What does a stable marriage look like? Steadfast, enduring, permanent? In today's marriage climate, those words don't seem to reflect many marriages I know. Couples are cheating, divorcing and falling apart and that's not even counting the celebrity marriages. When I said "I do," I said it hoping my marriage would endure. Yet, the longer I've been married the more I see how easy it is to loose your footing on the foundations of your marriage. Here are 6 ways that I know marriages can stumble.
We fail to create a stable marriage when we rely on our spouse to fulfill all of our needs.
It is unfair to think that our spouse will meet all of our needs. Being a guy who is trying to align his life with the Bible, I tend to go back to the story about Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were kicked out of paradise where all their needs were met. They were then cursed to work hard for everything they needed. Whether you believe that story or not, the truth remains that it takes a lot of work and more than one person to fill all the needs in our lives. We long for all of our needs to be met by one person, but that just isn't going to happen. Your spouse is human, not divine. Your spouse may be great but you can't expect them to be your Eden.
We fail to create a stable marriage when we think its all about ourselves.
To quote from Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life, "It's Not About You."
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But, we do make our marriages all about it. When it comes to relationships, we think only of ourselves and our needs. I admit I am REALLY selfish. I want my Beautiful Wife™ to take care of all of my wants and needs. But what if I shifted my perspective a bit and focused on serving her and actually asked questions about what she desires? When it comes to serving my wife, I am often inconsiderate and that causes problems. I have to remember that my marriage is not all about me.
We fail to create a stable marriage when we make the other person the center of our life.
We all love a good romantic movie. I'm a sucker for "The American President" with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. But life and marriage don't work like they do in the movies. You can't just run around always thinking about that special someone. I believe that marriage is the most important relationship we can have on this planet; however, if you make your mate the one and only center of your universe, your life is gonna be screwy. I said earlier that marriage is not all about you, but guess what? Marriage is not all about your spouse either. You can't be around your spouse every waking minute. That's just creepy. Give your spouse the space to grow and be who they are.