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77 Comments

  1. I stumbled on this article and it’s so true. If I could ask cause I truly have no one else to ask; at what point can you decide that you are simply holding the other back, as neither of you will change? Or maybe it’s they are holding us back? But it’s the same thing… After so much time of being happy then see the other miserable and it causes you to be, or seeing the kids miserable cause parents are fighting … Honestly, at 45 it effects me to the point I can’t focus on anything else. Not my job, or being a parent, obligations, nothing gets done cause I hyper focus on she and I.

    I don’t really expect a answer, but then again, if you have one?! Thanks again, great article. Got me thinking.

    1. Hi Chad and thank you so much for reading and being willing to comment. I’m so sorry it sounds like you’re in a hard place. I highly encourage you to seek out counseling as soon as you can. You obviously have some legit feelings and you need to deal with them. It sounds like you’re doing your best to live with something that feels so wrong, but that does not mean it needs to be over. It means you need some help figuring out how to move forward. Please find a professional Christian counselor to talk to and pray and hang in there. Divorce is not the answer. Blessings to you

  2. Wow…its very encouraging.

  3. So true! Going to go massage my aching, stepped-on toes now! Thank you for the reminders. 🙂

  4. This is such an excellent post! I took notes and shared it on my Facebook page. Early in my marriage when we were struggling, God taught me to stop being critical of my husband (even when it was only in my thoughts) which wives so naturally do, and look for the good in my husband and verbalize it and thank him instead. What a difference it made!! This was great reminder to me, today.

    1. Thank you so much Ashley! Those are some huge steps for any wife to take– and I bet the difference was huge. Thank you for commenting! xo

      1. So beautiful. The only result I have had from hiding all my weaknesses and trying to use all tha positive energy with my husband is that he hates me for my positivity. I have to swallow every sign of weakness otherwise he gets upset. It’s a very lonely place to be.

  5. Thank you Monica for this article right now im really stuggling to keep going my relationship with my husband!
    Were 5 years married with 1 yr old son. Everytime im telling him off about his drinking alcohol every other day! he always disrespecting me for that! I forgave him a lot of his wrong doing including taking drugs before! I tried to do everything you said in the article for our relationship and for the sake or our son but his attitude towards me when he is angry is still the same! He always saying he doesnt care what i say or what i do anymore! I ask him how many times to stop disrespecting me but he always do it!
    I am a believer i always praying for him and for our family. I hope one day he will change for the best not only for us but atleast for himself!
    I am so unhappy at the moment but i am praying that God will touch me and give me peace of mind. Your article helps me a bit. Bec i can open up.
    Thank you

  6. Do you have a newsletter? If so, do you send out blog posts like these to your list? I would be interested in signing up if you do.

    1. Thank you and yes, I Do! 😉 http://www.monicaswanson.com/subscribe. I send out a weekly note with anything I have published that week and a monthly email to new subscribers sharing most popular posts from the archives. Hope that helps! Blessings

  7. I came across this article. I have been married for 22 years and going through a really horrible time in marriage. I have been going to therapy for about 2 years. Last year, I started to have a real turn around and then I had a surgery and I spiraled into a deep depression and keep spiraling. My husband is so unhappy and my kids are basically telling him he can do better.
    Tonight, he told me I am the most prideful person he knows. I see that I’m hurting the kids and him and yet I don’t feel anything. If it is pride, I don’t know how to just let go. I just feel anything for anybody right now.
    I do think I’ve had pride since I was a little girl. It has slowly gotten worse and after my surgery, I completely became consumed. It’s like I’m holding onto something and I don’t want to let go but I don’t even know what I’m holding onto.

  8. Betty Jones says:

    No one wants to admit that martial problems is their fault.Both man and wife share the pain and the issues in a marriage.You go into a marriage as partners in life and life happens .Both forget ( why ) or what attracted them to begin with. Expectations are overrated! Both are humans and not perfect! I’m a Christian and believe that if you put in in Gods hands , you can’t lose.Ive been married 24 years and weve had our share of pain.It doesn’t compare to the wonderful memories we both share.And can’t wait to see what is instored for the both us! I want many more 1st.(first)

  9. It’s an amazing article, and in my case I have been married for 9 months in which I have spent most of the time fighting with my wife no matter what I do or say it always turn back on me, things started going like hell it’s like I have married a different person where all her perspective and our talks didn’t mean anything.
    She gets jealous if I talk to my family so I reduced that and doing that was not enough for her, her needs is always the priority and if I say anything about that a fight is on, no reasoning with her .
    Lately I came to know that she is always depressed from the day I met her till now and always she promises me that she will change but nothing happened.
    Reading your article made me realize am also not perfect also I had my share of mistakes but at least she recognized that I did my best to change, why she can’t change or try? Am at a turning point where a divorce is gonna happen and as of now she didn’t talk to me for almost 2 weeks at least to convince me or show a sign of changes all it matters to her is her image in front of others and what they will say.

  10. We’ve been married 31 yrs I cried most of the night , I can’t remember what I googled but I love and believe all that you said! My problem is I’m very hurt & now feel very depressed , since 2008, my husband has been clinically depressed, diabetes , recently is complaining about pain on both sides under ribs , very light headed & week, he refuses to go to ER, I have helped him thru many life struggles, dr’s, Phyc’s, medically balanced., execerise ……etc…
    Do I get fustrated yes, I really have tried in every way to help him, while I work a full time job, have to care for my health also! I have my pastime business Mary Kay which make me happy reaching out to others woman, So we have switched rolls n the house, he’s home he can keep the house clean & cook simple dinner even if it’s chicken/salad, he can’t do that now either ,’what the heck??, half our married life we’ve gone Thur marriage counciling, im due to retire in 2 years, I’m really afraid of living miserable daily, reminders!
    I’m tired of caring so much responsibilities in my home! I am a believer I have so many plans for us, but he’s not well and blames me for caring to much! I feel like I’m just going to have to not care for him, leave him alone, I’ll just cook & clean

  11. Young Patron says:

    NICE ONE AND TRUE TALK

  12. Hi Monica,

    I agree about the bad attitudes and replacing with right ones. I had known my spouse for a short period before marriage. Immediately after marriage he was so nice like someone who wants to create a good impression. I immediately fell for it blindly. After the first lash out (I came as immigrant to America), he buys expensive things for me to cover his guilt. My husband takes everything for granted. He is highly opinionated and very abusive. He talks to his mom almost daily and she feeds him her opinions (and it becomes his). He treats me like some slave in front of his mom. Oh boy – how she adores that her little boy is dutiful son to mama! Sometimes being intimate is exploitative. He has a good job and I work from home earning a decent salary after a layoff. He wants me to look for job again (?!?!).

    When I got to ER because of a fall on ice recently, he immediately took off from work. He supports financially, but I do equally too. There is no emotional support. He considers his parents and unmarried sister as part of his family, but not me and the kids. BTW, we have 2 teenage boys and he always compares them with each other and other kids (very subtly). I stayed away from him (of course with his permission) for 3 years in a different place when the kids were young. During this time, I took the support of my parents. I took this time only to heal from all the abuse hurled at me. He has hit me multiple time, but didn’t report. He always cribs about everything – work, home, traffic, people, me. I tried to talk to him and even requested him to go for counselling with me of course, but till date, he has never accepted it. When I am down with fever, he complains that things are not in right place (he comes once in a blue moon) and wants it arranged as per his liking. Most of the time, I try to correct things which can be fixed. He wants to go back to the past and repair everything that he thinks are damages.

    Ok you can say I am also equally to be blamed – but when there is another woman (be it mother or sister or anyone), I feel this will not change. I started to turn to my mom and aunt for emotional support after 3-4 years into marriage because of which he detests her. I was emotionally filled and made effort to bring positive changes, like involving him in activities that he has no qualms about (but he would still). He has no good friends. Anyone who gets beyond his comfort zone is cut off. He can act very well, but not for long. He likes people who have similar opinions and he even sympathizes with men of his nature.

    Whew ! What kind of a person is he ?

    1. NICE ONE, THANK YOU FOR THIS.

  13. I am really glad I found this. My wife and I are going through an extremely rough patch right now, to the point that a divorce was about 2 seconds away, and I’ve been trying to find ways to talk to her so that I don’t immediately lash out or seem like I’m stonewalling her, and this is helping me out a lot right now, thank you.

    1. That makes me so happy. Hang in there and keep working…It’s so worth it!! Bless you for your efforts.

  14. Donna Gilling says:

    What an amazing article!! I just had a conversation with my husband about things we can change to make our marriage better( just celebrated our 1st anniversary December 2017). After he expressed his feelings I decided to work on me so I went to Google and typed… ” how to have a good attitude about the things I don’t like that my husband does” and I was drawn to your link. Surprisingly most of what he expressed to me was in your article, so I grabbed a pen and started to make notes.

    WOW…. the power of the right attitude can really change a marriage. Thanks Monica

    1. What a fun story, Donna! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and tell me! 🙂 I agree, and I need to revisit all of this often (even after nearly 22 years of marriage!) You’re a wise woman to start off focused on yourself and how you might improve…most of us take years to try that and then it is even harder! Well done. Aloha and hope you’ll stick around!

  15. Thank you soo much for this article. Really appreciate.

  16. Brittany Johnson says:

    Thank you.. Im preparing myself for marriage and this was good reading and wisdom.. May God Bless You!

  17. Need Guidance on how to handle husband who says he is right all the time.,

    1. The answer was already written in the guide. It’s no. 3 and no. 4.
      Learn to laugh at the annoying mr. Self righteous
      And
      Forgive.
      Good marriage is like a good diet. You want good results simply do the right thing.
      It’s simple, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

    2. Elizabeth says:

      I’m not married but am always to blame for everything. I must be the worst person on this planet.

      Help me, someone! !!!!

      1. Elizabeth…so sorry you are feeling so down. I can guarantee you are not the worst person on the planet, but I do believe we are all sinners, in need of God’s love and forgiveness. The best advice I can give you is to accept God’s forgiveness and grace, and turn your heart to Him. He is always there and will offer you a new beginning anytime you seek Him. 🙂 Much love and prayers for you now. -Monica

  18. Pst Simon says:

    I really appreciate your help in our marriage thank you for the great mind you brought to in our life, am a Kenyan a minister in God’s Government. In fact I will share the topic and teach the couples very soon. God bless.

    1. Thank you so much Pastor Simon! That means a lot to me! 🙂 Blessings to you and the people you serve. Aloha-

  19. Good, good advice, Monica! Thanks for the reminder! 🤗

  20. I believe they are all true; but being recently widowed will we still be married in heaven I so much want to be together again

    1. Oh so sorry for your loss…temporary loss. When I catch myself grumbling or complaining i do remind myself of how I would miss him if he were gone. My heart goes out to you and I pray you live a life that your husband would be proud of. :)) Much aloha-

  21. Marriage is a work in progress. I feel all your points to be very true and real. I have felt myself fall into some bad attitudes (envying other marriages, pride, etc). However, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else and I realize I could be more present in my marriage. Focusing on the betterment of myself only strengthens our bond. There are times when I need to be heard and I do have difficulty putting myself first, yet we have resolved many issues just by discussing them.
    Thank you for the post!

    Maria

  22. Wow, just what I needed to read. I’ve been married for 17 years and I seem to be annoyed and bothered by just about everything my husband does. He’s not who I think he should be….. and I certainly have fallen in to the comparison trap.
    But, the truth is that he is a wonderful father, hard worker, and amazing husband. I need to shift my focus and also not worry what other people think. It seems to drive my criticism at times.
    Thank you for this post:)

  23. This is the help I have been needing, i cant seem to make my wife happy. No matter what i do, but i am sure able to annoy her. I am not even sure what makes her happy anymore. I will read this everyday and apply it. i sent her a copy as well. Hopefully this helps.

    Thanks, Hopeful Hubby.

    1. Oh so glad…Thank you for commenting. 🙂 I pray it helps and that your wife realizes too the difference small changes can make. I hope you would also get outside help if you need it. Basically do whatever you can to strengthen your marriage. It is so important. 🙂 Blessings to you, and keep me posted! aloha-

  24. These are all good and I keep tying do you have any advice for when your spouse always says. “You don’t like me” and uses that to stop trying.
    It is so frustrating to always build her up and reinforce us and then always here that I hate her.

    1. Thank you Dennis. I would always suggest getting a little outside help if you feel you are hitting a wall repeatedly. Trained counselors/therapist truly have their place…There may be something affecting your relationship that you aren’t even aware of. It’s worth the effort to work through things to a better place! All the best to you-

  25. I wish this were true, but sometimes people suffer because they feel they have no way out!!!! Habitual cheaters etc etc

    1. It is true for many. But for those “sometimes” situations, you should absolutely seek help. Don’t be in danger or in a relationship with habitual cheating. I would never suggest staying in a situation like that. Praying for you now-

  26. That was amazing!!!!

  27. wow this is an eye opener.am still single but i have a boyfriend.am blessed by this.this piece will do

    1. I just erased everything I wrote but it felt good to write it all down. All this sounds great but if both people aren’t willing to try these things it won’t matter. I know that resentment leads to bitterness and if unresolved it grows hard like a shell from the depths of the sea. Believe it or not “I” feel pretty happy in general. I have no idea how to penetrate my wife’s hardness, not a clue.

      1. Ouch. I’m so sorry. That must be really rough. For what it’s worth I do believe God can work miracles in marriage, but I know it can take a long time sometimes. I hope you see change in the near future. (I also believe marriage counseling can be very beneficial.) Much aloha to you-

  28. Monica, I am printing this out and reading it everyday. I sincerely believe this will change my difficult marriage. I appreciate your thoughts on marriage so much. You have helped me focus on the right things. Thank you !

    1. Oh Melissa–that means so much to me. I am thrilled to hear that this is encourages you. Keep it up–it is so worth every effort to work on your marriage. I’m proud of you! XO 🙂

  29. Julie Bloom says:

    I never get tired of reading your posts. Thank you for your words of wisdom, humor, encouragement, ….I could go on, but I have to go make time to love my hubby.

    1. Oh that is so sweet! Thank you. 🙂 And good use of your time!! xo

  30. At one point in my marriage I was all the negative attitudes you posted. I had pride and thought I was better than my husband and never let him forget it. I was irritated by him all the time. I was unforgiving and punishing him for things I thought he did wrong. I was selfish, I would do whatever I want and never talk to him about because I didn’t care how he felt about it. I was completely ungrateful and then one day after 23 years together he had an affair and at the time I thought how could he do this to me and after one conversation I had with my brother I realized how could he not. Who could could tolerate being treated that way for so many years and then when someone comes around and treats you nicely then of course you will stray. I became humble and realized that My pride was ruining my marriage. I immediately turned around my behavior I forgave him, I was grateful for him and showed him my appreciation, I treated him with respect and he loved it, the affair ended and we saved our marriage. Our marriage is better now than it has ever been and I honestly have the marriage I always wanted. So I can say without a doubt that your advice is spot on and does work if you live by it.

  31. Wonderful article! I should print it out to remind myself of these things. It’s nice to see someone give advice on how to keep a marriage together as opposed to people who will tell you that it’s most important to keep yourself happy and if you’re not happy, then you might as well end the marriage. I think people forget that marriage takes work (as any relationship does) and people give up so easily. I’ve been married for 22yrs and I will tell you it has NOT been easy, but I’ve never given up no matter how hard it is. I think some of the best advice I ever got was to not try to change your spouse–change yourself (and your attitude)! When I change my attitude, things just seem to go smoother. And I must say, I’m so glad I found your blog–I’m such a big fan!!

    1. Awesome Jane–Thank you so much for the wonderful words…Thank you and aloha!

  32. Wholeheartedly agree with this biblical truth. As marraiges seem to be falling apart everywhere… I desperately pray for BOTH hearts in marraiges to want to persevere with one another… With tons of grace in allowing mistakes, and putting God truly as the center of their personal life and their married life.

  33. Dear Monica!
    Thank you for this post!
    I put it to the test right away as I was reading it right next to my husband. I thanked him for taking out the garbage today. I received a sweet smile! Now I will continue practicing!
    Greetings from Germany

    1. Thank you for commenting Bea! SO great to hear. Bless you and sending Aloha your way–

  34. OK. The first thing I thought was, I better keep this post handy. The truth is, my husband and I bicker a lot about a lot of dumb things. I just get do offended about the things he says to me. Then bam, I’m ticked. And then it goes on from there. Then when he’s ready to fly back to work for at least a month I miss him terribly. Why can’t we just appreciate each other when we are together? I know It seems so senseless when we see other people fight. I think the kid issues just leave us with no enjoyment of each other. So we tend to just focuss on the negative.

  35. Stephanie says:

    This is right on! I enjoyed the read and wish I had practiced the above earlier on in my marriage. I wish the 50% of couples that divorce in the world could read and truly understand the power of selflessness. I also wish someone told me these things before I married so I could be prepared for it. That white horse and happily ever after is misleading! I have a great husband and marriage now but…..it has taken lots of time to figure out how kindness travels even within your marriage where pride is our initial way to respond to conflict. No small task! Love your posts, keep writing! Stephanie

  36. Thanks for the encouraging words. I need constant reminding to have a good attitude and not compare my marriage to others.

  37. I am not “married”, but am in a serious committed relationship. I agree with all of these things! Especially number 3… allowing yourself to be annoyed always makes everything worse. It’s important to love your partner for their faults, because you are correct, we all have them.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. 🙂

  38. Keep speaking the truth! People need to hear your wonderful, thoughtful words! Go Monica!

    1. Thank you so much Rachel! That is super encouraging! xo

  39. Love this article! These are words that I needed to hear. Thank you for these wonderful reminders.

  40. Feeling Hopeless says:

    If you’ve tried all that, prayed for years and can’t figure out how to like the person, what then? Every single day is such a struggle I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t stand to be in the same room with him, being alone with him gives me huge anxiety. I know it’s me, everything he does drives me nuts and grosses me out. (I mean I can literally hear him eating in another room!) I do not know how to get past this. I don’t like him, don’t find him attractive, we have nothing in common, can’t agree on anything, I can’t see a future once kids are gone, overall feeling hopeless.

    1. Dear Feeling Hopeless One–I am so sorry for this place you find yourself in. I’d love to send you a personal email to go into things a little more, but please know that you are not alone, and I have heard of even situations like yours turning around. But it truly might take a miracle. 🙂 Praying for you–and look for an email from me soon. aloha!

      1. Feeling Hopeless says:

        Thank you for your prayers! Look forward to your email. I am praying for that miracle!

    2. I can totally relate to your despair, but with God’s help, those things are in the past for us now and our marriage is slowly being strengthened, day by day. These things take time, sometimes more time than you think you can bear, but be encouraged- I am praying for you today and nothing is impossible for God!

      p.s. Try to focus on making your marriage last for YOUR benefit, not just for your kids…God wants our marriages to be a blessing to us as much as he wants it for our children!

  41. Hi Monica-
    I couldn’t agree more! My husband reminds me when I am upset or have hurt feelings, that it is never his intention to hurt my feelings. When I remember that, I can pat down my ruffled feathers fairly easily.
    The reminder about comparison is key,too. I think if we all threw our problems in a pile, we’d most likely choose our own back if given the chance to pick. Think about 3 of your closest friends, would you swap worries and woes? Me, either.
    I once heard that a good marriage is one in which both people feel like they are getting the better end of the bargain. If you demonstrate the positive attitudes you highlight, how can you not see your spouse as a gift!
    I often wonder how I got lucky enough to spend my life with my husband! He is smart, wise and so incredibly giving in little and big ways. Thanks for prompting me to pause and remember how blessed I am.

  42. Love your advice, Monica! I’ll be sharing this on my blog this weekend. I would say humility has helped me through the years. Knowing that I mess up just as much as my husband has helped me not to hold a grudge against him.

    1. Thank you Heather! So nice…And I know about humility…How many times have I caught myself so judgmental towards my husband and then I think what a big dork I am and how little he criticizes me…:) ouch.

  43. This is just perfect. Such a great daily reminder to have! I think expectations of each other based on assumptions are something I struggled (and likely still do!) with early on in our marriage. Honesty in communicating what each other needs and wants is key. Thank you for sharing!

  44. Hey Monica!

    Thanks for another awesome post! I’m not even married, but just in a dating relationship, putting these things into practice is a great foundation for the future. You’ve basically summed up what most of the marriage books I’ve read say on the topic! I think 1, 5 and 6 are the biggest struggles for me. And my favorite line is “You might be amazed at how much your husband or wife seems to improve when you change your perspective.” Gold!

    Hope you’re well and that we’ll see you in Sydney eventually!

    Big hugs

    Elaine

  45. Amen! Perspective is critical, I try to have the cup is half full, not half empty type of attitude, and believe the choice I make for my attitude, and the grace of God, is what has allowed my sometimes rocky marriage of 25 years to last. I think it’s important to water your own grass because it’s not always greener somewhere else. Thanks Monica for your nice little reminder list. I think I will print it up and put it up in my house.

  46. I wish you lived in Ohio so we could have coffee sometime. I really enjoy your posts and they’ve helped me grow a lot as a mom and wife. This one is especially good and really hits home. One thing my husband and I realized the first few years we were married was that it was pretty silly to expect the other one to read our mind. Once we kinda forgave each other for not being a mindreader, we remembered to communicate our needs a little better if we expected the other one to know what they were. Still a work in progress on that one. I also really love Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages”. They have been really helpful in constantly relearning how to show your partner love in the way they most feel it best, even if you aren’t feeling especially loved at the same time. Thanks for the reminder to take the high road and we’ll do ourselves a huge favor with just a small attitude adjustment!

  47. My one attitude that works wonders for my marriage is we always assume the other is not trying to hurt our feelings. That way, if our feelings get hurt, we know they didn’t do it on purpose. Trusting we want the best for each other. Figuring out what needs to be discussed on what is our own issues we need to work out. Great article!

    1. Paige–That is so key—Great one to add! (and a tough one, now that I think about it. Much easier said than done.) Thank you so much! aloha!

  48. Sheena Carnie says:

    Thanks Monica, as you say, we need to keep re-reading this list and reminding ourselves of these things every week. It’s very easy to forget the things they do well and remember the things they don’t do well, so I’ll be working on that one in particular.