Rebuilding your marriage (2)
“You husbands must give honor to your wives.” 1Pe 3:7 NLT
Second, you must listen to each other. This requires time, patience, and focused attention. Too many couples give each other a monologue, without leaving room for genuine dialogue. This is where marriage counseling is effective. It forces both of you to slow down, interpret your spouse’s language, understand their feelings, and discover their needs. When a marriage breaks down, couples are often so busy trying to get their own point across and win the fight that they don’t listen for solutions and places of negotiation. Divorce would be less common if we would listen with open hearts rather than closed minds. Jesus pointed out that the law of Moses permitted divorce “because of the hardness of your hearts” (Mt 19:8). This means their hearts would not melt to the level of understanding and place of negotiation for the relationship to work. Some couples find it simpler to write each other letters revealing their feelings as they relearn how to communicate at a deeper level. Counselors and marriage enrichment seminars use this technique, and sometimes it works wonders. By putting your feelings down on paper before expressing them, you get to ask yourself, “Is this how I really feel? Is this how I want to express my feelings? Am I saying too much? Or too little?” Unloading on your mate may be a catharsis for you, but what if it buries them? These are some of the questions you must ask in order to rebuild your marriage. And if you both pray and keep your hearts open, God will help you to do it.