Marriage Monday: What if I don’t have the desire to repair my marriage?

Marriage-MondayDear Jill,

I read one of your articles.  The last sentence spoke to me.

I will paraphrase: Could I make changes in the pace of my life to allow me to respond, rather than react?  I am working on this.

My question, however is; what if I am at a place where I don’t feel much desire to repair my marriage?

I have read a lot of material and none of them really address this juncture.

Thank you for your time.

Stacy

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Dear Stacy,

What I have found is that feelings are fickle. They don’t always point us in the right direction or even tell us the truth. That’s why its important for us to get our wisdom and direction from a different place than our feelings.  We need to get it from a place that is unchanging and dependable.  That’s where faith comes into the picture.

I don’t know where you stand with your faith, but let me share what I have learned. God’s love is unconditional. There is nothing we can do to cause God to love us more and there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us less.  He wants us to learn to love more like that, too.  That’s definitely a life-long challenge for each of us and we won’t do it perfectly on this earth, but we can walk in that direction each and everyday.

Love is a choice…it’s not a feeling.  It is a decision to be loving to another person because its the right thing to do.  It’s a decision to take your marriage vows seriously.  You most likely stated in some way during your marriage ceremony that you were committing to love “for better or worse.” That means in good times and in bad.  So now you’re in one of those bad times…this is when love isn’t easy, but it also isn’t impossible.

What are some practical ways to turn your heart in the right direction when the spark seems to have gone out on your marriage?

1) Change your thoughts.  You are probably spending a lot of time thinking about the negative things about your spouse. Everytime you catch yourself thinking something negative about your spouse, think of two good things about him.

2) Pay attention to where there is apathy, bitterness, and unforgiveness that is poisoning your heart. What is going on internally that needs to be tended to? Your lack of desire is not only affected by what your husband does or doesn’t do…it’s even more affected by what you are feeding on the inside of you. What poison is inside of your heart?

3) Begin acting lovingly to your husband. Text him during the day, flirt with him, plan a getaway with him.  The grass is always greener where it’s being watered. Water the grass you have.

4) Get help. Marriage counseling can be helpful in identifying the issues that are below the surface, but not yet recognized.  Sometimes our own parents marriage (or divorce) color how we see marriage or our spouse.  Sometimes our

5) Watch two movies.  I encourage you to rent two movies that show a floundering marriage get the spark back again.  Fireproof is one and Hope Springs is the other. Both of these are helpful movies in catching a vision for investing in the marriage you have. Fireproof is a Christian film, Hope Springs is a secular movie, but Mark and I both felt both films were very good in helping us during our dark season.

Every marriage goes through seasons.  Don’t give up when things get hard.  If you push through it, it’s actually possible to have a stronger marriage on the other side of a hard season.  I know that because I’ve experienced that.

Jill

What about you?  Have you repaired your marriage or changed your feelings about your spouse? What additional wisdom would you offer to Stacy?

 

 

 


 

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5 Responses to Marriage Monday: What if I don’t have the desire to repair my marriage?

  1. Kelli says:

    In my situation, it is my husband who struggles with the desire to fight through this difficult season. How would you suggest that I help him without simply forwarding him this post? He doesn’t want to be “told” how to feel or what he should be doing to work through this.

    • JillSavage says:

      Kelli, I think we can’t underestimate the power of prayer. Sometimes the best thing we can do and ask God to work from the inside out in the other person’s heart. So I think prayer is the best place to start. I also encourage you to get the help you need and make it available to your husband. For instance, I know one wife who decided to get marriage counseling on her own. He husband refused to go initially but was willing after she had gone several months.

  2. Susan says:

    Read the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerich. It may be at your library. If not, buy it as it is worth it. Read the part on respecting your husband and you will floored/shocked on what it says.

  3. Becky says:

    Pray and ask as many other people to pray for you as you can. Friends, family, Facebook, church. I find a sense of peace when I know I’ve reached out to ask for help.

    In one of the many marriage books I read, it talked about reminiscing and recreating some of what brought you together in the first place. Go visit your college you went to together, go back to your first date location, ask and start talking about what made you fall in love.

    It’s hard and so many things can get between you and your partner from fighting to apathy, outside struggles to not paying attention to each other. Something else I read suggested that there are 4 points during each day to connect with each other with a hug, a kiss, eye contact, a sweet word- when leaving bed in the morning, leaving the house to go to work/school/wherever, when returning home and when going to bed in the evening.

    One last thing- it’s ok to feel how you feel. It *is* natural to have feelings other than love all the time for the person you married.

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