Wednesday, July 8

The Ebb and Flow of Marriage

I haven't seen any episodes of Jon and Kate, but I've seen the headlines about their unhappy home life. Too bad there can't be one reality show that shows the tough times but then goes on to show how to resolve those hurdles.

I agree with Stacy, that a husband and wife need to fight to keep their relationship solid before pouring their efforts into the kids.

Experts say that marriages go through cycles of hot and cool phases. I've seen that to be true in my 38 years of marriage. It doesn't mean I turn tail and run during the cool times, it means I pay MORE attention to bring variety and interest back into the relationship as hard as that may be.

The cool phases can be potentially deadly for a marriage if problems aren't addressed. Bad habits can set in which will rob any relationship of laughter, love and have total disregard for each other. It's a slippery slope to watch for.

John Gottman is a marriage expert and psychology professor who says there are 4 indicators of imminent danger in marriages. He predicts that a marriage has a 94% chance of divorce if these 4 indicators are present and not dealt with:

1. Complaining
2. Defensiveness
3. Contempt
4. Withdrawal

What a great show Jon and Kate could have if they identified these indicators in their marriage and showed how a couple could work through the issues to reach a deeper understanding and love for one another. It can be done, but the common belief is that "it just wasn't meant to be, if it takes that much work."

When we have to work hard for something, we appreciate it more. We see it's value and it becomes precious and worthwhile. Marriages were intended to last a lifetime, despite what Kate might think. It is in the context of marriage that we can become all that God meant us to be...a child of God, wife, mom, friend and so much more. It takes a lifetime to do this.

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