Is IF Undermining Your Marriage?

Is IF Undermining Your Marriage?

Perhaps you have felt this way about your marriage at one time or another?

“I wonder if I’ve married the right person?” “I wonder if we can work this out?” “I wonder if I will ever be happy in this marriage?” “I’m willing to hang in there for a while but I’m not sure if it was meant to be”

It makes sense to me that people ask these questions. Marriage almost always contains, at some time, very significant disappointment. Our spouse is not the knight in shining armor we remembered from dating.
After careful inspection, there is considerable tarnish on the armor that once shone with brilliant luster. What happened to that spouse who would speak and share their inner thoughts for endless hours? And those
breathless kisses that we were sure would never end? We live in a fallen world and life can be hard. Disappointments are inevitable and doubt can become a seed that grows. And as it grows, it saps the very strength so desperately needed to sustain and grow a mature secure marriage.

Overcoming marital struggles is often a Herculean task. It can be a battle requiring every ounce of perseverance you can muster and you don’t want to be overcome by doubt.

Who will you follow into battle? What coach or teacher motivated you to do more than you thought you could ever accomplish? Be careful that thisis not your battle cry: “Ok team, go on out there and try, but I’m not sure if you’re up to the job today. Try not to get your butts kicked. Ready?”

Remember the Robin Williams’ movie Good Will Hunting? Matt Damon played a tough South Boston youth who while working as a janitor for MIT, solved an impossible to solve calculus problem scribbled on the blackboard. What Damon didn’t know about the problem was that it had been thought to be impossible to solve. I propose the outcome would have been different had the problem been labeled “unsolvable”.

What if your marriage seems “unsolvable”? How will you use your talents and energy? Will it be a life or death struggle where you leave no stone unturned and try and explore every possible avenue determined to
succeed? Or will you spend endless hours pondering the pros and cons of divorce? The very peace and happiness you long for may be sabotaged by the distraction of energy that “if” requires.

You are not alone and there is hope. A study headed by University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite found that two-thirds of unhappily married spouses who stayed married reported they were happy five years later.Even among those who said they were very unhappy, 80% reported being happily married five years later.

Wake up each day praying for God to give you the strength to be the best spouse you can be and that He gives you hope and the strength to persevere. Read a book on how one spouse can change a marriage. (email me and I’ll send you a list). Reduce or eliminate conversations with people you know who won’t support and encourage your marriage. Find a mature happily married person of the same sex to be a mentor and keep you focused on what you need to do. Go to counseling to work on your part, with or without your spouse.

God is bigger than the problems in your marriage. He will help you solve the unsolvable. Fight negative “if” thinking. The breakthrough that you need may be around the next bend in the road.

Bill Rush

Bill Rush

Bill is a Licensed Psychologist and received his Ph.D. from The Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. and his Masters in Counseling and Psychotherapy from the Adler Graduate School. He was an intern and therapist at the Christian Recovery Center from 1999 to 2002. He is a member in good standing of the American Association of Christian Counselors.