Four Marriage Landmines by AChuckAllen.
Every marriage has some unique landmines that can cripple, or even destroy a once-healthy relationship. And every marriage shares some commonalities that seem so obvious, but are often stepped on and explode with fatal results. If we could only know what they are and where they are buried, we could avoid these marriage-busters. Here are four landmines that we all can avoid. I’ll be back with three more in an upcoming BLOG.
- Don’t just leave. You have to cleave. According to Genesis, the bond between husband and wife is to be stronger than the bond between parent and child: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” It doesn’t say a “child” or an “adolescent” leaves Mom and Dad. It implies an “adult.” You can best honor your parents when you honor your spouse best! There is a simple way to leave the comfort and love for your mom or dad. When you leave, don’t just leave physically, leave emotionally and honestly. Don’t let parents become a lightning bolt that splits your affections away from your priorities. God #1, Spouse #2, Children #3, and then family. When we confuse that order, our spouse is always set aside as if they are in timeout and not quite good enough to meet the expectations of your family. Yikes!
- Technology is not a healthy way to communicate. Jenny and I text a lot. Maybe too much. When things are great, text messages are assumed with face value. That is, that we don’t assume what might be lurking on the white spaces between the lines. But getting into an argumentative text string can only exacerbate an already stress filled season. Technology is also a common tool that keeps us from communicating the most basic kindness and decency. Set the devices down and commit to significant time without them – daily. When you are in the presence of your spouse and kids, be fully present, not responding to every text, email or notification. Nothing says “you’re number 4 like responding to a text when you are with your most cherished relationships.”
- Extending your intimate conversations to friends. Most of us have bff’s. They do not need to hear your cherished moments that you have shared with your spouse. They do not need to know about your sex life, your private conversations, or your frustrations. Keep and cherish your intimate moments of joy, challenge and conversation. It’s a healthy relationship when you look across a room and be the only person in the room that knows what your spouse is thinking. Let your closest, dearest friend and accountability partner be your spouse.
- Tolerating and stuffing your concerns, hurts and needs in an attempt to avoid confrontation. Unspoken confrontation will lead to bitterness, anger and resentment. Try to set aside your emotions in an effort to make things right, without trying to prove you are right. Don’t spend your days fixing blame, fix the problems – together. This is new to me. I’ve been a stuffer outside of my professional life and harbored resentment at times. In my case, that always leads to a scoreboard relationship that leaves everyone on the losing side. Speak in love and speak truth, without trying to even up the scoreboard!
I trust that you will be able to spot these landmines in your marriage and family. When you can navigate around these hidden danger zones, your marriage will take a quantum leap in joy, trust and intimacy. Peace, AChuck