What is a person to do if they want the marriage, but their spouse wants to call the marriage quits? How should a husband or a wife respond when they just cannot seem to get the other person to show the love that they desire to have? How do you bring change to a relationship if the other person has no interest in changing? These are all questions that I receive on a day to day basis as a pastor and a marriage coach, and, though these are relatively short questions, they typically require long answers.
Stop Using Guilt and Pressure
I have found that if you really want to bring legitimate change to your spouse and your marriage, using fear, anger, guilt, pressure, and a desperate attitude will do but little to help your cause. Here are a few reasons as to why:
1. A wise husband or a wife must realize that it is essentially useless to nag, manipulate, coerce, or pressure the other person into loving them. A spouse walking in wisdom will know that instead of pressuring their spouse into loving them, they will get much farther by making themselves more lovable.
2. Spouses that use the aforementioned tactics to solve their marriage problems will find that they are putting out bad advertisement for the marriage. That is, if you are using anger, bitterness, and frustration to change your marriage, you are causing the marriage to look less and less attractive to your spouse. Instead of inviting your spouse to step up into the carriage of a better relationship, you are only giving them the option of settling for a relationship filled with anguish and despair.
3. Anger and frustration never motivate other people to act in a more loving fashion. In fact, if anything, they simply help to exacerbate what I call the cycle of resentment and anger. I often find that you will get much farther by treating the other person as if they were exactly what you already expect them to be (By the way, this is what you signed up for anyway.).
Take the High Road
Many of our readers that are married to someone that is ready to call the marriage quits will do well to consider the following verse. Proverbs 11:17 says:
“The merciful man doeth good to his own soul . . .”
“You never get low by taking the high road.”
All of our coaching, resources, and marriage conference material can be summed up by the previous statement. You see, nice guys (and girls) really do not finish last.