I just returned from Rescue and Recovery. It’s a marriage retreat put on by my church and it was awesome. First thing I realized, my husband and I have few issues in comparison to some. A few of the couples there were clearly on a Recovery mission. You know, when 911 is called because someone is trouble, it starts out as a Rescue mission. They hope to find survivors, and they are going to rescue them. As time goes by, especially when you think of a water rescue, eventually it becomes a recovery. A dead body recovery. So sad, but marriage is the same. If you wait to long, it can be a dead body recovery, not a rescue. Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating because even if you are at the recovery stage, well, you aren’t dead in the water yet. You’re sinking, and definitely gasping for breath, but you’re still alive. The D word hasn’t taken hold yet. Death, Divorce, Demon, whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same.
Have hope. If your marriage is on the brink of the D, it’s still savable. Really it is. It’s amazing to me how many marriages can survive infidelity, even abuse. Of course, both parties need to be willing to do what is required to change, heal the wounds, and make it work. It takes two.
1. Fix your own stuff
You can’t fix the other person. You can’t change what they do, how they do it, or their motivations. The only thing you can change is you. Stop blaming the bad stuff on the other person. It takes two to make it work, and it takes two to make it bad. Unless of course you’re dealing with a very abusive person. If the abuser consistently blames the victim for his or her behavior, this is a sign that maybe that person isn’t ready to take responsibility and fix his or her own stuff.
2. Learn your spouses love language and start speaking it!
If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages The 5 Love Languages, I highly recommend you do this out loud as a couple. It’s not only great one on one time you will be spending focusing on each other, you will learn volumes about your significant other. My husband and I are completely opposite in our love languages. It was good to learn this as when I speak my love language, he hears NOTHING, and visa versa.
3. Make sure your priorities are where they need to be.
1. Private time with God
4. Service (to God)
5. Relationships with others
You’d be surprised at how these get turned upside down so easily. And so many couples today, being raised in a “me” society, put #5 above #2. These are the men that go out with their buddies at least once a week, having beers, playing poker, golf whatever, but don’t take their wives out once a week. Yes, we need relationships with others, but our relationship with our spouse should come above all the others.
4. Work hard at putting your partner’s needs above your own. This is another difficult one in this “me” world. Find out what makes your partner feel loved or respected by you, and start doing it everyday. Primarily, women want to feel loved and cherished, men want to feel respected.
Above all, if you’re on the brink, seek some professional counseling to help you work it through. Your marriage can be saved, if you really want it.