“Can you make him start…”
“Can you make her stop…”
These are the questions I often hear couples ask in relationship coaching that they assume will solve their marital problems. The thinking is that if only the other person would stop or start a certain behavior, then everything would be better. The trouble with this kind of thinking is it leaves one spouse very helpless and stuck–stuck waiting for the other to change in order for things to be better. YUCK!
A better question to ask is, “What can I do to make a positive impact in my marriage?” Taking responsibility and acting rather than feeling trapped waiting for someone else to make a move is a better strategy.
One place to start is to ask, “How do I want to be moving forward?” or “What gives me the best chance of being heard and understood?” Yelling or shutting down may feel good in the moment, but will not get the result you hoped for.
It may be hard to move forward in one owns strength. Ask God to help you take the first step. Pray that God will give you what you need to move forward in your relationship. Maybe you need more grace or love, more patience or wisdom. God has what you need to help you in a new way.
A marriage is made of two whole individuals. You don’t have to wait for your spouse to change to make a difference in your marriage today. As the Apostle Paul encouraged the Ephesians, …I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity (4:1-3).
What’s one step you can take today to move forward in your relationship with your spouse?
By Heather Larson
Wife to Peter
Mom of three
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Associate Director of 10 Great Dates