Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page
Many couples getting married these days will sooner or later move from wedlock to deadlock, from contentment to conflict, and from being a duet to becoming a duel.
So in order to prevent this, here are 3 ways to prevent wedlock from turning into deadlock:
1. Communicate Your Expectations.
We all enter marriage with preconceived expectations. Couples will never have harmony in marriage until expectations are brought out into the open. Expectations should be discussed, examined, challenged, modified and agreed upon. The bottom-line: our expectations must be communicated to one another.
A husband was talking to his pastor about expectations and the possibility of divorce. “I want to remind you that you took her for better or worse,” said the pastor. “Yeah, but she turned out much worse than I took her for,” said the husband. The wife chimed in, “Yeah and I didn’t realize my husband was so temperamental – 90% temper and 10% mental.”
Few issues lead to the deadlock of a marriage more certainly than unfulfilled expectations. One of the complaints heard most frequently by marriage counselors is, “my needs are not being met.” This often-heard lament is typically translated “what I expected has not come to pass.”
2. Integrate Your Aspirations.
Integrate your aspirations, dreams, goals and plans. Too many couples live in two different worlds. If you want to keep your wedlock from becoming deadlock, you need to synchronize your lives together. Creating goals as a couple is one of the most powerful and connecting things you can do. Have fun with it and see where it takes you - there is nothing better than sharing your success with someone you love. Having common goals brings unity, purpose, progress, growth, and stability.
My wife and I plan a special trip each year. This year we went to Hawaii and next year we’re going to Italy for our anniversary. It’s fun to agree on a destination. It gives you something to look forward to and untimely leads to creating a happy memory together.
3. Negotiate Your Irritations.
Negotiate your irritations, confrontations and differences. It’s been said, “Opposites attract and then opposites attack.” Conflict is inevitable but combat isn’t. What’s sad is that many couples stay busy just to avoid each other because they’re afraid of conflict. Conflict isn’t necessarily bad. A marriage that goes the distance results from a couple's ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship. Many couples tend to equate a low level of conflict with happiness and believe the claim “we never fight” is a sign of marital health. The reality is that we grow in our relationships by reconciling our differences. Conflict resolution requires humble confessing and honest forgiveness. That's how we become more loving people and truly experience all that marriage has to offer.
Questions to Consider
Do you and your spouse compete with each other or compliment one another? Are you moving in the same direction with each other or drifting? Are you both on the same team? Are you growing together or growing apart? Are you closer today or further away then you were a year ago? Do you share more in common or less in common today?
Happiness in marriage is related to how we deal with our expectations, aspirations, and irritations. To develop unity in marriage we must learn to give and take.