Marriage problems plague, at least to some degree, all wedded couples. No person or couple on this planet is perfect, although a select few may seem so. Only behind closed doors or in the midst of a trying time will the true nature of any relationship be revealed. While the healthiest thing for a handful of couples may truly be separation, this is not the case for most of us. Rather than calling it quits, it’d be much wiser to instead search out the root cause(s) behind our marriage problems and do whatever is necessary to save the relationship. I’ve compiled a list of three of the most damaging behaviors and conditions that slowly squeeze between our loved ones and us. Even if you’re in a healthy relationship or no relationship at all, hopefully this information will prove useful and motivate you to love selflessly just as Jesus Christ did when he died for us all. Remember, his love is the ultimate model and our relationships should glorify him.
The Three Biggest Relationship Issues at Hand
Without a doubt in my mind, the behavior that destroys more relationships than any other is self-centeredness. The intentions behind our involvement with a person are as important as the relationship itself. We should regularly ask ourselves why we are or want to be in a relationship to keep a close check on our hearts. It is not unusual to hear the proclamation, “I think I’m in love. He/she makes me so happy!” But how do we feel when that same person hurts us? Do we suddenly fall out of love because we’re momentarily unhappy? Love shouldn’t depend on our own happiness, but on our hopes and efforts for theirs. We shouldn’t seek fulfillment or acceptance through a relationship, because that comes from God alone. Through these relationships we should receive glimpses of God’s love for us. Now, don’t get me wrong, if any person is taking advantage of us, abusing our love, and refusing to reciprocate it then we have a marriage problem and are in an unhealthy relationship. The man or woman we select to be our spouse should bring more joy to our lives than any other person, just as we will bring more joy to theirs than any other. To be selected as that special, joy-bringing person is one of the most beautiful privileges in life. True love triumphs through our sacrifices, not our selfishness.
Lack of commitment is another all-too-common marriage problem that can sneak in and separate a couple. We could even call this relationship complacency. This often results from self-centeredness, laziness, and/or an undervaluation of the relationship. Remember the saying, “The best things in life aren’t things?” Do we honestly believe this or do we just quote it on Facebook? If any thing(s) is/are more important to us than our partner, than we’re not as committed as much to the relationship as we could be. Unfaithfulness comes in more forms than sex. Understand that relationship refinement isn’t effortless, and requires continuous work. Our relationship should mean something to us, and we must be willing to sacrifice our time, energy, and money daily to improve it! There are a lot of relationship quitters today, let’s try not to be one of them!
Always speak up, because closed communication can distance us from our partner in a heartbeat. One of the greatest relationship benefits is the opportunity to be who we really are. Because of this we can share our thoughts, ideas, values, and emotions – allowing our other half into our hearts. We should always be able to comfortably express what is on our minds to each other. If there are any potential marital issues, being open with one another will help to quickly identify and repair them before they become a threat. We shouldn’t hint that something bothers us, but must instead be direct with our mate - never assuming he/she knows what’s going on. We need to verbally address it – remember our issues are their issues and vice versa. Openness must be equally important to both individuals or the relationship will become very one-sided. Open communication discourages bottling things up and eases the forgiving process, but we must remember to listen! By listening, we’re letting our beloved know that we care and their voice matters just as much as ours! We mustn’t interrupt them, but always allow them to finish their thought because this is respectful and further affirms their value to us. Over time we will be able to listen not only to their voice, but also to their body language, gestures, and behavior. If something seems wrong, we’ll be able to address it. In doing so, we’ll begin eliminating suspicions, preventing and resolving conflicts, and coming into a genuine understanding and appreciation for one other.
Out of all of the potential marriage problems people face, I believe I have covered the three core issues at work. If you’re in an unhealthy partnership then I would first suggest being honest with yourself and acknowledging it. Nothing will change by ignoring it or being complacent. Next, you must humble yourself, open up, and talk with each other to identify the issue(s). Talking isn’t enough however; the two of you must be willing to take action. Ask yourselves, “How badly do we want this to work?” Working on bettering your most-prized relationship should be of utmost importance day-in and day-out – not only when you feel like it. Love isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. If your marriage problems are so severe that your relationship is in jeopardy and the two of you are considering divorce, then please first seek counseling and get an expert’s opinion and insight. I wish you all the best in your relationships and want to personally thank each of you for taking the time to read my first article!