5 Ways to Help the Spouse Who Is Struggling
My husband and I endured a difficult summer. There were no deaths in the family, no major illnesses for us or our children. To look at us you really would not see that anything has been wrong.
Isn’t that the way it is with most things? We struggle with our hurts, sin, and personal difficulties in silence, so often not reaching out to friends or family for help when we desperately need it.
Our difficult summer was not due to a BIG sin or even from either of us hurting the other. Most of the difficulty has been of a personal nature for me. I have been dealing with some things in my own life, things I struggle with almost daily, such as self-worth, anger, depression, and anxiety.
You see, I am a bit of a perfectionist. I have a very high standard for myself and for my family. I don’t mean to. It’s just something that tends to creep in without me even realizing it, and before you know I am spiraling downward into one or several of the aforementioned emotions.
Getting to the bottom of this problem has taken months. In fact, we still are not to the bottom of it, but we are on the road to finding some help with it. And that is what I want to discuss here.
What do we do when one spouse needs extra help? If our husband or wife is struggling, what can we do for him or her? Let me list five things that may help you to get started on the road to healing if you are currently dealing with a personal struggle within your own marriage.
- Pray. As Christ-followers there is nothing else, no one else, who is better to turn to than the Lord. Whether the struggling partner is yourself or your spouse, prayer can be the key to turning your day around and getting real answers to your struggle.
- Listen. If you are the struggling party, then you need to be willing to listen to what your spouse and others have to say about what you’re experiencing. This can be difficult. It may hurt your feelings or even make you angry. However, others may be able to see what you cannot. If you are the other party, the one who is not enduring a struggle right now, then it is helpful to your spouse to be a sounding board. As a woman, I do not always want an immediate “fix” for my problem. I often simply want a sympathetic and listening ear.
- Affirm. When your spouse is struggling with an issue, he or she likely already feels as if he or she should not be struggling. I think that is just our tendency as humans. What is needed is to be affirmed. Be sure that your spouse hears positive and affirming words coming from you about who she is, her abilities, his provision, and your appreciation for him or her. These words may not seem to get through, but they will be remembered by your spouse.
- Love with action. Love is a verb. Do not simply tell your spouse that you love him or her. Show your love. Simple acts of kindness that are specific to your own spouse will show your love in a way that could not be shown to him or her by anyone else.
- Reach out. Be willing to ask for help from family or friends. Whoever it is that is a “safe” place for you, let them know that you are struggling. Meet with them, pray with them, ask them to be a support for you however they can. Community can be life-changing for a marriage. Don’t try to do life without it!
What have you found to most helpful when you or your spouse struggle with personal issues? Do you have a specific prayer request? Please share in the comments or contact me through Facebook so that I can pray for you and your marriage!
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Wendy is a preschool teacher turned homeschool mama when her eldest daughter began to struggle with reading. Taking this homeschool journey was not a part of ‘the plan’ but has been rife with unexpected twists and turns, difficult days, blessings, and celebration. Wendy desires to encourage women in their roles as wives, mothers, and home educators. She says, “If I can homeschool then anyone can!” Be sure to connect with Wendy at WendyWoerner.com as well as through social media channels.