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You cannot be thankful and be bitter at the same time in your marriage

One of the most common complaints and love killers in marriage is criticism and complaints. I had realised that the time I have been critical of my husband was when I failed to appreciate what he is doing or what I have asked him to do. I felt let down due to my expectations which sometimes can be overinflated. I soon realise that criticism and negative attitudes only breed more negativity. I decided to start living a positive life and appreciate my husband for who he is. I am not saying it is an easy task to appreciate or fail to notice when someone has not met our expectation; however, to live in peace in a marriage, we must learn to create that positive atmosphere. You and I have the ability and power to choose positivity, turn situations around for good and count it all joy when faced with a difficult situation. The moment I started to look at what I have and not what is missing, my life literally turned around; all the bitterness, anger, and negative stronghold melted away. Oh! The devil is so deceptive because he knows we have the power to dismantle those illusions; the devil plays on our mind, and he gains a foothold when we take offence or become angry.

Suggested Read: Selflessness: learn to replace I with We in your marriage, your I -llness will become WE -llness

One of the most common complaints and love killers in marriage is criticism and complaints.

One of the fastest ways to recover from a bad situation is to give thanks for what is available and what is at hand. If everyone decides to bring out the challenges they face in their lives and put them on the table for an exchange, most people will quickly pick up their cross and give thanks that they have it lighter. Do not be deceived; every marriage has one or two areas of the challenge they are dealing with; the ability to cope and find joy in those circumstances separates a successful marriage from a failed marriage. I once heard a story of a man who complained he has no shoe to wear and found someone who has shoes but no legs to put them on. He quickly gave thanks and would not exchange the shoes for those legs when the other man told him he could have his shoes in exchange for his legs.

Stop negative thinking and pattern by appreciating and becoming grateful for your spouse.

Stop negative thinking and pattern by appreciating and becoming grateful for your spouse. You cannot be thankful and bitter simultaneously, so if you are not happy in your marriage, focus on your level of appreciation and not your spouse. It is straightforward to blame our unhappiness on someone else, yet we have the power to control how we respond to others.

Will you start to appreciate your spouse today? I remember my daughter was heartbroken about a few things she wanted from us as parents last Christmas. I told her what she was fretting about was missing and just a fraction of the pie. I then gave her an exercise to do, which would help her appreciate what she has. I told her to write down all the things she has and write down those things she is missing. She was amazed at the long list of good things she has compared to the minimal list of items she desired. She confessed that she felt better looking at the list of those things she has, and she never thought about them; it felt they were expected and never gave thanks for those. It made her feel so much lighter, better and grateful. Do you know what? The tiny list, exaggerated in her mind, shrunk when she wrote them down on a paper. 

The tiny list, exaggerated in her mind, shrunk when she wrote them down on a paper

During the last Christmas, she received as a gift some of those things she desired. The last time I spoke to her, she said mummy, “I don’t think I need anything again”. How quickly contentment and positive attitudes sets.

If you are so bitter and angry with your spouse, would you do this simple exercise and write down all the things you may feel do not need appreciation because it is normal. It is not normal; in some marriages, the woman is an excellent cook but lacks the skills to make the house neat. Yet, in another household, the wife is immaculate but lacking in skills for making good food. Both husbands have a wife lacking in one area, but when asked to exchange their wives, the one with a good cook was ok; I will rather have good food in my stomach and clean the house as best as I can. It is, therefore, crucial that you write down the qualities in your wife or husband that you may feel typical and expected; no, it may be the same quality someone else is looking for in their spouse. We cannot have it all because we are not perfect. 

You can also read: Principles of Marriage:  FORGIVENESS (Part 1)

Happy couples are those who give allowance and make up for each other’s shortcomings.

Happy couples are those who give allowance and make up for each other’s shortcomings. That is why the bible says two are better than one; when one fall, the other will lift him. How are you helping your spouse in their areas of weakness?  Are you helping them to grow or allowing them to sink?

Choose to be grateful and see all your bitterness and anger melt away.

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.

Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.


My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here

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