Written by Aaron & April Jacob
You are on your last string. You have tried to make things work in your marriage, but your spouse doesn't seem to care. You are hurt, frustrated, depressed, and discouraged. You most likely feel like your marriage was not the marriage you always hoped for, dreamed for, or signed up for.
You are ready to leave your spouse and to be done with your marriage as you know it. FREEZE RIGHT THERE.
There is hope.
There is hope for you, for your marriage, for your future, and for your happiness.
You may not have much of that hope left. Do not despair. Hope can be nurtured. As you consider this idea of nurturing hope in your marriage, consider the following questions that may have tugged at your heart-strings as the months and years have passed:
The answer to these questions (in most cases) is almost always a resounding, YES! There is hope for YOUR marriage. Whatever state it is in.
READ: THE VERY BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR SPOUSE
You have a deep desire for the kind of marriage your friends have, or the kind of marriage found in fairy tales - a marriage where spouses care for each other, love each other, date each other, and sacrifice for each other. You want to believe that "happily ever after," is for you, too, right? Well it is.
Here are three tips that will help you nurture hope in YOUR marriage, and in the possibilities for happiness that are ahead.
1. Be positive.
You are in charge of you - in charge of your thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions. So, choose to be positive. Sounds easy, right? Well, it isn't. However, like any habit, the more you work at it, the easier it will become. Trust us. Choose to love your life, right now, even though it isn't perfect and even though it certainly isn't what you had initially hoped for it to be.
Choose to see the good in your spouse, even if it may seem impossible. Choose to vocalize your positive thoughts. There is power in positive thinking. It will nurture hope within you. And it may, magically, spark a bit of hope within your spouse as well.
2. Change yourself.
You are probably painfully aware of your character flaws and weaknesses, and where you need to change. You don't need your spouse (or anyone else, for that matter) reminding you of these things on a regular basis. (And you certainly don't need to be reminding your spouse of his/her weaknesses.)
Choose an area of your life where you know you need to improve (i.e. health and fitness; budgeting; use of time; language; manners; patience, etc.) and then start changing YOURSELF. Don't wait for your spouse to change.
In the past you may have struggled with negative feelings about unfulfilled expectations of who you married and all that you hoped for your spouse to be. So, flip the scenario, and work your guts out to become the most desirable spouse you can be. In the process of change, you will feel a new hope grow within you. Your spouse will take notice. And, if you are steady and consistent in your efforts, your spouse may be motivated to change a few things themselves.
READ: DIY - BUILDING A BETTER MARRIAGE
3. Love deeply.
Love is a choice. You chose your spouse. You chose love once, and you can choose it again today. And everyday. Unsure of what love looks like? Check out our post here.
Love is at the center of the kind of marriage you hope for. And if there isn't a whole lot of love going on in your marriage right now, change that. Be the first one to rekindle love in your marriage. Let love govern all you do - how you see your spouse, treat your spouse, speak to your spouse, serve your spouse, etc.
Love works miracles. Yes, love may work the greatest miracle of all in filling you and your spouse with a new-found hope that your marriage can be all that you ever wanted, and more! If you just choose for it to be so.
In all of this, please be patient with yourself, with your spouse, and with your marriage! You may have to hope against hope, but in doing so - without an expectation that your spouse will change - you will have invited more happiness, growth, and fulfillment into your life than you can imagine.
And who knows, by choosing hope, change, and happiness today, you may have begun a real miracle in your marriage. A miracle you have been hoping for, dreaming for, and praying for. A miracle you will now work with all your might for. A miracle that will, most likely, save your marriage and bless your life forever.
Photo Credit: Ashley Swenson Photo
"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
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