by Dave Willis

In our last post, we discussed five things to do when your spouse disappoints you. Here are more things to do when your spouse disappoints you, hurts your feelings or breaks your trust (or when YOU disappoint your spouse).

#6 could change the climate of your marriage for the better…

6. Choose to keep showing RESPECT to your spouse. Even in moments of disagreement, but thoughtful and respectful.

Take the high road. Keep being respectful even if your spouse isn’t doing much to earn your respect. Your words and actions can propel him/her to a higher standard if you’ll refuse to compromise your own character throughout this process.

#7 allows healing to really start happening…

7. Remind your spouse that you won’t hold this offense against them. Their character won’t be defined by the mistake, but by how they choose to respond in the aftermath of the mistake.

Remind your spouse that THIS is a defining moment in your marriage. It’s a defining moment for his/her own character. Remind your spouse that you’re here for them. You are believing in them. You’re not going to hold this sin over their heads, BUT you are going to expect them to start right away to start rebuilding what has been broken. You will join them as a partner in these rebuilding efforts. You’ll do it together giving your best but you won’t settle for less that their best.

#8 is SO important if you are a parent with kids at home…

8. Let your kids see you working together to make the marriage stronger, but never let the kids see you fighting or disrespecting each other. Your kids are learning about marriage by watching you. Use this opportunity to let them see that a marriage is worth fighting for. Don’t let them see you fighting against your spouse, but do let them see you fighting alongside your spouse to make the marriage stronger. Your actions could inspire them to fight for their own marriage someday.

#9 might be something you’ve never done before, but it’s powerful…

9. Pray for your marriage. Pray for your spouse. If your spouse is willing, pray together with them. As a Christian, I believe in the power of prayer and I believe that praying with and for your spouse is one of the most intimate acts you can share in a marriage. I’ve also seen that praying for someone who has hurt you softens your heart towards that person and helps you see them and the situation in a new light. God uses prayer to change our circumstances, but He also uses prayer to change our perspective.

#10 might seem obvious, but so many couples don’t do it…

10. Communicate with your spouse about everything. Tell him/her what you’re feeling. Talk about your hopes and dreams for the marriage. Be CLEAR about your expectations and what you want him/her to do to help.

Don’t expect your spouse to be a mindreader. Don’t silently punish him/her for not picking up on your non-verbal cues. Talk often and clearly about what’s on your mind. Communication will be vital to healing and moving forward. Connect often throughout the day. Make time for each other. Communicating might be the single most important way to reconnect and grow closer together.

#11 is the last one on the list, but it might also be the MOST important…

11. Refuse to give up on each other. Stop fighting against each other and start fighting for each other. Take the word “divorce” out of your vocabularies. A “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other. Don’t let this temporary pain result in a permanent separation. You’ll get through this if you’ll face it together.

Dave Willis is the author of The Seven Laws of Love and blogs at www.DaveWillis.org.

Reposted with permission. This article originally appeared here.

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