Recently I was informed that my brother and his wife have separated. After they were first married, they were so gushy it made me nauseas just to be around them. But a couple years ago, we began to notice a change. They have gone though several hard times regarding health, children, and jobs. This last time they began to be come angry and resent each other. They no long touch or hold hands. They speak cordial to each other, but not loving. And now because the tension between them was affecting her health, she moved out. They are both unhappy, but the stress is lessened.
This issue is tearing at my heart and of all who know them. I want to fix their problem, but I can’t. I can only pray that God will somehow reconcile them and restore their love for each other.
Satan attacks us when we feel strongest. This generally does not occur suddenly, but over time. Our relationships degrade little by little until it is only a shell of what it once was. We all are subject to the same struggles my brother and his wife are going through. So what can we do to reconcile our relationships? Here are some tips by Dr. David B. Hawkins (Crosswalk.com)
Are you overreacting to times of trouble? It is tempting, when times are bad, to believe that everything is bad. When emotions are high, things get blown out of perspective. Battle lines are drawn and enemies are made. One must be careful to keep things in perspective. Love blossomed powerfully once and it can again.
Have you considered your part in the problem? While it may be satisfying to blame everything on your mate, playing the victim, this is usually a very simplistic appraisal of the issues. What do you bring to the situation? What are you really like to live with?
Have you sought out expert advice on your problem? This does not mean talking to friends who are likely to side with you and take up an offense against your mate. It means finding an objective listening ear who will evaluate the full extent of the problem, point out troubling patterns of interaction and ways to handle conflict effectively;
Have you been careful to fully forgive past problems? Assuming there has been a change in behavior, and a repentant heart, you may need additional work to let go of grudges and anger, remembering forgiveness is a process, not an event;
Have you both made amends for past wounds? Making a sincere apology is certainly a beginning, but it may take much more than that. Deep wounds do not heal quickly and often require special counseling assistance;
Have you remembered that there are no perfect relationships? As you considered throwing out the old in hopes of something new, please remember that the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it still needs to be mowed. There will be problems in every relationship and, as the Apostle James says, these problems can be a catalyst bringing us closer to the person Christ wants us to be. (James 1:1-2)
The prospect of reconciliation with someone who has hurt you can be daunting. Perhaps you have moved into a place of calm and safety, and like a startled turtle, are reluctant to poke your nose out again. Consider the story of the prodigal son in Luke 12. After squandering his father’s blessings, he humbly returned home. The father greeted him, immediately forgiving past sins and embraced him again. God does that for us — perhaps you can do that for your spouse. Perhaps it is time to talk. Coffee anyone?”