There are times in every marriage, no matter how healthy and Christ-centered it is, when it may seem like your spouse doesn't care about you or improving your marriage.
Building a marriage together is not the same as fixing a car where a living person is working on an inanimate object. It requires 2 people who are pursuing each other.
So what do you do when you are married to someone who doesn't want the same thing out of a marriage as you do? In times like these, Gary Thomas advises keeping an optimistic spirit and focusing on the spiritual benefits of the situation.
1) We have to Recognize the Spiritual Benefits
of being in this Situation.
"But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil." - Luke 6:32-35
We are commanded not only to love those who love us in return, but to love those that might be undeserving of our love. Jesus is pointing us to a love where we can love someone who is ungrateful and someone who doesn't love us. There is a real spiritual benefit for us when we do so. Giving to get is the world's way of loving, not Christ's.
2) Get the Needs Met Secondarily
Getting together with other couples who would talk about the deeper things or do things that you want to do with some same gendered friends will help.
Your spouse is not a church where all your needs are met by him or her.
3) Choose to Dwell on the Positive
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." - Phil 4:8
Do not define your spouse by how they have disappointed you or what flaws they have. Instead, consciously define your spouse by how they delight us, recognizing there aren't any pure and completely satisfying spouse out there.
Here's the reality: if you never let go of your frustration over something that is not going perfectly in your marriage, it is a recipe for bitterness and estrangement.
You may not have the marriage that you've always dreamed of, but you can have a better marriage if you take these 3 pointers and seek God's best in that situation.