Can one person make a difference in their marriage even when their spouse is not trying? YES, they absolutely can! There is no question that even if only one spouse is trying, they alone can make a huge impact on their marriage. And if only one person is trying there is still tremendous hope for the marriage.
I know some might say, but, it takes two to make a marriage work. I know because I have heard someone say that to me before. And my reply was, “yeah, but it only takes one to quit.”
It is true, to make a marriage work the way God designed it to work it does take two. Both spouses work together becoming one.
But the question for some is, what good can one person do when they are the only one trying?
There are several suggestions I want to make on how one person can make a difference in their marriage. These are ideas that I have seen work in my own marriage and for many other marriages as well.
The first place to start is with prayer. Prayer is a powerful weapon for anyone to use and yet it is often neglected. The bible says that instead of letting ourselves become overwhelmed with fear and worry. We should take all of our requests to the Lord.
Praying for a spouse who is not giving their best is always the right place to start. Not only can prayer change their heart and turn them around. But prayer should also change the one who is praying. Because sometimes it may be your own attitude or perspective that needs to be changed first. And if nothing else, prayer is most vital to you during times of difficulty. It can keep you calm, at peace, and continually hopeful.
The next thing is don’t focus on the negatives that your marriage doesn’t have and start working with what you do have. Your marriage doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s marriage. It just needs to work for the two of you.
If you dwell on the negatives you see in your spouse or your marriage you are creating an atmosphere that will push your spouse further away from you. Your spouse cannot be forced to want to be close to you. They have to voluntarily want to be close to you. So you have to attract them with the positive, full of life, best of you that you can be.
If you have a hard time being positive and trusting in the Lord, that is a good sign some work needs to be done in you first. Your spouse cannot be the one you expect to fix you. You have to be broken and humble before the Lord and allow Him to heal your issues from the past. And let Him restore you as the person He created you to be.
Often this type of inner healing requires some outside assistance from someone who is capable of helping. You’ll need someone capable of seeing your situation objectively and is capable of leading you towards sound biblical answers. Don’t hesitate to turn to a counselor, pastor, or even a friend depending on the severity of what you need. Just be sure you choose someone who will give you Godly counsel that protects your marriage covenant. And encourages your focus on yourself and the healing you need.
Invest in knowing what makes your spouse feel loved, appreciated, and wanted. Learn your spouse’s love language and speak it often. Just see yourself as someone who is planting seeds in a garden. Knowing that in due season if you do not faint you will see your harvest.
But don’t overdo it by appearing to be desperate or even fake. The thought here is to serve your spouse with love in subtle ways that will penetrate any hardness they have towards you. Love is hard for anyone to resist. As long as it is genuine and not used to manipulate.
Look for ways to rekindle the romance. Get back to dating your spouse regularly. Do what you can to turn up the heat on your sex life. Find other creative ways to be spontaneous and romantic. Again, the same here as with love language, just don’t come across as desperate, fake, and manipulative.
Work on communication at whatever level you’re at with your spouse. See communication as something you grow at doing. Don’t expect your spouse to jump into deep levels of communication if that is not something they want right now. You can make your desire for improving your marriage and your level of communication known to your spouse. But do not constantly remind them.
Finally, remember as long as you are willing to keep moving forward and you’re inviting God to work in your marriage you have plenty of reason to be hopeful and encouraged. After all, you are just one step away from two people trying to have a great marriage. And once your spouse is on board you are well on your way. With the Lord’s help, you can have the best marriage you’ve ever dreamed possible.