A week ago, I celebrated being married for eleven years. To the same man.
Depending on my audience, I get varied responses to that piece of information. Most people offer congratulations, some ask for advice, a few are shocked that anyone would choose to stay married to someone for that length of time. A couple have asked, “what’s the trick?“
I have not found any books boasting “3-steps-to-a-perfect-marriage”, and because every couple is unique, there will always be solutions as different as the individuals. There are, however, a few fundamentals that are necessary to keep the flames burning when we are faced with the realities of life. It is not easy work; it is not for the timid, or lazy, or half-hearted. In fact, what typically kills our marriages, is us.
The following words first appeared on RELEVANT Magazine.
In today’s world, so many fingers point to “the number one marriage killer.” Some are quick to attack technology while others blame children or infertility as the cause. Experts cite pornography, work stress and financial problems as the top reasons why so many couples choose divorce.
But, in reality, marriages aren’t failing because of any of those reasons. The number one marriage killer is us. Here are four ways we may be destroying our marriages:
We Embrace the Bare Minimum
We watch the movie instead of reading the book. We agree to a single session with the counselor and select the one-day seminar, hoping the easy way will revitalize our marriages. But a week later when we are back in the grind, we demand the money-back guarantee because the change didn’t happen overnight.
We don’t want to commit to a year of therapy, regular date nights or reading all 31 chapters of the book. We expect our spouse to change, to do the hard work, to make the sacrifice. We desire a thriving marriage without the work. Sadly, we prefer the life of ease over effort.
We Are Impatient
We require everything microwaved, instant and delivered overnight. If there was an Amazon NOW for relationships, we would download it, because we don’t want to wait for anything.
We dream that our spouse will drop 20 pounds, become a gourmet chef, find a better job, make more money, anticipate our every need, and read our mind in the bedroom—yesterday. If there are hurts in the relationship, we demand immediate change instead of embracing the process. But all of our expectations actually sabotage any sincere effort because they are both ridiculous and unattainable. Instead of slow and steady we expect fast and flawless.
To continue reading, head over to RELEVANT for the full article.