How to get over the "bumps" in your marriage

How do you get those "bugs" out of your relationship that can threaten to destroy it? Advice from marriage coach Marie McKinney-Oates:

So, my dad and I were discussing all of this cold weather we’ve had lately. He said, “The cold is just God’s way of killing the bugs. Every couple of years you just gotta start over.”

Bug population control can also be applied to our marriages. A marriage can only stand so much anger, resentment, and bitterness before it, well, breaks. We have to watch the marriage ecosystem and every once in a while we need to be proactive about making sure the negative stuff stays at a manageable level. Thankfully, we have a couple of choices:

  • Ignore it. Sweep the bad juju under the rug. Just let the anger and hurt feelings grow and fester until you two feel as close as the East is from the West.
  • Get divorced. Blow the whole thing up. Some bad things have happened? Y’all are in a rough patch? You’re pissed and someone needs to pay? Screw it, and go play on a different planet.
  • Forgive. Choose to forgive your spouse.

You do know which one I’m voting for, right?

Forgiveness is the cold weather that can kill the anger and resentment that naturally piles up in a marriage.

I know some of you are balking. Forgiveness isn’t easy. You’re right! It isn’t easy. But think about it, by not being forgiving in your marriage all you’re really doing is holding on to your anger. And who wants to spend their marriage or their life doing that?


  1. In order to renew we need to forgive. The ability to forgive is essential to the success of any marriage. 
  2. First forgiveness requires knowing why you're angry/upset/hurt. 
  3. Secondly it means looking at your spouse and saying, "I know you're not perfect and that you're capable of hurting me, and I still love you."
  4. Forgiveness is vulnerablity at its finest.

These are some of the words you can use when talking to your partner to get to that point of forgiveness:

"I was most hurt when..."

"Other similar hurts are..."

"I dealt with that hurt by..."

"Because of your actions I feel..."

"Forgiveness means letting go of..."

By Marie McKinney-Oates from the Nashville Marriage Studio.

If you’ve enjoyed these lists check out her new book, This S*** is Hard: Survive happily ever after without killing each other. It’s a marriage book written in the voice of your best girlfriend if your best girlfriend spent way too much money learning about marriage and family therapy.




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