Monday, 7 May 2012

I Never Realized...

Even though I’m a guy, I have never been overly impressed with the observational powers of my gender.  I’m not talking about the bottle of milk that is in the front of the refrigerator, staring us in the face, which we don’t see.  I’m not even talking about the more crucial sighting like the fact that our wives may have had half their hair cut off and streaked and we don’t notice – okay that would be bad.  I am talking about the husband who thinks his marriage is better than average and his wife is all but out the door.

 Here are some possible clues that not all is well in Camelot:

·       Overeating

·       Depression

·       Drug dependencies (alcohol, prescription drugs, etc.)

·       Over spending

·       Reduction in intimacy

·       Spending considerable time on the computer

·       Overly impatient with the children

·       Unusual mood swings

·       She has put your dog and golf clubs up for sale on eBay

There are other causes for some of these manifestations, i.e. bereavement, loss of job, illness, etc.  Your wife needs you to be understanding, supportive and caring.  She needs to know that in sickness and in health you are there for her.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is just listen, and don’t try to “solve” the problem.  She is not a problem to be solved.  Facing a difficult time together can strengthen your marriage if you are together in it.

On the other hand if these changes in behavior are associated with your marriage - wake up!  Take action and take it now.
I’m a marriage counselor and I’m not big on sending you to counseling.  The failure rate for marriage counseling is high because the couple either waits too long before they go, and/or the counselor does not specialize in marriage counseling, and/or one of you is convinced it is “primarily” the other person’s fault and if they would change things would be fine.

To combat the negative odds of counseling being of help do the following:

1.    Go immediately, the sooner the better.  When cracks began to show up in year two and you wait to year twenty-two to address them you’ll probably fail.

2.    Seek out a counselor, preferably a Biblical counselor, who specializes in marriage.

3.    You are the biggest problem in your marriage!  Until you can enter counseling with the humility to say, “I am the biggest problem in my marriage” you will most likely make the negative statistics column.  (By the way your wife must be willing to accept that she is the biggest problem in your marriage.)  When you both enter counseling with the understanding that each of you needs to change marvelous things can happen.

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