It is amazing to consider how it is that God made us to be so attracted to people who are different from us. In fact, most of our early attraction includes a decision to find people who are not like the parts of ourselves we least like. Back in the beginning of your relationship, the ways in which your spouse was different from you were interesting. You were curious and somewhat excited to discover why they are like that and to see how they are in other areas. You liked what was different than you in your future spouse.
While not all children of divorce fit these statistics, it is important to realize the uphill battle children of any age will face when their parents divorce. Before you decide to divorce, consider the impact on your children. Why not try one last effort to turn it around with one of our Marriage Intensives?
The Effect of Divorce On Children
We change over time and so does our marriage relationship. Our relationships go through cycles of moving closer to each other and seemingly growing more distant.
The relationship cycle is normal. It is how God built us. Neuroscientists tell us that our brain experiences a dump of neurochemicals when we begin to fall in love. The next 18 to 24 months as our relationship continues, we experience that loving feeling that is due to the “chemical cocktail of love”. But at some point in the first two years of our relationship, our brains chemical system automatically resets.
Douglas and Georgia’s marriage of eleven years was on the rocks. Douglas had been concerned about her inattention at home due to her lengthy texting conversations with someone at work. When she left it unattended, he glanced through her cell phone. What he found shook his understanding of their relationship. Lengthy racy messages with a coworker left him feeling hurt, angry and betrayed.
In the following weeks, Georgia admitted an emotional affair and begged for forgiveness. Douglas stated that he had forgiven her, but occasionally withdrew into anger and hurt. Anytime she picked up her phone to text her sister or mother, Douglas asked to see it.
Georgia called for a marriage intensive, stating, “He hasn’t really forgiven me or he’d let this go.” She felt frustrated that even thought she ended the relationship and asked for forgiveness, he kept bringing it up.
Throughout the day long marriage intensive, we helped them discover the differences between forgiveness, trust and reconciliation and began the process of creating a new future together.
When Trust Is Betrayed
Daniel and Sheri had drifted apart over the course of their seventeen year marriage. She felt deeply disconnected from him. Anytime she attempted to bring up an issue or resolve a problem with him, he distanced himself from her. He was hardly home longer than necessary as he dove into his career. Although he was a great provider and a good father to their three children, she felt alone.
Daniel was frustrated with his marriage. Almost every interaction with Sheri led to her belittling him. He felt like he was holding up his part in the relationship by providing so well for his family, but she had changed. Their early years were sexually enjoyable but he felt like she had turned the marriage bed into a monthly chore she endured.
When Hurricane Harvey dumped over forty inches of rain in their neighborhood, their home took on three feet of water. They had moved as much as they could upstairs but so much of their furniture and home was lost. Sitting in a distant relatives living room, turned bedroom, he told her that their marriage was a sham and he intended to file for divorce the coming week.
We are so thankful for those who’ve served our country, and freedom loving people all over the world, in freedom’s cause. While military personnel are away from home, spouses and children sacrifice in their absence. We are thankful this Veteran’s Day for the services of Military Personnel and Veterans and the sacrifices that their spouses and families have made. We also pause in remembrance of those who lost a loved one or those who were injured in their service. Thank you!
Sacrifices Continue for Post-911 Veterans
Barry packed a suitcase and announced at the garage door that he was moving out. “Go *&!@#$% yourself”, Stacie yelled back. He pulled out of the garage headed for the couch at the office with tears in his eyes as she sat balling on the living room couch.
It had all started over an argument about toothpaste. She wanted him to stop leaving toothpaste residue in the sink and to stop leaving his toothpaste tube on the counter. He shut down and stopped talking. With no response, she came at him louder and stronger to try to get confirmation from him. Less than minutes later, they were separated.
Stacie called to set up a Marriage Intensive. They had been to a marriage counselor before and had also been to their minister several times over their thirty years of marriage. Barry refused to try counseling again as it always ended up in them yelling at each other in the counselor’s office. Their minister helped them have more grace and forgiveness but the issues would just pop again in the next week. She wanted to try something different because she was scared this was finally the end.
It’s Not About The Toothpaste
Within the first couple of hours of the Marriage Intensive, we helped each person discover the real issue behind the toothpaste argument.
According to author Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success), whatever you practice for 10,000 hours will cause you to become an expert in it.
Most of us who are older understand this. When we first began our careers, we learned how to do a task. Over the years, as we performed the task over and over, we became one of the best.
In the break room, we sometimes hear someone say, “I could never do what you do.” We can do it quicker and better than anyone at our company. We get so good at it, we can do it when we are tired or sleepy. It is as if it happens naturally, by default. We know it is not true, because we have spent thousands and thousands of hours doing it.
How To Become An Expert
“The emerging picture from studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert- in anything,” writes the neurologist Daniel Levetin.
The more we do something, the better we get at it. Take your hobby, for example. The more you do it, the better you become. If you enjoy golf, tennis, scrapbooking, pinteresting, photography, or anything else, the more of it you do, the better you become. And the theory says that if you do it long enough, you will get to expert status.
Becoming An Expert In Our Relationship
Early in our marriage we used to dream about what life would be like when we were our age now. Our dream included writing and speaking. When we were not traveling, our dream included living on a huge ranch with a number of homes with relatives in them. And a small train and train track where grandchildren and elderly parents could easily visit with each other.
Dreaming about what your future will be like with your spouse has incredible power to help keep love alive, strengthen intimacy and deepen commitment. Knowing that you are in your spouse’s dream of their future is just as powerful. Knowing that you have someone in your life that loves you, wants you to achieve your dreams and helps you reach for your dreams is a great gift in life.
The Rubber Band and Busted Dreams