The most dangerous threat to marriage might not be what you’d expect…
Before my husband and I married eleven years ago, we went through pre-marital counseling. We discussed some of the major things most couples fight about…things like money, sex, religious beliefs, dreams for our future, ideas about children, etc.
Keith and I were *mostly* on the same page about these big things, so I assumed our marriage would be great.
When I thought about threats to our marriage, I assumed we were in the clear.
No addictions. Check. Similar basic religious beliefs. Check. Similar thoughts about money. Check. Willingness to compromise about non-essentials. Check. Steps taken to prevent affairs. Check.
What I didn’t realize then (but know now) is that sometimes, the greatest threat to marriage isn’t what you’d expect.
The greatest threat to marriage might not be pornography or an affair or opposing belief systems.
Instead, the greatest threat to marriage might be you.
The times when my marriage has struggled the most, it’s been primarily because of one thing: my own selfishness.
I want something. When I don’t get whatever it is I want, I grow discontent. Maybe I start looking elsewhere to fill that void. Maybe I allow myself to become angry or bitter toward my husband because he’s not meeting that need. Or maybe I clam up and pull back from our relationship.
Sure, I can blame it on him. He’s not filling my love tank or speaking my love language. He’s never home. He’s checked out when he is here. Or whatever the case may be.
I can blame it on our circumstances. We were young when we got married. We’re different people now. We don’t want the same things. We’re too different.
But the reality is, I chose to marry him. And he chose to marry me.
When we made that choice, we promised to stop thinking only about ourselves and start thinking about the other person too.
In essence, we said there was no more ME. Now, there’s US.
The greatest threat to a marriage is when we stop focusing on US and start focusing on ME.
When we focus on ourselves, we stop serving our spouses.
When we focus on ourselves, we start thinking about all the things he isn’t doing for us anymore.
We we focus on ourselves, discontentment grows and joy suffocates.
People get divorced for a lot of reasons: affairs, inability to communicate, unhappiness, addictions, opposing belief systems, money issues, problems they couldn’t overcome, and a whole host of other reason.
But many of these reasons-if you really think about it-all come back to selfishness.
The greatest threat to marriage isn’t some outside force we’re unable to control. Many times, it’s the person staring back at us in the mirror.
Have you found this to be true in your marriage or in marriages you see? Why or why not?
This post is part of the Marriage & Motherhood Mondays series. To see others in this series, simply click the image below.