Your marriage in trouble? Find out how this 1 act can save your marriage.
So, your marriage isn't doing that great. Is the fighting getting worse? Can't seem to talk to each other without throwing word "daggers" at each other?
Have you asked yourself a thousand times how your marriage got to be like this?
Well, you're not alone. In fact, according to research, there are more couples in your situation than you may realize. As a marriage therapist, I have witnessed some of the most hurtful and angry arguments in my office.
Sometimes I'm part referee, part therapist. But, over the years, and within my own marriage of over 20 years, I have seen the wonders of this one simple rule help dissolve hostilities and repair wounds.
I have also come to realize that many of the heated fights that couples have escalate into outright boxing matches because one or both couples are unwilling to try to resolve the argument. Many times the original context of the conflict is forgotten, but ends with hurt and pain due the escalating emotions.
Because of the many layers of hurt and wounds, resentment, bitterness, past issues, stubbornness, and self-preservation, many marriages are on the brink of separation or divorce. But, if applied and practiced regularly by both couples, this one simple rule could save your marriage.
This one rule is simple, yet can be very difficult to do. This one simple rule has many facets that must be applied in order for it to save your marriage.
Okay, here it is. The one simple rule that could save your marriage is... FORGIVENESS.
Stay with me here. Let me explain what forgiveness is and is not. Forgiveness is not the same thing as saying "I'm sorry". Forgiveness is much deeper and more impactful than a simple apology. Though, an apology is always a good practice.
5 Facets of Forgiveness:
1. Admitting wrongdoing. Were you wrong in the tone of voice you used? Did you say some hurtful words in the heat of the moment? Did you act inappropriately? If so, admit that to your spouse. Admitting that you were wrong makes you humble, thus showing your spouse vulnerability. Being vulnerable with one another is an essential ingredient for a healthy marriage.
2. Letting go of resentment. Let's face it, most arguments are fueled by resentment and bitterness. These two emotions create mountains out of mole hills, and they can extend the length of the conflict for days. Forgiveness forces you to let go of the resentment you have, and creates a safe environment to talk about your feelings before things get out of hand.
3. Enabling communication. Forgiveness enables healthy communication. When you feel like you are genuinely being heard then you'll feel emotionally safe. If your spouse is more willing to listen to your feelings, than to express his or her anger, then healthy communication can happen. If the two of you cannot forgive, than you'll continue to go around and around, leaving you exhausted and angrier than before.
4. Promoting peace. Do you ever wonder how strong marriages seem to have all together? Do you see old couples holding hands? Do you think they never have conflict? Of course they have conflict. All marriages have conflict. Their secret is that they are both willing participants of promoting peace in their marriage. To promote peace does not mean giving up or giving in, but it does mean that you desire peace to rule in your marriage and you'll do everything you can to promote it.
5. Living the Golden Rule. Forgiveness is living out the Golden Rule. "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." You may recognize that this rule comes from the Bible. The Bible has a lot to say about marriages actually. You should look sometime. This rule is self-explanatory. That's why I like it so much. If you would not want your spouse to do or say something to you, than don't say or do it to your spouse.
Forgiveness is one of the most powerful acts of human kindness that we can possibly offer. It's a choice to forgive someone. It's simple, but not easy. But, if you learn the art of forgiveness, both asking for it and extending it to others, you will discover the secret to saving your marriage.