As part pf relationship gratitude day 22, e-mail or someone who has helped keep your marriage strong. During your relationship journey we all need other friends or couples in our life that can provide insight when we things get difficult.
If you have married couples in your circle who are struggling, here are some things that might help them get on the right track.
- Offer to baby-sit. Most couples face the additional expense and inconvenience of securing a sitter to watch children when they are trying to reconnect. Volunteer baby-sitting eases the financial and emotional stress of leaving the children.
- Make dinner. While serving as a concreted reminder of your support, bringing dinner frees both partners from one more responsibility on an already difficult day.
- Invite the couple to play games. Play reminds couples there will be life after struggling. Include them in a game night. Invite them for a barbecue. Meet for a hike. Enjoy a movie together. Caring friends help make the time endurable.
- Provide opportunities for listening – man to man, woman to woman. Ask the husband to play tennis or the wife to go for a walk. Have her ride in your car while you run errands. Let him hold the light while you change the oil in the car. These conversations validate each partner’s need to sort through their experience out loud, in a safe and confidential environment, outside the presence of the partner. Your advice is not needed; in fact, it may not be helpful at all. The best advice comes from trained professionals. But a listening ear can help each partner process what he or she is learning.
- Encourage. Frequently remind your friend of the courage he or she displays by facing and overcoming their difficulty. Remind them that this troubled season will pass. Send cards. Drop notes. Make phone calls. The healing process seems long to an observer; imagine how much longer it feels to those involved! “There are days when a card in the mail gave a couple courage to face another week.” It may mean the difference between perseverance and divorce.