WHEN A MARRIAGE GOES BAD

 Abraham Lincoln once said,”Marriage is nether heaven nor hell. It is simply purgatory.” …But an engaged couple might express an opposing viewpoint. No one enters into marriage with the expectation that their lives together will be mediocre. They aren’t expecting a tolerable coexistence. Rather, they enter matrimony with the anticipation that a lifetime of wedded “bliss” awaits them.

No marriage is ideal or easy. Perhaps Adam and Eve came the closet. (He didn’t have to hear about all of the other men she could have married–and she didn’t have to hear about how his mother cooked better). But even their blissful moments of marriage in the Garden of Eden were cut short by the intrusion of sin.

We live in a a fallen world where the infection of sin affects all of us, individually and as married couples. The ideal marriage that was hoped for on the wedding day can’t be found after the honeymoon. Why? Bcos neither the husband nor the wife is ideal to begin with. Each one is flawed, with his or her own idiosyncrasies. Immature neurotic traits do not evaporate when the wedding ring is slipped on the finger; they are actually magnified by the immature neurotic behaviors of the other spouse.

When a marriage begins to disintegrate, there is friction between the spouses. That dislocation of the relationship is always difficult to endure, but both individuals know that it will happen. The often unexpected and unarticulated pain of marriage, difficulties comes from a sense of disillusionment. At some point, each spouse will come to the shocking realization that their romantic dreams of matrimonial bliss are totally realistic. The wife is dejected bcos she had envisioned a continued courtship with lasting, loving attention from the man she married; this is how just a dashed. The husband is disconsolate bcos he has not received the love and respect he had assumed would always be forthcoming from his bride; the stark reality of it all hurts.

Where is God in all this? Can He be found? Or are those who suffer from a broken marriage relegated to the position of second class citizens in God’s eyes? The answer is a resounding “NO!”

Where a marriage is irrevocably broken or still hanging together by a thread, it is important to realize that a person’s needs will never be completely fulfilled by a spouse. That is an unreasonable and impossible expectation. While a loving spouse can be supportive in many ways, only God can provide you with  a sense of worth and wholeness. Don’t expect a spouse to provide what is available only from God. This means that all is not lost for the husband and wife after the marriage has terminated. God is still there, even if the spouse is not.

For those struggling marriages that still have a chance, the focus of each spouse needs to be outwardly directed. Instead of seeking personal fulfillment, the primary goal should be the fulfillment of the other spouse’s needs. Of course, this won’t be easy if the other spouse is uncooperative and not interested in reciprocating. But here again, God is the solution. He can provide the strength to show love to someone who is acting in an unloving manner.

IT IS OFTEN HEARD IN A WEDDING CEREMONY THAT A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE IS NOT A UNION OF TWO PEOPLE BUT RATHER A UNION OF THREE: A MAN, A WOMAN, AND GOD. THAT IS TRUE. God bless you

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