The seeds for the destruction of our marriages were sown long before we got
married and even before we met. We have internalised many unhealthy ways of
dealing with conflict, managing emotions, decision making, coping with
stress/pain etc and we don’t even realise it. We think and feel like our way is
the right way. We have internalised beliefs about men & women and husbands
& wives that are destructive to creating oneness and intimacy in
Early in our marriages we need to establish: the right ways of continually “saying I love you” to our spouses; healthy ways of dealing with and communicating during disagreements and conflict; healthy ways of giving support in times of disappointment, tiredness, grief and illness; healthy ways to interact with relatives and friends; healthy ways to apologize and forgive each other; healthy ways of meeting each other sexual needs; and healthy ways to discuss seemingly difficult topics like pornography addiction, parenting styles, money, and anything that may be negatively affecting our marriages. These patterns of behaviour become habits…habits of interaction and these habits determine the health of our marriages and the level of fulfilment that we experience in our marriages.
In the beginning we have to Work, Stop and Think and Pray to establish healthy ways of interaction. We can’t just do “what we know”, we have to choose to do what is loving and kind, i.e die to self. (We may need to find out what is the loving and kind thing because we may not know.) But this work gets easier as our behaviours become habits.
The problem arises when we don’t establish healthy ways of interacting and the unhealthy become our habits. These unhealthy habits of interaction suck the goodwill, and feelings of being loved and respected out of our marriages. They make us want to give up, become vulnerable to an affair and even consider divorce. BUT all is not lost!
The thing with marriage is that we have behaved our way into our problems
and we need to behave our way out of them. We can change our behaviour even if
we have been doing something for years!
Unfortunately, some of us don’t know, that we don’t know, what is “healthy” behaviour re marriage and/or we lack self-awareness and as a result we cannot see and understand the implications of our behaviours. Change is possible. It starts with you. Blessings!