This week on #MarriageMonday, we’re sharing a response we shared with someone who recently reached out to us. If your marriage also feels dead in some ways right now, we want you to know that you’re not alone.
Dear Mark and Jill:
Our marriage feels dead. Years of poor communication, little intimacy, and no connection. The kids are gone and things feel dead now and I don’t know how to get things started. I feel anger and resentment for years of nothing and it just keeps things in a tailspin. What do we do?
Thank you for reaching out and for your openness. What you’re feeling is not uncommon. Too often this is when couples think they need to call it quits. What we want you to know is that there is hope!
It’s important to start with choosing forgiveness in your heart. The unforgiveness is causing the anger and resentment. It’s always the best place to start.
Sit down and start thinking about all that you hold in your heart against your spouse. Talk to God about each thing: Lord __________________ hurt me when this happened __________________________________. I choose to forgive her and place the hurt in your hands.
Then here are some next steps you can take:
1) Start re-engaging daily. Check out our Flirt Alert resource. It’s simple little ways to reconnect through text. You might even let your spouse know that you want to increase the connection in your relationship and you’re going to be doing that more intentionally.
2) Read our No More Perfect Marriages book together each night when you slip into bed or at the dinner table. Alternate reading each paragraph and just read 2 or 3 pages a day and talk about them as you read. Yes, it will take you a month or two to get through the book but the most important thing you’ll be doing is talking and learning together.
3) Take our No More Perfect Marriages Home Edition Course. It’s four 1-hour videos that get you talking again.
4) Ask your spouse to share one thing he/she needs from you. Listen to what they say—do not be defensive—and do your best to step into their world. This will begin to open up your spouse’s heart to you.
5) Ask your spouse how you can pray for him/her. Or ask them what’s weighing heavy on their heart today. This helps you connect to what they are thinking about.
6) Set up a coaching call with Mark and I. Sometimes all it takes is one or two coaching sessions to get a couple who is stuck headed in the right direction.
7) Consider one of our Hope Renewed Intensive weekends. They are designed to move relationships from dead to living. We have the privilege of having a front row seat at watching that happen nearly every single weekend. It’s not just three days though. We continue coaching you for five months afterwards (two months of coaching through text and email and another three months through our No More Perfect Marriage Date Night Toolbox!) It’s an extensive opportunity that sets you up for success!
8) Finally, if your spouse is unwilling to engage in anything to make your marriage better, you will want to check out our The Wait Is Not Wasted Course. It will give you steadiness to stand for your marriage, even in the hardest seasons.
Don’t give up! Start re-engaging and, with time, you’ll experience the difference. We know, because we’ve been there. Hope lies ahead.
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