- The mistake of not forgiving:
Being able to forgive and receive forgiveness as essential if your marriage is to have any chance of survival. When you forgive your spouse, you are not saying that there is nothing wrong, you are choosing to let go of the wrong; not demand vengeance for it; and no longer hold it over your spouse’s head. If you say you have forgiven and you continually remind your husband or wife about the wrong that he or she did; you have not truly released them from the burden of guilt. If you are planning to get married, stop and think. Are you an expert at holding a petty grudge? Work on this before you get married. If your spouse does you wrong, mentally prepare to forgive them even before they apologize. When you make up your mind to forgive, the hurt will eventually fade away. However, if you hold on to your anger and hurt feelings in a bid to get back at your spouse, you will only feel more hurt, more sadness, and more resentment.
The caveat here is that trust and forgiveness are two different things. Sometimes we mistake the two and set ourselves up for a world of hurt. For instance, if your spouse cheats, forgiving him/her does not mean immediately resuming sexual intercourse. Tests for sexually transmitted diseases have to be done. Phone and email passwords should be handed over for vigilant monitoring. A mentor, or a counselor should be sought to hold the other party accountable. If a spouse is an addict of some type, the person may need counseling and treatment before they are allowed back in the home. Forgiving a spouse is not an excuse to sweep major messes under the carpet. Forgiving a spouse does not mean that you put yourself or your children in harms way, or in a dangerous situation.
- The mistake of not apologizing:
Say, “I am sorry”, when you hurt your spouse. Make up your mind to have a peaceful home at all costs. It is amazing how many people find it hard to apologize. There are certain phrases that pass for an apology but really are not; and your spouse is not stupid. “I apologize” is “formalspeak”, and does not take the place of “I am sorry”. Saying “I am sorry if….”puts a condition on the apology and comes across as abjectly insincere. Saying “I am sorry you feel that way….” makes your spouse’s feelings, and not your actions, the object of concern. If you say, “I am sorry but you…”, you completely negated your apology. Not saying the words, “I am sorry”, is also not a very good idea. Some people say things like, “Well I guess I should not have done that”. It is not the same thing as saying a sincere, “I am sorry I did x, please forgive me”. You are not always right, and you and your spouse will not always agree. Make up your mind that you will be quick to apologize when you do something wrong.
- The mistake of not appreciating:
When was the last time you looked into the eyes of your husband or wife and said, “Thank you for everything you have done for me.” When you get lost in the day-to-day grind, you can get complacent and forget that your spouse is the person that deserves your thanks the most. They live with you, put up with flaws that would drive some of your friends away, they see you at your worst and they still stick around. People who feel unappreciated become resentful and eventually stop trying and giving their best. They can give up and die inside. Maybe your spouse does very little that can be appreciated. Start to appreciate the little they do, and as they do more and more, appreciate that too. There is something good in everyone, but sometimes you have to look a little harder to find it, do not give up on efforts to appreciate your spouse.
What other mistakes, can cost a person their marriage?Please leave a comment below. Follow us on Twitter @WhelmThe