How’s Your Gratitude?

Men, are you grateful for your wife? Ladies, are you grateful for your husband? Or are you focused on what they’re doing that you don’t like, what they should be doing but aren’t, and how you haven’t gotten what you wanted lately? Maybe it’s time to flip the script and choose gratitude and service rather than resentment and bitterness.

You can be right (pride) or you can be happy (humility). The funny thing is that it is impossible to be both angry and grateful at the same time. Think about it.The lie we buy is that it’s “easier” to get a divorce. To some extent that’s true. It’s “easier” to divorce than it is to stick it out and do the hard work. But that’s only if you fail to count the cost, the incredible devastation that comes from a failed marriage – emotionally, spiritually, and financially, among many others.

If you have children, please don’t kid yourself. Yes, kids are resilient. Yes, they “bounce back”. But why should they have to? They may end up being “okay” but they will never be the same. They will never have what they could have if they grew up in a loving home with both of their parents. Just look at the facts (uh-oh, I said the f word!). Kids from broken homes are at significantly higher risk of depression, anxiety, suicide, drug use, criminal behaviors, and premarital sex (and babies and STDs). As their parents, you might have said that you would do anything for your children.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to protect them from those terrible outcomes? If yes, doesn’t that include fighting to save your marriage? Anybody can quit. Not everybody chooses to fight. Like I said above, if you are in an abusive marriage, get help. Get out. Get safe. If your spouse is willing to get help and to take responsibility for his/her actions so that you (and your kids) are safe, then separate until that happens, get into therapy together and work through it. If they aren’t willing to get help, protect yourself!

I have seen couples come back from the brink of divorce where both of them have attorneys, have filed and have a court date. Through hard work and putting down anger, they worked through their issues and canceled the court date, choosing instead to fight the good fight together and stay married. I’ve also seen couples who could have redeemed their relationship fail to do so because one of them was so filled with resentment that they refused to let it go. You’ve met people like this, people so embittered that they can’t even consider saying something positive about the parent of their child(ren) who they used to love and wanted to build a life with. How sad is that?

So, how’s your gratitude doing today? Are you bitter and resentful? If yes, how’s that working for you? Consider trying this – think about the person you’re angry with and identify one thing about them that you admire or are grateful for. Focus on that. If you do, pay attention to what happens to your heart.