Discover 9 Ways to Change Your Marriage For Good

Discover 9 Ways to Change Your Marriage For Good November 21, 2017

One night during dinner when I was 8 years old, my little brother started teasing me. I picked up a handful of spaghetti and flung it across the table at him. My face burned. My eyes stung with tears. I was close to popping him in the nose.

how to improve your marriage Sure it was an irrational move, and it only made the situation worse. But I didn’t care. He’d hurt my feelings, and I wanted to hurt him back.

Sometimes when my husband hurts me, I feel like that 8 year-old at the dinner table. I want to fling spaghetti. I want revenge. It’s a natural reaction to strike back when someone hurts you, whether it’s intentional or not.

When I’m hurt, if I’m not careful, I can create a huge mess.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s ever felt this way. Hurt stings. It damages your ego, makes you feel bad about yourself. And can make you feel like he doesn’t care. Even though “flinging spaghetti” is a natural reaction, hurting back never solves the problem. It usually makes it worse.

Here are strategies I find effective when I’m hit with a hurt:

1. Remind yourself he’s not your enemy.

2. Resist the urge to retaliate. Even if he did intend to hurt your feelings, resist retaliation.

3. Seek to understand. 

4. Mirror back what he said to make sure you understand him. Did he mean to hurt you? 

5. Calm down, and collect your thoughts.

6. Tell him how his words made you feel. Use “I feel” instead of “you should.”

7. Give him a chance to apologize.

8.  Be willing to forgive.

9. Tell God what you’d really like to say to him. Then ask Him to change your heart.

My little brother picked up a handful of spaghetti and flung it right back, leaving us with two angry parents and a big mess to clean up.

I wish I could say I’m always successful in resisting the temptation to “fling spaghetti” at my husband when I’m hurt, but I can’t. Instead of allowing my reflexes to take over, I try to calm down before attempting to address the situation.

I can tell you from experience, flinging spaghetti” usually only creates a bigger mess.

What strategies do you use when dealing with hurt in your marriage?

Need skills to build intimacy?

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Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be. 

She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.

After 33 years of marriage, she’s a  coach  and a speaker whose passion is to equip women to break relationship-stifling habits and do marriage God’s way. And you don’t have to be a doormat to do it.

She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.

In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network.  Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian,, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.

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11 responses to “Discover 9 Ways to Change Your Marriage For Good”

  1. So real life answer…this just happened and I didn’t handle it the best. However, after what I said we both began laughing so hard that we forgot about the mean words he had said. By the way, what I told him after he made a snarky remark was if he didn’t improve his attitude I would squash him like the cockroach he was! He told me I was watching too much “Shark Tank” All in a day I tell you!

  2. Great post with very good strategies. It is so easy to snap right back! How harmful that is! You are so right that before we speak, we need to stop. Wait. Calm down. Pray.
    I did a bible study called Wife School by Julie Gordon a couple years ago. One of the things she said she does when her husband says something mean or hurtful is to say, “honey would you please talk to me like you love me.”

  3. One and two are hard, Teliah. It’s a natural response to see him as your enemy and retaliate. Sometimes when I separate myself from the situation and try to figure out why I’m hurt, I’m better able to address the situation in a rational way. You are wise to start working on this to get ahead of the game.

  4. Great article! Thanks for the great Christ like reminders of the things I need to put into practice! I need grace and more grace! Thank God for his continual grace!