In marriage, disagreements are inevitable. Try the following:
• Listen. The Bible tells us to be “swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about wrath.” (James 1:19) Even if your spouse seems unwilling to listen, you can choose to do so. Try to agree with your mate that you will work together to restore peace to your marriage. Try writing your decisions on paper. When both you and your spouse are committed, saving your marriage becomes a team project.
• Identify the problem. In one sentence, write out what you think is lacking or what you wish could change. Understandably, the problem you identify may be different from that noted by your spouse. Strive to explain rather than criticize. In a calm manner, tell your spouse how his or her conduct has affected you. (“I feel hurt when you . . .”) Resist the urge to accuse and criticize. (“You don’t care about me.” “You never listen.”)
• Set a goal. Where would you like your marriage to be six months from now? What specific improvements would you like to see? Write your goal on paper. When you have a clear vision as to what you need in your marriage, your goal will be easier to attain.
• Apply Bible counsel. Once you have identified your problem and determined the improvements you would like to make, look to the Bible for advice. Its principles are timeless, and they really work. For example, the Bible encourages to be forgiving
Even if at first your efforts seem futile, do not give up! The book The Case for Marriage reports the encouraging results of one study, stating: “The truth is shocking: 86 percent of unhappily married people who stick it out find that, five years later, their marriages are happier.” Even couples who described themselves as very unhappy experienced a turnaround.
Many marriages improve when spouses are kind and tenderly compassionate and freely forgive each other. Wives have learned the value of displaying a “quiet and mild spirit,” and husbands have experienced the benefits of not being bitterly angry with their wives.—1 Peter 3:4; Colossians 3:19.