Editor's Note: The following is advice from marriage counselors, Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg, to a person who wanted to remain anonymous. The original article appeared in HomeLife magazine.
"I have read from your books that resolving conflict is one of the hardest things to do in a marriage and a primary reason couples split up. We have a breach in our marriage that we can't get past, and quite honestly, I can't forget."
Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg: Your concern is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions on our radio broadcast and at events. We've found that when there is a breach of the "castle walls" around an unguarded marriage that remains unresolved, it will either lead to frequent blow-ups or fester until it surfaces.
The remedy? It's not easy or quick, but prayerfully consider these coaching tips as you process through the breach.
1. Affirm the relationship over the issue.
When you affirm the relationship over the issue, you make it clear that the relationship is more important than the problem. This approach girds up the boundary around your marriage. Share with your spouse your unconditional love, but also explain that the offense has wounded you.
Explain to your spouse that you need to be listened to, have your emotions validated and need a commitment to work through the conflict. Seek biblical counseling if you need further assistance.
2. Remember to forgive.
Remember that God has forgiven you, and that He desires for us to forgive one another.
Our commitment to forgive is hard. If it were easy, it wouldn't be a virtue. Yet, we're never more like Christ than when we exercise grace and forgive freely.
3. Be realistic about forgetting.
Keep in mind that when we're deeply offended, we don't forget.
Only God forgets. We remember because the offense is real and it led to hurt. When we choose to forgive and resolve the conflict, we don't recall the offense with high-octane emotion. We remember it so we don't repeat it, but it remains a part of our history.
4. Rebuild trust.
As forgiveness is granted and received, we move into the extended process of rebuilding trust.
This process can take up to 18 to 24 months. Restoring your marriage can be done through your commitment to do all you can to move through these stages. It's hard, but don't give up.
Your marriage is worth it! We're cheering you on.
Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg are co-founders of the international ministry America's Family Coaches, respected marriage conference speakers, executive life and marriage coaches, award-winning authors and radio hosts. Together, they have written over a dozen prominent marriage and family resources and DVD series with almost 1 million total copies in print world-wide; including The 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love (Gold Medallion winner under the title Divorce Proof Your Marriage) and The 5 Love Needs of Men and Women, a Gold Medallion finalist. Married since 1975, Gary and Barb have two adult daughters and eight grandchildren.
This article originally appeared at LifeWay.com.
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