Christian Living


Marriage 911

Are You Prepared for the Next Storm to Hit Your Marriage?

Are you prepared for the next storm that may already be brewing between you and your mate? Do you have any idea what it might be and how it might present itself? Most important, are you ready for it?

Many would say we should focus only on the problems of today. After all, didn’t Jesus even say that today has enough problems of its own and we need not worry about tomorrow?

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

Notice, however, that I’m not promoting worrying about tomorrow, but being prepared for tomorrow. There is a big difference.

Solomon shares these words: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores it provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)

While this verse is, of course, applying to physical provision, we can infer that we should make emotional and spiritual provisions for the future as well. Can you imagine making relationship provisions for the struggles likely to come in your marriage?  

This is a foreign concept for most. The vast majority of couples coming to The Marriage Recovery Center have the following story:

“We have our ups and downs. When things are good, they’re good. When they’re bad, they’re bad. We never know when things are going to be good or if and when they’re going to be bad.”

A close inspection of this quote by a woman who came to the MRC recently reveals her feelings of powerlessness when it comes to positively impacting her marriage. The storms come and the storms go, and in between she simply weathers them. I suspect her husband feels much the same way. Note their passivity. Notice that they seem to see themselves at the mercy of the storms, with no mention as to what they might do to weather them more effectively, or better yet, prevent them.

Let’s consider some strategies for predicting problems and steps you might take to prevent problems.
First, anticipate problems.

Scripture tells us we will have problems in this life and we should be prepared for them. We all know they are coming and to the degree that we anticipate them, we can be more prepared.

Second, anticipate what kind of problems you might have.

Many times the problems we face come in predictable patterns. We make the same mistakes again and again. Therefore, ‘if it’s predictable, it’s preventable.’ Knowing the kinds of ‘mistakes’ we make can point us in the direction of the changes we need to make.

Third, honestly assess the situation.

A problem understood is half the problem solved. Be brave enough to look critically at your problems and the solutions you need to make. Take full responsibility for your part in the problems.

Fourth, make necessary corrections.

Making a mistake once is understandable. Twice can even be considered normal. However, if we keep making the same mistakes, we can hardly continue to call them ‘mistakes.’ This is negligence in our part to fully own a problem and make repairs. Therefore, note the patterns in your marriage and make necessary changes to correct the problems.

Finally, practice the solutions.

It takes a while to learn new ways of interacting. Be intentional about understanding the problems that come your way, your part in them and establish a clear and definitive solution. Perfect practice makes perfect. You and your mate, working together, can change destructive patterns into healthy, life-giving ones.

Are you experiencing the adversity that comes from fighting?  Do you long for caring connection? We are here to help. Please go to our website, www.marriagerecoverycenter.com and discover more information about this as well as the free downloadable eBook, A Love Life of Your Dreams, including other free videos and articles.  Please send responses to me at drdavid@marriagerecoverycenter.com and also read more about The Marriage Recovery Center on our website. You’ll find videos and podcasts on sexual addiction, emotionally destructive marriages, codependency and affair-proofing your marriage. 

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