How many people who are in relationships have you heard say that they want their relationship problems or marriage problems fixed? How many of them do you think say that, but then decide that they want those problems fixed their way? If they could have done it their way, it would have already been resolved. Since it takes two to tangle, then both partners need to be accountable and take ownership of their own blemishes, actions, and mistakes. You can’t fix what you can not see, you are going to need some exterior resources. You are also going to need to be able to be humble and honest.
Couples in conflict always want to point out the problems that need to be fixed on the other side. Rarely, does a partner begin by admitting the mistakes that they themselves have made and are responsible for. And even when one does, the other one won’t be honest about their side of the relationship issues. They continue pointing at the other person, because they do not want to admit that they are imperfect, and they are part of the problem. Instead, many often revert to wallering in their own pain syndrome.
Many want to continue saying; "look this is what you did to me" or "see how you hurt me", they are stuck in their own pain cycle and won’t face the fact that, in part, their pain may be partly their own fault. Husbands or wives become greatly hurt because their spouses have cheated on them sexually. Adultery is a very selfish thing and can certainly ruin all trust in a marriage. However, there is an area within that issue that needs to be questioned. Why did the partner seek emotional / sexual gratification outside of the marriage? Sure, they are being selfish, looking to fulfill their own selves. But, if love looks to meet the needs of others, and is not inwardly consumed, in what way did their partner not meet their spouses needs? The point is that, if both partners are looking to, and meeting each others needs, then there would be no desire, or want, from exterior sources. Certainly, there are exceptions to this, there are those who are just plain selfish and would cheat on their spouses at the drop of a hat. This includes both men and women, it’s amazing how many women portray themselves as victims, while covering up their own inequities.
Back to you saying; I want to fix my marriage. Do you really? Honestly? Because in order to do that, you are going to have to come to grips with some issues on your side of the fence. Don’t think for a minute that God is going to start on your partner, no, God is going to start with you. So in order for you to get the fixes for your relationship, you are going to have to be honest with yourself, and with God, before you are going to get honest with anybody else, including your spouse. Now when you start being honest, and pointing out your mistakes to your spouse, and being apologetic for them, your spouse in turn may begin doing the same thing. Then again, they may not, but at least then you will have a clear conscience and will be able to say that you made reasonable and true efforts.
There are those who will continue to lie and make excuses, because they do not want to be embarrassed by their own behaviors. If you are going get fixes for your relationship, you are going to need to stop trying to preserve your ego. The fix will only come at the root of the problem, in order to get to the root of the problem, both partners are going to have to be fully honest, not half honest. Not one partner being honest and the other being full of deceit. God will invite both of you to get honest about your side of the stuff causing your conflict in order to help you gain resolve.
Any real and good friend will point out to you the places that you could be in error. Don’t try to act surprised, or play hurt when someone questions you in order to help you realize your own faults. This is a crucial point for your marriage, if you really want to fix it, then you will admit your mistakes and mature to a new level of understanding. You will understand that since both of you are human, you will both make mistakes. You will also come to an understanding that since neither of you are perfect, that you will hurt one another from time to time. And at some time, hopefully you will both accept each others imperfections, and give allowances of grace to one another for those blemishes. You want to be forgiven for your shortcomings, so cut your spouse some slack, and quit trying to hold them up to some illusional model of perfection.
Often times it is actually old memories or old pains that are coming up and poisoning the relationship. A partner may be acting overly protective due to their own past pains. They may try to shut their spouses in, in order to prevent a past occurrence or memory from reoccurring. Personal insecurities and jealousies have a way of making issues that do not exist. Quit playing those old pains and memories in your present relationship, your partner is not the same person as the one before!
Sometimes partners try to change their partners to fit their own molds, this too will become an issue. Why would someone be trying to change someone to line up with their image of the perfect spouse? It is because they have unrealistic expectations and they do not realize the problems that they are trying to change in their spouses, are really associated to some deep inner issues of their own. Everybody has some past emotional wounding that effects their marriages in some form. Some men are looking for mothers in their wives, some women are looking for fathers in their husbands.
Being honest with yourself will help you to discern what the things are in you that are coming up in your current relationship and causing issues. When you recognize the things that come up, you will associate with them and begin to get an understanding of yourself. Once you have an understanding of yourself, you will have a better understanding for your spouse. Are you able to think of something or someone in your past that has caused you a hurt? Was it from your childhood? Was it from an old relationship? Do you now realize that you are carrying old hurts? Do you see how that old hurt can be impacting your current marriage in a negative manner? Do you want to fix your marriage and have a loving relationship with your spouse? Begin on your side of the fence, there is plenty there that needs resolution. Don’t be hard on yourself though, this is not about a guilt trip, this is about healing for you and your marriage. Restoration will come from the inside – out, quit trying to be perfect, you only make it harder on yourself and your marriage.