Christian Marriage: How to Destory your Marriage (Part 1 of 4).
Greetings. If you went to see your heart doctor, and he told you some of the highest risk factors that can lead to a heart attack, would you continue to do some of the behaviors in order to possibly have a heart attack in the future? For example, if you smoke, have chest pain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight, lots of stress, do you think it might be a good idea to adjust your lifestyle to ensure you don’t have a heart attack?
The same can be said of a marriage. What if you knew what are the top four behaviors that may lead to a troubled and possible divorce, would you still continue to do them? Sure, having a heart attack can be very life threatening but I would argue going through a divorce is also very stressful and difficult not only for you, but for all members of the family. Are their cures for a heart attack? Maybe. Are their cures for a troubled marriage? Yes. But do you want to prevent it?
So the first factor that each spouse needs to stop in order to ensure a marriage surviving is criticism. When each spouse begins the process of stopping and reducing the frequency of criticism in the marriage, then the marriage may have a chance and can improve. Stopping criticism in your marriage is just like stopping smoking for your heart. Get rid of the cigarettes and get rid of criticism. Both with improve your health.
Criticism has to do with attacking the person and not addressing the problem. Let’s say your spouse overspends and does not live within a financial budget. Instead of you complaining about the financial difficulty you two are in, you now shift from complaining to criticizing the person and instead of attacking the problem you now attack the person.
In general, criticism involves attacking someone’s personality or character, rather than a specific behavior, and usually starts with blame. When you start off your sentence with, “You always do this or that,” you are moving the focus from addressing the problem to attacking the person. Attacking the person with criticism usually has a hidden agenda: I am out to stop you or change you or think my words can fix what you are doing wrong. In other words, you are doing something wrong, stop doing this wrong, and move from wrong to right.
The problem continues when spouses are out to get the other person and are looking for evidence to justify why they are out to criticize in order correct the wrong. In many ways, trust goes out the window, suspiciousness has entered, and now two spouses are walking on eggshells looking at each other’s behavior in order to catch the other person doing something wrong. So now love has been exchanged for competition and correction.
When criticism comes in, trust goes out, and each spouse starts to take their stance like two boxers in a ring. When each spouse allows criticism to continue over weeks and months and years, then each spouse will stop trusting, try to fix or change the other person, and the marriage begins to crumble.
So make a list of problems in the marriage and say to your spouse: We have a problem and how are we going to address these problems. Work together to fix problems and stop trying to fix your spouse. When two people are fixing problems, then problems can go away and trust and love will grow. If you need help with this, please give me a call. Thanks for reading.