By Dwight Bain
We all know someone who is in the difficult situation of trying to make their marriage work, but they are alone in the process. It’s like 1 person trying to make a 2 person bicycle go fast, or make a boat designed for 2 people to row go straight… it’s almost impossible. While it can be done for a while, it leaves one person exhausted while the boat is going in circles and the bicycle rolls back down the hill.
Why does this happen? Lots of reasons, often it appears that one person loves too much, and the other sometimes doesn’t seem to love enough. Whatever the reason marriages that have this imbalance create a lot of potential problems besides the obvious exhaustion. This overworking/under working cycle steals joy from the marriage; creates unrealistic comparisons with other couples; creates isolation & discouragement from one person who seems to be continually trying with no real results.
So what can you do when you are trying to save your marriage alone? Use this process to find new hope and strength.
- Look up. To God, since He never wants you to feel alone and will always hear your prayers for comfort and hope. You will also find great strength from God’s word, since the Bible provides great insight and spiritual strength.
- Look in. To see what you can change because often the partner who is trying too much does a lot of work on their spouse, but often neglects to take care of themselves.
- Look around. To friends, family, church, ministries, agencies, media shows… basically anywhere you know you can find more encouragement and resources to create positive change. (websites like www.Family.org or www.AACC.net have great tools and podcasts to bring marriages closer together)
- Look at. Your partner to talk directly about the gaps on marriage. Prayerfully seek ways to confront the idle partner. The phrase, “Honey, we need to talk” really is useful because your partner needs to know where you stand and what you need.
- Look out. For temptation since it is easy to talk to someone else, when you need to be talking to your partner instead. Affairs can start because of unmet needs in a distant marriage flowing over to the wrong person. Be wise to not make a difficult situation worse.
- Look forward. To the vision of what a godly marriage could be as a couple, as a family. Dream. Not a nightmare.
Remember hope springs eternal, and that the person you promised to love for a lifetime is still in there somewhere. Take some bold action to not lose the love, reach out for help from others as you need to since you really aren’t totally alone. God will send people to comfort you in your quest to make your marriage all that it can be, starting with me. Be encouraged my friend, it’s worth the effort to build a relationship together with your best friend for a lifetime.
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About the author- Dwight Bain is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Life Coach in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change.