When Marriage isn’t working
by Finding You is finding me…
Marriage is like a car…if you don’t maintain it starts to deteriorate over time and break down.
When you are married all of us approach marriage with a box full of desires and dreams. Some of our God given dreams and desires are legitimate. Many of the things you dream about shouldn’t be ignored and decided that they are bad. Examples of God given desires could be that you want to be respected as a man, to be cherished as a woman, the desire for companionship, to feel accepted, the desire for love and intimacy, the desire to be understood and appreciated, the desire to be listened to and taken care of.
These desires are legitimate but the minute you take any given desire whether good or bad and place it on your spouse it becomes an expectation. When this happens something happens to the love…you can’t express it or recognise it anymore because now you are simply trying to raise your performance to the level set by your spouse.
We get married with a vision of what we expect of each other… it’s a box full of desires. All these desires have one thing in common….it’s all about you and your desires as soon as it becomes expectations. This is when the dynamic of the marriage is instantly changed. It becomes a collision of desires. Trying to live up to your spouses expectations is difficult because you are made to be you.
It’s very easy for me to be me and it is very easy for you to be you. But it very difficult for you to be your spouse and it’s very difficult for your spouse to be you. It takes no effort to be you.
It is terribly stressful to live up to someone’s expectations and to conform to become someone else for the sake of keeping the peace. This is unhealthy compromise. Emotionally, mentally and physically you begin to unravel as your marriage unravels too.
Compromise says okay you do your part, I’ll do my part…the problem with this is that the focus of your concern is being committed to the marriage instead of the person you married. Marriage is the description, it’s not the goal.
The first thing to go in this type of marriage is romance trust and intimacy…when you settle for compromise your marriage has become a contract instead of a covenant. It’s just another way of managing your expectations. It’s not Biblical. What God intended for you to experience in marriage you will never experience because it’s all about your expectations being met.
As long as you are dumping your desires on each other and expectations you move your relationship to a debt and debtor relationship.
All of us can build a strong convincing case as to why our marriage isn’t working. Like feeling you are justified in feeling the way you do. There’s no margin for unconditional love when you are expecting your spouse to break even or be up to par. There’s no credit for loving your wife or husband. You are simply just meeting their expectations.
The potential for expressing, receiving and giving unconditional love goes straight out the door.
As long as you do everything right…everything is peaceful but there’s not a whole lot of love. And if you do something wrong you get some personalized attention which is usually negative. Nobody gets credit with negative attention, nobody feels loved either.
We don’t express gratitude to things that we have come to expect. As long as your desires become expectations your marriage will continue to erode and wear down.
Imagine for a moment where marriage would have no expectations. You could actually begin to satisfy those dreams and desires for your spouse instead of having to live up to expectations. This fuels intimacy and romance then marriage becomes a covenant instead of a contract just how God designed it to be.
What does your spouse owe you?
Men, what does your wife owe you?
Wife, what does your husband owe you?
Until you know these answers to these questions you will never have the marriage God intended you to have