The Best Way to Save a Marriage

Photo by  Ryan Holloway  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ryan Holloway on Unsplash

A few years ago, I found out through a Facebook message that a good friend in college had just gotten divorced.   I was shocked. Divorce.  After only a few years of marriage. 

I had seen first hand this couple beautifully work through so many challenges together while dating.  I had sat at their wedding.  And now, all that relationship.  All that love.  Over.

Why does have to happen in our society, again and again?

Photo by  Asa Rodger  on  Unsplash

Photo by Asa Rodger on Unsplash

Collateral Damage

My parents, married for 16 years, divorced when I was eight years old. 

I still remember going to school in the coming months after my dad moved out, feeling completely completely numb and detached from my heart.  The pain must've been too great for me to bare.

When marriages crumble, the fall out ripples big.  Communities are shaken.  Kids are often affected.  The aftershocks can last generations.

Photo by  Rob Potter  on  Unsplash

Photo by Rob Potter on Unsplash

Why Marriages Fail

In the case of my parents and many other divorced couples, the root cause is that one or both individuals did not have the heart capacity to understand and care for the other. 

Each individual brings to a marriage residual emotional pain and 'pressure points' from their growing up.  When a spouse purposely (or mistakenly) steps on this pain, it can cause the other to react, and create a cycle of wounding.

Many marriage counselors focus on the content of conflicts and learning good communication strategies, as opposed to focusing on the core issues underneath.

Photo by  freestocks.org  on  Unsplash

Breaking the Cycle

In order to save a marriage and break the cycle of wounding, both individuals must learn to care for, understand, and accept the emotional pain of the other.

Try this with your spouse.  Sit him/her down, make eye contact, and say 'I want to care about your heart.  I want to take 15 minutes right now to listen to you.  Could you share anything you want, and I will simply listen to you and accept you?'

More often than not, I bet your spouse will start to cry, especially if they are longing for emotional love from you.

You see, as couples, we are meant to help heal each other, and not simply repeat the cycle of wounding each other.  The best marriages are built on understanding and acceptance, and to save a marriage, you need to know how to connect to care.

Austin McRobbie