One of the most surprising findings of our work with thousands of couples over the years is that it only takes one spouse to change a marriage. One spouse can go outside of the marriage for something they have not created and developed in their marriage sabotaging any hope for their future together. One spouse can meet with a divorce industry attorney and file in courage. One spouse alone can end the marriage.
You have incredible power to create the change in your marriage you desire.
And one spouse can move their marriage from stuck to hopeful, from dysfunctional to healthy, from ungodly to what God always meant for us. Countless spouses who thought the end was near revived their marriage unilaterally. They began taking action to create the relationship they wanted without demanding their spouse change first.
You may ask, “how does that work?” or “can that really happen?” Not only can it happen, it does. Not only can it work, but it in the overwhelming number of cases we have witnessed it works well. According to the most in depth research on healthy marriages by John Gottman, Ph.D. with over 3,000 couples and three decades of observation, one of the most important determinants of whether a couple will make it or not is whether or not they are doing the things we will recommend in the next several posts.
And it is not a list of actions that you might think. There are no requirements to confront your spouse, install a tracking device, demand counseling services, have sex for 40 days in a row, pray more intently, or become a door mat to be walked upon. No, these are actions that when one spouse alone implements, their marriage and their spouse begins to change. The fire is rekindled and the flame is much hotter. Couples who have lost that loving feeling have found it again in a new way. And the negative pattern of interacting becomes broken. Couples begin to fall into like and love with each other again.
When you read these actions, you may think, “that is just common sense”. But if it were really common, you would already be doing them… and so would most other couples. But according to research, the couples who do them live life together forever while the couples who don’t begin living parallel lives, become lonely and eventually divorce.
Your intentional relationship building activity will be effective when you become laser focused on your heart’s desire for a lifelong marriage with your spouse.
You must commit to doing these things with or without response from your spouse. The “tit-for-tat” approach where you only do for your spouse after they have done for you will not work. If you do for your spouse and then wait to see if they do for you, you will likely not be successful in changing your marriage. It will require a considerable amount of time in order to change a long pattern of negativity. You must commit to engage in these actions with our without your spouse’s responsiveness.
You have incredible power to create the change in your marriage you desire. You do not have to tell your spouse to change. You do not have to “train” your spouse and change them (you really cannot change your spouse anyway). Your intentional relationship building activity will be effective when you become laser focused on your heart’s desire for a lifelong marriage with your spouse.
Follow this blog as we unveil seven specific intentional marriage activities over the next several posts that one spouse can unilaterally take that will change your marriage relationship for good.
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2014. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.