There are times when dealing with a spouse who refuses to work on your marriage can feel overwhelming, hopeless, and even paralyzing. It’s easy to feel like giving up or to believe that you have no way to improve your relationship when you’ve been in that kind of frustrating situation for any length of time.
Nevertheless, there are many small, but significant, ways you can improve your attitude, and therefore your marriage without your spouse’s direct cooperation.
I know, because I have done many, if not all, of the ones I’m going to list for you below and I’ve seen results every time. Of course, my hubby “doesn’t refuse to work on our marriage.” But the point is, these ideas don’t depend on your spouse.
Trust me … You have more power (at your disposal) and influence on your mate than you may realize!
So here are 15 things you can do when your spouse refuses to work on your marriage …
- Pray for your spouse on a daily or even moment-by-moment basis.
- Pray regularly to gain a loving attitude and show positive actions toward your spouse.
- Seek the guidance and support of a good Christian counselor or mentor.
- Commit to a daily time of Bible study and prayer.
- Develop a positive, healthy support network (church is often the best place for this!).
- Journal or prayer journal about your feelings and painful thoughts.
- Read some good marriage books (check out my “resources” page for ideas).
- Keep a running list of ways you are grateful in your life and marriage.
- Give your mate more affection, affirmation and sex (especially for husbands) or conversation (especially for wives)!
- Make a point to go on dates with your spouse—at least once a month!
- Subscribe to Messy Marriage and read the posts regularly. 🙂
- Practice Reflective Listening whenever you’re listening to your spouse (Check out my link to a Reflective Listening Guide on the Resources page).
- Brag about your spouse to others—with or without him/her present.
- Regularly ask your spouse what’s one area he/she would like for you to improve on or change—then really work on that area!
- Work through an effective forgiveness process and emotionally forgive your spouse.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)