If your spouse disappoints you!

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If you are married and your partner said or did something that hurt you, no matter something small or a big betrayal, your proudness is screaming for revenge.

Even if you do not strike back right away, at least you want to keep in your pocket the “GUILTY” card so you can pull it out in another case and say: “Yes, and what about that other time when you…” When we were affected, the last thing we want to do is forget. And still if we wish to have a healthy and long-time marriage this is what should be done. Here are seven suggestions which to keep in mind when your spouse disappoints you:

1. Do not start without your spouse.
If you need to talk with your partner about something do not force them into the corner and do not tell everything unexpectedly. It is a recipe for hostility. Instead of this do it at a time, convenient for both of you when to discuss the problem. This gives you both an opportunity to think about it in advance, which will lead to more a useful discussion as oppose to one of the partners talks to the non-expecting “guilty one”?

2. Treat your negative emotions responsibly.
When we react emotionally, we often say and do things we regret after that. In many cases it is better to postpone the discussion for when you are calm, see the situation from the appropriate angle and with the right attitude. This will help you approach the matter with the attitude to find a solution and not only stay covered in your pain. As partners, you should respect the need of the other to calm down as he “counts to ten”. If your spouse needs to wait a few minutes and even a day-two to calm down, do not insist to talk about the problem. This should not be used as an excuse to avoid the discussion completely, but it is better to have some time to think over the matter and not to leave your emotions take you there where you wouldn’t want you to go.

3. Discuss one matter at a time.
Do you remember the “GUILTY” card which we mentioned above? When you start the talk, you will be tempted to pull it out. Soon your talk will turn into a long list of insults trying to stop the other talking with all the mistakes from the past. This only deepens the conflict and broadens the hole between you. It is depressing when presented is a long list of things that should be changed. Instead of being motivating it only discourages.
Instead of this, discuss only one matter at a time. It is much better to have a great progress in one field of your relations than to list everything that needs improvement.

4. Have your position cleared.
Let both of you have enough time to share their concerns without being interrupted. If you only exchange blame none of you will hear the other one – you will think only about your next hit. When it is your turn to speak, try to help your partner to understand the pain and disappointment. Help them see why their actions or words had such effect over you. The same way, the partner who insulted should have the opportunity to explain their behavior. It could be that you took their motives wrongly and when it clears, the road to settling the conflict is opened.

5. Let your relations be more valuable than the problem.
We are sometimes so obsessed of our feelings or “rights” that we miss the entire picture. People joke that marriages fail because of the toothpaste or the toilet paper, but this really happens! Remember that your relationship is the most important. Maybe there are problems, which to be fixed but you are still in love – in love often means let the other be right.

6. Live with the attitude to forgive.
If you will live with this person for the next 20…30…50 years you will have to forget many times. You cannot afford not to forgive. The non-forgiveness not only hurts the spouse, it hurts you! As Corry Ten Boom says: “Forgiveness means to let a prisoner free only to find that the prisoner was me.”
This brings us back to the matter of forgiveness and forgetting. The truth is that there are insults which you will never be able to forget. What is more important is to decide whether to get rid of them or not. In Proverbs 17:9 is written: “Who covers a crime seeks love and who is talking about work too much loses their closest friends.” The result of forgiveness is that you decline your right to punish your partner – whether through direct revenge or letting the bitterness pile up and develop.



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