Monday, August 27, 2007

Marriage Monday

When couples come into my office for marriage counseling my first job is to determine why they are really there. Many times one spouse has dragged the other one in kicking and screaming…they really don’t want to be there, but have conceded because they want their marriage to work. Others come into counseling saying that they want to work on their marriage, but in reality, they just want me to help them convince their spouse that they are right about whatever disagreement they are having. Sometimes couples come in stating very clearly that they are only there because they want to be able to say they tried everything to save their marriage so that they don’t feel guilt when they divorce.

No matter what their initial reason for entering counseling I ask a series of questions that help all of us determine where the marriage is and if the marriage can be saved. It would help if all couples asked themselves these questions from time to time. I have found that if both people are willing to work there is no marriage that is beyond help, but it takes dedication and hard work.

If you are having difficulty in your marriage, or even if you are not, sit down with your spouse and talk about these four questions:

1. On a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being “the worst marriage you have ever seen,” and 10 being “marital bliss,” how would you rate your current relationship?
2. On the same scale, where would you like your marriage to be?
3. What would need to change in your relationship to move it from where it is to where you would like it to be?
4. On another 1-10 scale, with 1 being “I am ready to get out,” and 10 being “I’ll do whatever it takes” …how willing are you to invest what it takes to change your marriage?

We often buy into the fairy tale that “they got married and lived happily ever after.” Don’t fall for it!! They call it a fairy tale for a reason. Marriage is work and an investment. We only get out of it what we are willing to invest!


Theepiphany said...

Great post. As a newlywed, I am still thrilled and positive about how wonderful marriage can be. My husband and I have close family, however, who are facing serious difficulties in marriages and it's devastating to watch. You have given very important questions for every couple to think about.

Jeremy said...

20 years ago when I went to get married my boss who had been married and divorced five times told me not to take it too seriously. His advice was if it didn't work out I could always get a divorce and try again.

I told him that the word divorce was not in my vocabulary and that my fiancée and I agreed that that word was one that we neither comprehended nor would ever use.

We have had to both give and take a divorce has never even been an option. Realizing this has led us to work out our difficulties as soon as possible rather than letting them fester. It is also led both of us to be giving in our relationship realizing that the two of us to become one flesh and we must both work towards what is good as a union, or we will indeed be very miserable for the rest of our lives.

It is very sad when people do not adopt that same philosophy.

Anonymous said...

I confess!!! Been married for ten years. Hubby and I started couple therapy just last week and I saw myself and hubby (if I may speak on his behalf) so clearly in the scenario you talk about ...won't say which one though LOL!!! Love the questions - will try them out.

Thanks - I'll be back
Prayerful Mom