle so we all get the satisfaction of a happy ending…more satisfied than if
they hadn’t even faced that challenge at all. Well what about your marriage? Are you willing to deal with those figurative
snakes and witches and Darth Vader’s that block the path to your happy ending?
Are you ready to find solutions to the discord in your marriage? You know you do
have a choice. Every day you can choose to protect your marriage, to honor it, to
build it up by finding solutions to those hurts or you can choose to let it
crumble and be destroyed. Well James J Sexton a divorce lawyer who’s helped over 1,000
marriages dissolve says he’s not had one of them say that when they got married
they planned to get a divorce. So I did a Google search on “divorce proof your
marriage” that was the code I used. There were 32.3 million results I
think this is something that people are talking about. Well each article contained
similar admonitions that require some thought and effort but they aren’t as
difficult or costly as filing for divorce that was something I drew from
each one of these articles. You know when my husband and I faced the marriage
crisis over ten years ago when he confessed his pornography addiction I
had a choice to make. I could stay or I could go and I needed
to think that through. There were a lot of people who would have patted me on
the back and said, “Yeah I understand. Go ahead.” I understand why you walked out. And I can’t say that that option didn’t cross my mind
because of the pain and anger and disbelief that threatened to crush me. So
when your marriage feels difficult it’s hard to be objective and it’s nearly
impossible to see solutions beyond the pain. But you know what there is a clear
path and I spend my days sharing this with wives who’ve been betrayed by the
person who’s vowed to love them forever. These were lessons that I’ve learned so
I hope that you can find some of these solutions that I’m going to share with
you and you can adopt one or maybe a couple of them to help in your marriage
to bring clarity, relief, and a better life together. So I’m gonna give them to you. There’s seven of them. Think about them and pick
one today that you might need to apply to your marriage. You know none of these
are magic but God is stronger than our pain. He
won’t abandon you and you won’t always feel this way if you’re willing to look
for a solution. So here’s the first one: Pray for your spouse in your marriage.
Okay, I know when you’re hurt this one’s tough but one thing I learned while
fighting for my marriage was to pray for my husband. You know it started out as,
“God change him!!” Because it’s what I wanted but an interesting thing happened
as I committed to praying daily for my husband even though sometimes it was
with gritted teeth, my heart toward him changed. Subtly at first, but every time I
asked God to change him God worked on me. You know 2 Thessalonians 11-12 says (it’s just a portion of it) We constantly pray for you that our God may
make you worthy of his calling and that by his power he might bring to fruition
your every desire for goodness and for every deed prompted by faith. The 2nd
thing is: find one thing to praise about your spouse every day.
So often when our marriages are hurting it’s it’s really easy to lose sight
good things in our spouse, the things that drew us to them. All we see is the
pain, the ugliness, the faults, the behavior, words, and attitudes that drive
us crazy. Well, guess what? You make your spouse crazy too! So take time today to
shift your perspective even just a little bit. It’ll help.
What is one kind, honest word you could speak to your spouse today?
Proverbs 12:25 says Anxiety weighs down the heart but a kind word cheers it up.
Maybe it’s time for some kindness. Number 3 (we are gonna stick with words): Watch
your words. Resist the urge to cut, criticize, and wound your spouse in your
conversation. Julia Natfulin’s article 9 Signs You’re Sabotaging Your Marriage
Without Realizing It says, Arguing with your partner is a normal act of being in
a relationship bringing up a single point of contention over and over again
without coming to a compromise or simply agreeing to
disagree, however, could put your relationship under constant stress.
Think about that. Do you enjoy being beat up over beat over the head about the
same thing? I don’t. And neither does your spouse. So stop picking a fight with them.
It doesn’t mean that you shove the real issues under the rug and pretend like
they that haven’t happened or that you don’t have something to resolve. Talk
over the issue. Come to a resolution and then move on. And when the next fight
comes which it will don’t bring this last item up. I encourage you to read
Ephesians 4:29-32 it says, Do not let any unwholesome words come out of
your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their
needs that it might benefit them be kind and compassionate to one another. That’s
what I want. I think that’s what you want too. Number 4 believe the best for and
about your spouse. Choose to do this. It’s another difficult thing when your
marriage is struggling. Think about the last time someone falsely accused you.
How did you feel? What did you wish the other person would have believed
about you in that moment? Were lies spread about you by the offended party?
Did they fail to give you a fair trial? Now look at your spouse and the issues
that are causing the problems. Why not put yourself in their shoes for a moment?Is it possible you aren’t seeing everything about this situation with
accuracy and clarity? Well perhaps it’s time to approach your spouse with the
curiosity of a sleuth attempting to solve a mystery. Would some more
understanding help you? Remember you’re fighting on the same team. Look at
Colossians 3:12-14 where it says, Bare with each other and forgive one
another if any of you has a grievance against someone forgive as the Lord
forgave you. Number 5 pick your friends wisely.
You didn’t leave peer pressure when you graduated from high school. It’s alive
and real in your marriage. Are your friends getting divorced? That’s gonna
affect what you hear in the words that they speak to you. Do you have strong
healthy marriage role models in your life? They will speak truth to you.
Whoever you choose to spend the most time with greatly influences your
marriage so pick the type of peer pressure that you want to activate today.
You know pick what you say carefully as well. When one woman talks negatively
about her husband it’s really easy to jump on that bandwagon, isn’t it? But what
if instead you surround yourself with women who speak in kind, honoring, and
respectful terms about their husbands? Are their marriages perfect?
Don’t be fooled. No they’re not but women like this choose to shore up their
marriages by speaking well of their husbands. And men, you also need to be
careful about what you say using phrases like “the little woman, ball and chain,
the wife, bitch, the old lady” show disrespect to your
wife. If you want to build up your marriage speak about your wife so well
that other men notice. If your friends can’t or won’t change maybe it’s time to
find some new friends. In Psalm 37 verses 29-31
it says, The mouths of the righteous righteous utter wisdom and their tongues
speak what is just. Number 6: have sex regularly. Sex doesn’t fix everything in
marriage but it is an indicator of the health of your marriage.
Michelle Warner Davis calls this being sex starved. She says if your
relationship is sex starved you or your spouse should re-examine the reasons why
it’s happening and do whatever it takes to bring back the passion in your
marriage even if it’s slow going in the beginning. You have to start somewhere.
Good advice, I think. Sexual intimacy assures your spouse that you find them
physically attractive and that you desire to be with them. If you need a
little help read the book of Song of Solomon the Song of Solomon, excuse me. It
says, I am My Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine. Number 7: Schedule a check-up. Your marriage like your physical health needs
a regular checkup you can do this at home but often it’s more effective to do
this with a professional coach or therapist. One question you can ask: how
well are you telling each other the truth? Are you hiding something from your
husband, your spouse, text messages, emails, co-worker relationships, finances, social
media accounts? These are all forms of infidelity. So if you answered “yes” to any
of those items maybe it’s time to find someone who’s not in your marriage to
help you walk through some of these. Any contact, habit, or relationship that draws
your attention away from your spouse sabotages your marriage so one of the
healthiest things you can do is get a regular checkup with a professional,
neutral party. Colossians 3: 8-10 says, Do not lie to each other. And it
goes on with some more I encourage you to read the whole thing. So on a scale of
1 to 5 how would you rate the health of your marriage? How quick are you
to find solutions? Now I want you to be honest with yourself and then take some
time to ask your spouse what they think. Schedule some undivided attention for at
least thirty minutes and that means no phones, no TV, computer, no kids, and no
kidding around. It’s just the two of you having a heart-to heart conversation that
you need. Your marriage is worth the initial awkwardness of the conversation.
You need to start “divorce proofing” it now and adopt some of these preventative
steps. That thirty minutes could save you years of hurt, tens of thousands of
dollars, and unspeakable pain for your children. Well the only way I know to
“divorce proof” your marriage is to protect it at all costs. Both of you.
Fighting on the same team, desiring the same outcomes, and searching for
better solutions. So if you find yourself struggling with this today and just
would like to talk to someone and get a second opinion, someone who’s
not in your marriage…feel free to hop over to Kirsten D Samuel.com that’s K-I-R-S-T-E-N D as in Diane. Samuel S-A-M-U-E-L.com There’s a free consultation button
up there and especially if you’ve been hurt by pornography addiction–by your
husband’s pornography addiction–I’d love to talk to you and share some of these
steps that have helped me move forward toward healing in a brand new healthy
marriage. Whatever your choice is today I hope you have a great one. Until next
time…Have a great day. KirstenDSamuel.com