Monday, October 4, 2010

Marriage Monday: Surviving a Marriage Crisis

Every marriage, even the perfect ones, goes through a period of crisis. But surviving the rough road on the marriage journey makes it challenging for the couples. The rougher the road a couple has passed through, the stronger the relationship becomes. So how do we survive the challenges during marriage crisis? 
The love triangle
We handle different situations in different ways. But generally, if both couples allow God to be in the marriage triangle, they will survive even the toughest situation because God instituted marriage as a lifetime commitment where problems and differences have to be worked out.
Choosing the right person/s to consult and involve in times of marriage crisis
While it is extemely important especially for women to have a confidante at the time of marriage crisis, Harold Sala forewarns of  being careful in opening up our marital problems. At the height of our marriage crisis, I deliberately chose friends whose opinions I highly regarded and trusted.  Even if the going gets tough, have control over the situation. Do not be overwhelmed and break out your bothering condition to just anyone. Instead of helping you analyze the situation and offer the most appropriate solution, they may end up ruining you.
Weighing differing and contradicting opinions and fighting for your choice
It's true that we can't think well if we are overwhelmed by a debilitating situation. But giving ourselves a moment of calmness will help us weigh opposing opinions. Even our own family may give contradicting opinions but don't panic. Some family members may just see your own side being related with you by blood so they sympathize with you but they may miss the bigger picture of the issues involved. Weigh the contradicting opinions and be strong enough to fight for your decision amidst criticisms.
Seeing a clearer picture by writing down on a piece of paper
One aunt who has been to so many marriage crises suggested writing on a piece of paper the reasons why we have to stay together or not. We were able to see a clearer picture and we both chose the positive side of it as it brought out so many strong reasons making a longer list to stay in our relationship. By doing so, our perspective changed and the hurt and confused feeling was replaced with a thinking and reasoning mind.

Forgiving, giving another chance and compromising
I've seen a number of strong marriages collapsing later mostly caused by betrayal.  So is it worth giving  your erring partner another chance? Sure, especially if you love each other and recognize your own failures or weaknesses why such a betrayal happened.
But even if you're completely innocent, forgive and give your erring partner another chance. However, to avoid repetition of the same mistake, come up with a compromise agreement. You deserve to be respected after making some amends to your own failures and weaknesses and both your willingness to work out the mess together. You may be reminded of the hurt again and again while coping but it's part of the healing process.

Reading books for enlightenment and guidance
It's quite helpful reading books on marriage such as Intended for Pleasure by Christian authors Ed and Gaye Wheat, The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye who offer great help for couples equipping them how to handle marriage crises. John Gray's Men from Mars and Women from Venus helped me  and hubby a lot in understanding the differences between men and women such as ways of communicating and coping mechanisms. Women generally want to vent out their feeling right away while men have the tendency to cave in so communication isn't possible right there and then when a problem arises.  Making Marriage Work by Dr. Harold Sala discusses how we can improve our marriage by following God's plan not only sexually but also other aspects such  as communication, raising children, financial security, etc.  

Standing nose to nose, getting aired and cleared up
Finally, Biddulph advises that "for a marriage to survive, it is sometimes necessary to stand nose to nose... This is called 'truth time' - the time when differences that have been building up get aired and cleared".

You may want to read more interesting posts on "Surviving a marriage crisis" and related marital issues at Chrysalis where thinking women meet every first Monday of the month.  


21st Century Housewife© said...

Thank you for sharing your experience and some excellent advice for anyone in that situation as well. Every marriage has its ups and downs and I agree that couples are often encouraged to part too quickly. It is wonderful that you and your husband worked through your crisis together.

Jenni said...

What a beautifully written post. It's so true that the harder the road, the stronger the couple.
I just posted my first ever "Marriage Monday" post today. I'm looking forward to connecting with other women. Click on over to my blog if you would like.
Thanks for sharing!

nice A said...

@21st Century Housewife, couples are encouraged too quickly to part because it's usually more thrilling for them to experience a new relationship dumping the partner so easily for a new one. And it's easier to find a new partner than to fix a problem. That is the effect of making divorce available causing so many troubles in the society especially for estranged children following the same pattern they have seen from their parents. Their problem-solving skills in marriage are not developed causing more problems.
Thanks for your visit. I'll visit you back.

nice A said...

@Jenni, welcome to Marriage Monday! You will surely enjoy this meme.

Denise said...

Great advice.

e-Mom said...

Very wise words indeed. Thank your for sharing your excellent advice, and some of the specifics of your marriage crisis. No marriage is without difficulties. But once through them as you said, we are so much stronger. That's because we've learned what we were missing, and we can move forward from a higher place of understanding.

Thank you for joining us for Marriage Monday today, Nice A!

Blesings, e-Mom ღ

nice A said...

@Denise, thank you.

@ e-Mom, I love to support the women's ministry and I see you being so enthusiastic about it that's why I'm joining you. It's worth sharing our personal experiences for others to learn from us.
Hugs and blessings, too, great host of Marriage Monday.

Jona said...

this topic also led me to write about the love triangle. i also believe that we need to choose people whom we open up to coz there are some with destructive advices. nice one nice A!

A Time To Weep and A Time To Laugh
A Cord Of Three Strands

nice A said...

@Jona, a cord of 3 strands can't easily be broken. I'll check out your post later. Thanks for stopping by.

Julie Arduini said...

There are so many treasures here! I'm going to re read to make sure I get it all. The books you mention are amazing, I recommend the same ones.

Amazing post.

nice A said...

@Julie, thanks for finding treasures here. I will also go find your treasures.

Constance said...

When we marry, we are all wrapped up in the fairytale believing life will always be this way! Once the shine starts rubbing off and the nitty-grittiness of life sets in, we wonder if we have bitten off more than we can chew! THEN, when real crisis' occur, we REALLY second guess ourselves! Our commitment to God sometimes is the only thing that carries us through! Commitment stays when feelings tell you to run! Granted, I'm not talking about life-threatening situations, in that case it's a different story!

Men really do process things differently than us women do. We HAVE to talk something literally to death whereas they internalize everything. In our marriage I am the emotional maniac and Dave is the cool voice of reason and logic. He adds calmness to a situation and I add the sensitivity. God intends for us to complement one another.

You are right, it's the tough times that we manage to get through that bind us tighter together. In some cases, it's those things more than the happy, breezy times that strengthen and bind us together.

nice A said...

@Connie, thank you so much for your words of wisdom. Exactly, God intends men and women to complement each other otherwise, the union is not necessary.

Faith said...

this was excellent! thanks for sharing all of this. I think I'll check out some of those resources you have listed....God bless you!

nice A said...

@faith, sure, check them out. It's worthwhile reading them. God bless you, too.

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