Friday, July 6, 2012
What to Do When Your Marriage is Under Attack
The problems begin the moment two people utter the words, "I do." It's as if a neon bullseye is painted on the backs of both parties, and the little sins of "self" begin to creep into the union.
Over time, those things we once overlooked because our overwhelming love for our spouse, have now become the elephant in the room.
My needs aren't getting met.
I thought she respected me more than that.
He never helps me around the house.
She won't quit nagging.
He's too controlling.
I'm no longer attracted to him/her because he/she has ___________.
She's never interested in sex.
He is so preoccupied with __________.
So what are we to do when our marriage comes under attack? I'm no expert, dear one, but the following five suggestions are ones Rick and I have used, and we've been married twenty-four years on Monday! God love him for sticking with me. :)
1. Pray and read your Bible - Without a relationship with God (not just talking about knowing who God is, but really knowing Him intimately) your chances at marital survival is severely limited. God instituted marriage. It was His plan from the beginning, so why not turn to the One who created it in the first place!
2. Take your eyes off yourself - Your spouse is only human and he/she is going to fail you. (Just a side note...you are no rose yourself at times.) When you begin finding ways to serve your mate and stop focusing so much time on your unmet needs, things will run a lot smoother. Give it a try. Here are some suggestions: fix his favorite meal, surprise her with a bouquet of flowers or something she's been wanting, gas up his car or leave her an "I love you" note on the bathroom mirror. Little things go a long way. Believe me!
3. Stop the blame game - Grow up and be the bigger person. If your spouse blames you for something, if it's true own up to it and apologize. If not, kindly ask for forgiveness then look for ways to please your spouse. Blame will often come when there is a deeper hurt or need. What you are being blamed for may not even be the issue. Someone once told me that only wounded animals bite. I believe that holds true for marriages as well.
4. Always protect your spouse - I am so tired of hearing husbands and wives trash talk their partner. Listen carefully...it does not matter what he or she is saying about you. Your job is to protect your partner and always have his or her back. Trashing your spouse will not gain you brownie points, and it is definitely not pleasing to God. Always find the good and be his or her biggest fan. There's a little saying we learned as children, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Why not try living by it.
5. Never give up - We have somehow become a society of quitters. I remember when a family member told me one time that I was a quitter. It hurt deeply, but from then on, I was determined to see things through. Do not give up no matter how hard it gets. You made a lifetime commitment before God and man. Your marriage is sacred and should not be taken lightly. Stand up and fight for your marriage and resolve in your heart to work at it for as long as it takes. Someday you will thank me. :)
So, I probably sounded harsh. I don't mean to be, though I do. It's time we get down in the trenches and quit wearing our feelings on our sleeves. Our marriages are under attack and I, for one, am willing to fight to the finish. Who's with me?!