What attitude is key in a marriage?
One of the keys to successful relationships is an attitude of respect and reverence for each other. Each partner clearly values and admires the other person. How do you act when you value something or someone? Think about how you treat your most valued possessions. Suppose, for example, you have just purchased a new computer. Because you value your new computer you learn all you can about it; you learn what makes it tick. You admire and marvel over all it can do. You enjoy spending time with it and you take care of it. You handle it very gently if you have to move it.
Similarly, we need to learn to treat our partners in a way that truly values and respects them. We need to learn what makes them tick as individuals and to admire and value their uniqueness. We need to devote time to the person we value. And we need to be gentle and loving. A person's spirit is more easily damaged than a computer.
Women are apt to feel more intensely than men. They tend to take things more personally than men do. Incidents may seem blown out of proportion to men but the intense pain is very real to women. Men need to realize this fact. Even when you don’t intend to hurt your partner, the pain still hurts as much. When either partner is hurt the other one needs to recognize and acknowledge that you have hurt him or her.
Go to your partner and say, "I'm very sorry that I hurt you. Let’s talk about this.” Be a bit persistent about this but at the same time tender. When your partner begins to talk, listen carefully and don't become defensive. (You can defend yourself later if necessary, once things are going better.)
If your partner still won't talk about it and the tension continues between you, think of other ways to let him or her know you understand how hurt he or she is and to show you do value him or her. You might write a letter telling your partner you understand how painful this has been. You could also send cards or flowers or call frequently.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians NKJV