Reviving Your Marriage
Reviving the Emotional Bond in Marriage
Is Your Marriage in an Emotional Wreck?
Signs of Trouble in a Marriage
Lack of Romance
Lack of meaningful conversation or interaction
Unusual behavior or significant changes
Either the spouse feels that his or her emotional needs are not being met,
Bitterness grows because of unmet needs
A spouse is neglecting to fulfill the need of their partner
Destructive behavior - an affair, request for divorce, deserting the home, verbal or physical abuse
Despite what the situation is when a couple realizes that their marriage needs help, there can be repair, there can be healing. The fires of affection can again be kindled, and the marriage bond made whole. Not only can healing occur, but also the relationship can be made stronger than ever, if the couple is willing to take responsibility, and start giving to each other.
Overall, four basic things must take place to bring revival to a troubled marriage They are: stop blaming; start taking responsibility, start listening, and start giving. With patience, if these steps are taken a couple can again thread their emotional bond to wholeness - even if there has been an affair.
Blaming focuses on accusing the other person instead of taking responsible action to restore the relationship and solve the problem.
Problems in marriage often due to faults and weaknesses in both spouses.
A spouse’s destructive action may have exposed the problems in a marriage, but often the other spouse may have been doing things or neglecting to do things that have added to the negativity in the relationship.
Stop blaming means that each spouse takes responsibility for what they have done or neglected to do.
Even if a spouse had no faults, stop blaming, means to focus on taking responsible action.
Start Taking Responsibility
Your responsibility to God. Check to see if you have fallen short in applying God’s word. If you are not loving your spouse, if you are committing adultery in your heart, if you are disrespecting your partner, you are not obeying God. When we are selfish, and unyielding to God’s will for us as a husband or wife, we must first realize that we are disobeying God.
Evaluate Yourself to see if you have been showing proper care to your spouse
Have you been providing for your home?
Have you been honoring your wife?
Have you been affectionate in your words and actions?
Have you been loyal emotionally and physically?
Have you been fulfilling your husband's sexual desire?
Have you been respecting him?
Have you been providing the proper domestic support (taking care of and managing the home)?
Are you being his companion, his helpmeet?
Are you loyal to him emotionally and spiritually?
Have you (wife and husband) been doing things that are destructive to your mate or your relationship?
Have you been doing things that frustrate him or her?
If any of the answers to the above questions reveal a lack of care on your part, then now is the time to face up to them, and make changes where needed. You will certainly need to talk to your spouse, and sincerely apologize for your lack of care, and promise to make changes. Allow your spouse to voice their feelings of dissatisfaction without becoming defensive or argumentative. In some cases, you may need the help of a pastor, or a mature Christian friend or counselor to help you with your issue, and or to mediate between you and your spouse.
After sincerely searching yourself, occasionally you may find no fault of your own. This does not necessarily mean you did not contribute to the current problem; notwithstanding, even if you were truly without fault, you still need to take responsible actions to restore the emotional intimacy in your marriage.
Take Responsible Action
By lovingly confronting your spouse,
If you know that your spouse has been engaged in destructive behavior, then instead of focusing on blaming, focus on taking responsible action. First,by lovingly confront your spouse about the issue, and making it clear that you want steps to be taken to restore the marital bond.
2. By confiding in a Pastor, or a mature Christian friend.
This brings in an objective party who has experience in a faithful marriage, and the biblical and spiritual insight to guide you and your spouse in restoration.
3. By lovingly and sternly requesting that you and your mate submit to counseling.
Do not avoid taking responsibility because of self-blame, or in the name of peace.
One loving and decisive step can make all the difference in your relationship.
Listen to Your Spouse
If you have begun to take responsibility, you will begin to hear from your spouse, others, and most importantly - God. Whether through counseling or talking among yourselves, your spouse will voice their areas of emotional distress. Listen carefully to hear where your spouse needs have not been met. Ask questions to ensure that you get a full understanding. This is not the time to get defensive; this is the time to open your ears and heart.
Listen to Pastors, and Godly Counselors
Along with listening to your spouse, listen to those who are counseling you and giving you godly advice. It is important that you listen to every instruction given by a qualified Christian counselor, and make every attempt to carry it out. Also, take notes from other mature married couples, when they give you advice in your marriage. The instruction and advice you receive can often be the element that saves your marriage.
I remembered once when I counseled a friend. Her husband had moved out of the house, and she was getting ready to go to court. However, she decided to talk to me about the issue first, because she was in search of another solution. I instructed her to speak to him in a calm manner, and instead of accusing him, identify the problem. I also told her to let him know that she wanted the marriage to work. In a paraphrase format, this is how she related the story to me: "when he came in I began going off yelling at him like before, and he was doing the same. Then I remembered your instructions, and after letting him know that I wanted the marriage to work, his response changed; he said, I want to make our marriage work too." After that incident her husband made plans to move back in the house, and soon they were living together again, and they are happily married today. A simple instruction or advice can make all the difference.
Listen to God
Most importantly, start listening to God. The Lord Jesus Christ has the answer to all of life's troubles. He has been speaking to you through the wise and godly counseling of your Christian counselor or friend. But you should also seek answers in prayer, and through searching the scriptures. Start studying the scriptures on married life, and meditate on them; begin applying them to your life. Seek God's guidance in your daily life; pray for yourself, your spouse, and your marriage. Become sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, he will instruct you on things to do to care for your spouse. Take an extra step and read other good Christian books, and attend Christian conferences on marriage. God will speak to you through these avenues. One word from God can renew your marriage.
As you listen, understand, learn and grow, immediately begin pouring into your spouse's need. Do not make the mistake of being nagging, and finger pointing to your spouse his or her areas of shortcomings; alternatively, err in giving too much. Give to your spouse’s need unconditionally; apply the things you have learned faithfully, and like a gifted seamstress you will begin to add the threading needed to bond the wounds of your marriage back together.
Luke 6:38 - Give and it shall be given unto you..
Human weakness causes many of us to respond negatively when our emotional needs are not being met in the marriage relationship. However, negative reactions often work against the goal to achieve emotional satisfaction in marriage. Individuals can learn how to achieve an emotionally satisfying marriage both for themselves and their spouse. When spouses are emotionally satisfied in a deep way, emotionally bliss is achieved; this is when couples live in an atmosphere of continual emotional fulfillment.
Instead of achieving emotional bliss, however, many people say and do things that contribute to a damaging relationship. Blaming, accusing, and attacking one's spouse are the three deadly combos often used by unfulfilled mates. We live in a self-serving society where the question on the minds of many is: what can you do for me? instead of "what can I do for you?" Just take a look at some of the recent romance reality shows such as the Average Joe, and For Love or Money. The whole idea is, that man or that woman can fulfill all my wildest fantasies; the fantasy, however, usually end up becoming a fallacy. Those who focus on serving themselves never achieve true emotional bliss.
To have true personal fulfillment requires a focus first on God, then on others. The fulfilling way for married individuals to get their emotional needs met is to ask the question: "wifey or husy, what can I do for you?" Find and do those things that pours into the emotional cup of your spouse, and your cup will start to be filled. Do for your spouse the things that make him or her happy and you will become happy. Give love until you feel loved - and then more.
Therefore, if you are a husband who feels that his needs are not being met, then start pouring into the emotional cup of your wife. The number one need for most husbands is sex. Husbands - get a clue; if you want more satisfying sexual experiences with your mate then begin to be a lot more affectionate. When last have you told your wife you loved her? If you had to think about it, then it has been too long. What about the last time you held her hand? Or the last time you gave her a meaningful hug or kiss without the explicit intention of having sex? Again, if it took you some time to answer these questions, then it has most likely been too long. Now is the time to be romantic and charming. Take out your wife on dates; tell her how attractive she is; hold her hands and take her for a walk; massage her feet; buy her some flowers; get her some gifts. Find that one thing or things that make her happy and make a habit of doing it. For my wife, for a long time, it was just taking her out for ice cream (until she went on a diet). But to this day, just taking her out on a casual date still makes her day. What is it for your wife?
In addition to showing affection, husbands should take care to fulfill all the needs of his wife. Wives need open and honest conversations, to be financially secure, and she needs a husband that is loyal to her and the family's well-being. And husbands should seek to know their wives, and find out all their intimate needs and fulfill them; a wife in that kind of environment will begin to shine bright, filled with emotional satisfaction.
While husbands usually seek for sexual satisfaction, wives tend to have a strong need for deep affection. Wives who want their husbands to be more affectionate should make it their diligent focus to give their husband an electrifying sexual experience. In doing this, wives should keep themselves physically and inwardly attractive to their husband. Being attractive does not mean to have a Hollywood Barbie doll look, but rather to appear the way the husband enjoys - both physically and inwardly. Therefore, wives should endeavor to please their spouse, and also to honor him. Men like to be honored and appreciated for who they are, and for what they do. Wives - treat your husband like a king, and he will treat you like a queen.
Do it in Love
The true giver gives in love. The purpose of satisfying your spouse's emotional needs should not be for the sole purpose of receiving. Doing it just because you want to receive is more manipulation. Rather give out of love: because you love your spouse you want to please him or her. For God so loved the world.that he gave. It's the giving that is motivated by love that results in a favorable mutual response.
The conclusion of the whole matter is to pour into the emotional cup of your spouse, and he or she will pour into your emotional cup. While you continue to pour into your spouse's emotional cup, yours will also get filled. And then both cups will be filled and running over, spreading a river of emotional fulfillment in your marriage and home.
Connecting the Spiritual and Emotional
A couple of days after my wife and I got engaged, I remember the words the Spirit of God spoke to my heart as I prayed about our engagement: "I care about her". And I felt that strong compulsion in my heart to care for my wife through the care of God.
Depend on the power of the Holy Spirit to care for your mate. The Spirit of God will move you to love, show compassion, and kindness. Through the indwelling power of the Spirit, you are given strength to supply the care that your spouse needs so depend on the Holy Spirit.