All of us crave the gentle companionship marriage seems to offer. We all want to know how to heal a hurting marriage. Hollywood must’ve left out some crucial information about what real romance looks like, though! One minute they’re promoting the fairy tale and the next the media tells us marriage is controversial. Wouldn’t we want to know if there was a way to heal a hurting marriage?

How to Heal a Hurting Marriage

Certainly, Life’s tender moments deserve an understanding companion to share them. Naturally, learning the gentle art of companionship allows us to enhance relationships and, yes, even heal a hurting marriage. We can find our own happy place. Hurting MarriageCompanionship for Life’s Journey

Only a week before our 31st anniversary, my husband David and his siblings went to the funeral home. They chose hymns. A dear friend agreed to do the eulogy. Back at their mom’s house, David held up two ties, his brain too foggy to choose one for his mother’s funeral. We learned things we didn’t know about his mom’s life from close friends. Standing outside in the sparkling Texas sunshine at the cemetery, we said goodby to her.

In life’s most excruciating moments, we all want a companion who wraps tender arms around us. We want someone who whispers gently to our pain. After his mom’s funeral, David and I flew to Key West to celebrate our anniversary. At the hotel, we pulled back the covers and crashed for about 36 hours, too tired to move a muscle. We slept until, ever so slowly, we began to talk in gentle whispers. Finally, he began to speak of his mom’s victories, of the kids she raised, and of the things she didn’t get done. Life is short, even a long, full life.

Of course, marriage triumphs when sorrow is overshadowed by indescribable delights. Still, some moments seem like the sum total of the parts is pain and more pain. However, a handful of strategies can maneuver almost any marriage to a better place.

#1 Transform Arguments into Conversations

A gentle question can transform any argument, even recurring ones, into a conversation. By asking a gentle, unbiased question, you quickly cut through the rhetoric to find out what is really happening in your spouse’s heart. Surprisingly, great questions help you get past differences and tune into the facts. For a great tool, check out the Fact Box.

#2 Learn to Negotiate like an Oil Tycoon

To be a super negotiator, first know what you want. Actually, knowing what we want often bamboozles our brain! Most women spend so much energy taking care of everyone else, we forget what we need or want. Still, by sunset this evening, we can be a better negotiator. Simply by arming ourselves with an iPad and a few quiet moments, we can start a list of what we want. Fortunately, knowing the target, gets us part way there already.

#3 Recognize that Intimacy is more than Sex.

The media has convinced most folks that intimacy is a pseudonym for sex. However, oneness in marriage includes physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy, too. When we see the twinkle in the eyes of aged couples who still tenderly cling to each other, we know they have experienced the whole package. In fact, emotional and spiritual intimacy will probably make it on our list of things we want to negotiate for, once we realize its crucial to companionship.

Holding Hands and Other Good Stuff

Who will hold our hand and hold their breath with us as our children grow up? Will anyone recognize when the tiny smile on a newborn grandchild looks just like ours? Will someone groan in prayer with us for the future of our family? Even if our marriage is rocky at times, companionship is a life-long pursuit, so hope abounds. Marriages benefit when we pursue certain skills and values, especially when we pursue fellowship. Heck, all our relationships benefit when fellowship is a regular aspect of the way we live.

Naturally, we all hurt along Life’s way. Still, gentle companionship in the long haul develops as we implement a few easy steps to acquire the skills we need. The conversations and negotiations and dreams that make life beautiful form rich fellowship in marriage and all relationships. Welcome to a place where we celebrate the truth that all people are created to enjoy intimate companionship. 

May I pray for you?

Lord God, You are the awesome Creator who established holy companionship and unity as a mirror of who You are. May we pursue You with such vigor and integrity that it permeates all our relationships. Give this dear reader the confidence to embrace new skills. Surround our hearts with opportunities to pass along Your lovingkindness today. Bless our relationships with a clear understanding of unfailing love and steadfast respect. May we be people who gently point others to You, O Holy One. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Cathy Krafve, Texas Author, Columnist, Speaker, and Radio Personality, specializing in Christian Marriage and Family invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.