Why Marriages Get Into Trouble — All Marriages!
If you are wanting to know how to save your marriage, you want to start by understanding why marriages get into trouble. And when I say marriages, yes I mean all marriages! It is just that some marriages work through the issues, or resolve them.
So, for just a second, while considering saving a marriage, let me reflect from a distance on the two primary reasons marriages get into trouble, and what ultimately leads to broken marriages. And they are interlinked.
Reason 1: Marriages get into trouble because couples fail to forgive.
Reason 2: Marriages get into trouble because couples fail to grow.
From there, everything else spins out. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not think you should be a door mat, always ready to forgive anything without any change. But how often do we continue to drag the accumulated small stuff around — for years, if not decades? All without forgiveness.
The problem is, when we don’t forgive, we disconnect, just a little bit. We keep parts of ourselves out, withhold emotions, affections, thoughts, etc. We begin to strangle the relationship. Over time, the unforgiveness takes root and becomes resentment. Resentment is the poison of any relationship.
Think of it as carbon monoxide. It slowly keeps the life-giving oxygen from getting to the body. And you don’t even notice, save the headache! And once it is in, it takes time to get it out.
Then, there is the growth/change bit. I truly believe we have only two options: growing or rotting. Ray Kroc said, “you are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.” Stop growing and changing, and you are dying.
In a relationship, even more so. I don’t know how many people I have seen that have stopped growing relationally when they married. They start acting like they have the relationship, so there really is no reason to keep moving forward. Over time, couples get into ruts, stuck in routines, and mostly stuck keeping each other a bit apart.
What if you decided today, without any change on your spouse’s part, to forgive your spouse for all those things that have piled up, and decided to grow? Would that save your marriage?
First, listen to that voice saying “what about my spouse? What do they have to do?” Unfortunately, it is just you and me, so you can only change you. So start with what you CAN change, and don’t focus on what you can’t.
Second, realize that forgiveness is really for YOU! So that YOU do not have to keep dragging that pile of crap around any longer!
Third, look for areas in which you know you need to grow. We all have them. Make it your path to GROW the rest of your life, in your relationship and elsewhere.
Finally, if you are ready for a little growth, take a look at my material on how to save a marriage.