Making Marriage Work

Navarre Beach 07.12.2012

After a week off, much needed I might add, I am getting back to writing.  Thanks for stopping back by <grin>.

Now that the obligatory greeting and explanation of a lack of recent posts are out of the way let us get back to Marriage Matters Monday.

What does it take to make a marriage work?  I can only speak from the experiences I have and the observations I make of successful marriages around me.  My experience is 23 years in my own marriage this coming August, so I think I have something to say.  Especially to young marriages.

When your marriage is young one of the first things that you face is how to deal with the differences between you and your spouse.  “But we are not so different,” you say. “We are like peas in a pod.”  Yeah, right — wrong.  You are different.  Genesis 2:24 says that “two shall become one.”  Two – 2 – dos – deux – two!  You are two people – two different people.  Peter (who had a wife) reminds us to “live with your wife in and understanding way . . . 1Pe 3:7.”  You and your spouse are not identical.  You are individuals who decided to join their lives and goals together to become one.

The differences are what attracted you in the first place.  If Amy were just like me, I am not sure I would like her very much.  Where I am weak, she is strong.  And where she considers herself weak, she finds strength in me.  Our differences work in cooperation to make better as a unit than we are as individuals.

What follows is a list of four different areas that I see as common areas of differences that we face as couples.  Knowing these areas of potential conflict helps to learn to use them for strength and not for destruction.

  1. Desires for and of Marriage.  This one needs dealing with early on, before the wedding day if possible.  People get married for different reasons and expect different things in marriage.  Talk this one out and learn how to express love to each other in your marriage.
  2. Emotional Expression.  You and your spouse will experience different emotions at the same event and when you have similar emotions you will express them differently.  For example, when you get frustrated you may become introspective and quiet, trying to work out your thoughts on your own.  However, your spouse may become outwardly reflective and want to discuss all their thoughts and talk through every frustration.  Learn each other and learn to work together.
  3. Detail Awareness.  This is a fun one for Amy and me.  Overall, she is detail oriented  and I am not.  When we travel, before we leave, she makes a list of all the items she needs to pack for each day and pack by this list,  I count the days we will be gone and grab what I think I might need.  She will pull out the road atlas and plan the route and even a few side trips on the way, I would pull out the driveway and go the direction I think and follow the signs (or not). {BTW, I must admit that  her planning is great and I appreciate her attention to detail that saves me from getting lost.}  At one ministry workshop we took at quick personality test that suggested she thinks this way, “Ready, Aim . .  . Aim again . . . check you Aim  . . . and wait are you aiming correctly . . . Fire!”  I on the other hand am “Ready, Fire, Fire, Fire again, Maybe I should Aim.”
  4. Life Goals.  Some set goals and work towards them.  Others have general goals and take life as it comes.  Some do what needs to be done at the moment what others do what needs to be done to make it to what they want to be.

Viva la difference

– Scott

One thought on “Making Marriage Work

  1. After 39 years: Say ‘failure is not an option’ from the beginning and work everything out. Be sure to give each other space. Debbie and I are a lot different too.

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