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Christian Living

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Marriage 911 10/31/17

Couples, Are You Hurting Together or Healing Together?

Couple fighting

A couple's attitude toward their problems can create momentum in either a positive or negative direction.

What do I mean by that?

Consider one of the couple's who came to work with me recently at The Marriage Recovery Center.

"We are always fighting," the woman said. "We can't seem to agree on anything. I don't know that there is any hope for us. We've been to counseling a number of times in the past and nothing seems to help. I don't really think this is going to help either."

While no one can be critical of her, notice her attitude. She is clearly discouraged and has developed a narrative of defeat. She has experienced defeat in the past and expects it going forward. Nothing has worked in the past and she doubts anything will work in the future.

To get help for your marriage from Dr. Hawkins and his qualified staff, please visit The Marriage Recovery Center website or call 206-219-0145.

Contrast her attitude with another woman who came to The Marriage Recovery Center recently.

"My husband and I decided before coming here that we were going to make this work," she said. "We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by putting our all into this. We expect you to help us."

One couple feels hopeless while the other feels hopeful. We've all been there — hopeless or hopeful — and can certainly appreciate both perspectives. We know what it feels like to feel discouraged and doubt the future is going to be any different.

Attitude, however, is critical.

One of the mottos at The Marriage Recovery Center is "We're in this together and we can make this work." We believe it is not marriage that doesn't work, but people in the marriage doing behaviors either right or wrong that makes a relationship work.

Scriptures tells us, "Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:8)

This is a powerful promise. If we plant seeds from a true and Spirit-filled heart, we will reap wonderful rewards. If we plant seeds from a small, flesh-controlled heart, we will reap destruction. We determine the outcome.

How might this apply to your marriage?

1. Attitude is everything.

Certainly, you know your attitude means everything. Someone once said, 'Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're probably right.' Your attitude determines the direction you will move in and, to a certain extent, determines outcomes.

2. Working together creates positive outcomes.

Couples who work together make significant progress. Couples who decide they are going to 'make it' often do. Couples who hold each other's hands and agree to work together work on the problems, not on winning over the other. Cooperation and collaboration are powerful solutions to problems.

3. Working against each other creates destruction.

Working against each other brings destruction. Holding grudges, carrying resentment, engaging in power struggles, and opposing one another is a sure way to create division in marriage. Determine you will not oppose each other, but rather will work on problems together.

4. Attitudes must be Spirit-led.

We cannot solve problems on our own, but rather need the power of God in our lives to provide wisdom and direction. Set your ego aside and agree together to follow the guidance of God. Ask God what He would have you do differently.

5. God will provide the rewards.

God has promised that the heart led by the Spirit will reap fruits of righteousness. Trust Him. The couple who prays together and agrees on outcomes, led by God, will grow in connection and union with one another.

What's your attitude toward your mate? Do you believe you will stay together and solve problems together? If so, you will find the solutions you need. If not, please reach out to God and to us for help.

We'd love to hear from you. Share your feedback or send us a confidential email and read more about The Marriage Recovery Center and my Marriage Intensives on my website: www.marriagerecoverycenter.com. You'll find videos and podcasts on saving a troubled marriage, codependency, and affair-proofing your marriage.

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