Stop Your Divorce & Save Your Marriage Part 7: How to Save Your Marriage
THE CASE FOR MARRIAGE
For the past several weeks, we’ve discussed some of the myths and assumptions that surround divorce.
One of the reasons is to raise awareness that divorce might not be the best (or even a very good) pathway out of an unhappy marriage.
There are definite advantages to staying married as we have seen.
There is no perfect marriage. And the perfect environment for a marriage to grow and thrive probably doesn’t exist either.
There will always be challenges, obstacles and disappointments that threaten to destabilize your marriage.
Divorce isn’t the answer to marital strife because it’s more of an escape hatch than a solution.
So in the next few posts beginning with this one, I’ll offer some marriage saving tips so you can be equipped to take charge of your marital situation and turn things around.
MEN & WOMEN, THOUGH EQUAL, ARE DIFFERENT
Men and women are different. This isn’t a shocking revelation.
Men and women have different viewpoints on feelings and emotions, on what it means to really talk and communicate, they see sex differently, have different thoughts on finances and money, and on work and careers, why? Because of many things.
Men and women think differently because of how they are wired – this is a given.
But there’s more to it than that.
Consider how boys and girls are raised and socialized – including how they are shaped by their parents’ perceptions and expectations.
A boy and a girl, because of their genders, have different life experiences from the day that they are born.
They bring this “world view”, if you want to call it that, into their marriage, along with any baggage or misguided beliefs.
All of this shapes who they are, what they believe, and what they expect to give/be to their spouse, and what they expect their spouse to give/be to them.
HOW MEN AND WOMEN APPROACH MARRIAGE
In the book, “For Better or For Worse”, authors Heatherington and Kelly discuss the different ways that men and women choose a partner:
“Women approach love as informed consumers…they
kick the tires, look under the hood, run the motor,
check the mileage. Women love love, but being
practical-minded, not enough to ignore potential
defects. Good looks and romantic love matter to a
woman, but in considering potential suitors, a woman
also looks at the practical, such as a suitor’s economic
prospects, emotional stability, trustworthiness, and
what kind of father he will be…Despite a reputation for
practicality, males come off as hopeless romantics.
They are much more prone to fall head-over-heels in
love…and also more prone to idealize the object of their
affection. If the bodywork is good and the grille pretty,
often a man will buy on the spot, no questions asked.”
Okay – makes sense, especially if you’re married. BUT, here’s the wonderful revelation:
Just because a man and a woman are different (gender differences) does not mean that their differences are a threat to marriage or irreconcilable.
CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION
Our differences shouldn’t be a chronic source for ongoing conflict but a cause for celebration!
When you stop to think about it, it makes sense that men and women are different. And a beautiful, new world is created when these “differences” join together in holy matrimony.
We like variety – in fact it’s one of our human needs.
What could add more variety and surprise and wonder to life than a man and a woman deciding to do life together?
Wow. What an experience. An adventure to be appreciated.
NOT YOUR CLONE
The last thing that you would ever want is for your husband or wife to be a clone of yourself.
In a loving marriage, uniqueness and individuality are healthy beliefs and ideals.
Why not take a minute today to list two or three ways that your spouse is different from you, and why you wouldn’t have it any other way. And I think you will begin to see just how close you really are from being mad at your spouse to being mad about marriage once again.