You know you would like to have a marriage you have always dreamed of having but somewhere along the way the challenges of life has got into your marriage. And now you find yourself not knowing how to improve your difficult marriage.
On our previous post, Why Do You Settle For a Difficult Marriage, I gave a challenge for anyone who felt stuck with no intention of doing anything about the condition of their marriage. I talked about how marriage was designed by God to be place of “One Flesh” unity and that God esteems marriage in such high regard that He even chose marriage to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the church.
And as I mentioned in my challenge, “if marriage has been given the responsibility from God to represent what Christ relationship with us the Church should look like, shouldn’t we hold marriage to the same standard of honor and glory that God has already placed on it.”
But maybe you’re someone from my last post who answered Read more
Everyday marriages all over the world are being destroyed by a single killer. This killer morphs in many forms and works in various ways, but make no mistake the threat of this thing is very real and very dangerous. If this killer is not able to destroy a marriage it will at the very least render a marriage powerless to reach the full potential it was designed to be.
I’m angry about what this killer has done to hurt so many marriages and I’m passionate about being part of an army who aims to defeat this enemy of marriages.
Now when I tell you the name of this marriage destroyer, I hope you don’t overlook the danger behind its simplistic name. And I hope you’re not offended by what I’m saying here. I hope you understand I’m trying to help us all. I’m not trying to point the finger at anybody and I’m not trying to put people down. This thing nearly destroyed my own marriage and in some ways I know it can still threaten us today.
“I love you, but I’m not “IN LOVE” with you.”
You want your spouse to know you really do care for him/her. The two of you have shared so much together, so naturally, you still love them as a person. You’re not cold-hearted and you don’t like hurting your spouse, but there has been a serious shift in the way you feel. You love him/her, but it’s not the same love you felt before.
Back before when the two of you started out and you were so in love you couldn’t get enough of each other. You felt so much passion you wanted to be together all the time. There was no way you could have ever imagined you would one day lose that feeling, but you did.
The desperation I felt to save our marriage was tremendous. I had waited so long for signs of hope and yet so many times it seemed my hopes were dashed. I had no problem accepting the fact that I had hurt our marriage. So all I could think of was trying to find some way to fix the problems I helped create.
After a good while into our last separation, my wife finally decided to go see a counselor. There were a lot of issues she had been dealing with from her childhood and she finally reached a point where she said enough is enough. She wanted the stuff that had tormented her all of her life to be gone once and for all.
Every marriage should have a good balance of partnership and friendship. It is difficult and there are many couples who fail at it everyday, but it is possible.
Marriage is the only relationship where we should have both partnership and friendship. Ordinarily in any other relationship it is considered unwise to mix the two. A business partnership that starts from friendship will usually hurt the friendship and a partnership that develops into friendship can hurt the partnership. Unless everyone understands the difference and they are able to balance the two properly.
On our last post How Are You Two Related, I started talking about how in every marriage we have different and unique ways of connecting with our spouse. And that the important thing was to find your connection points and work from your place of strength as you work to improve other ways to connect with each other.
On this post I want to start taking a look at how we relate to our spouse in three major categories; friendship, partnership, and lovers. As far as I can tell, any connection we have with our spouse will always fit into one or more of these areas. But the challenge we face is understanding how to move in and out of each area and how to find good balance of all three ways of connection.
“The past should be left in the past.” I’m sure many of us have heard this at some point in our marriage. And, I’m sure many of us have said this ourselves at some point.
But the question is: is it ever possible to talk about the past and the hurts from our past? And if it is, when is it okay to talk about it and when is it not okay and how do you know the difference?
For many years I struggled with loving my wife. I could always say it and most of the time I felt it, but the challenge for me was knowing how to show it in a consistent way that made sense. Even when I thought I was showing love in one way, my other actions would contradict me and cause Janet to question if I really loved her or not.
One of the problems I had with loving my wife and my children was the way I would lose my patience with them. They just never knew when my patience would run out and I would turn on them in some sort of harsh demanding way. I didn’t want to treat them badly and I had no excuse for it. So I just blamed it on my lack of patience.
How does it feel when you want your spouse to understand you? To understand the reason behind the way you think or feel. They may not agree with you. Their opinion may be different from yours. But you want them to at least understand your perspective. You want them to understand why you see things the way you do. What you want is for them to have empathy.
In Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott’s book, “I love you more,” they said, “Research has shown that 90 percent of our struggles in marriage would be resolved if we did nothing more than see that problem from our partner’s perspective. Empathy is the heart of love.”
They went on to say that, “When we empathize with our partner, we will never look at him or her the same way again. That’s the magic of empathy. It brings more understanding. And understanding brings patience. And patience brings grace……..grace primes the pump for the unnatural act of forgiveness.” Read more