One Big Reason Marriages Fail

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Jan 13, 2003, 11:50

"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:31,32 (NKJV)

All too often, people marry before acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to take care of their mates: to meet their emotional, mental, and physical needs. One of the ironies in our society is that a person has to have four years of training to receive a plumber's license, but absolutely no training is required for a marriage license. Our educational system doesn't even require communication courses basic to the meaningful development of any relationship. I was certainly among the untrained when I married. It has taken my wife, Norma, and my friends many years to help me become a more loving husband.

It is typical for a man to marry without knowing how to talk to his wife. Some men don't even know that their wives need intimate communication. Often a man is completely unaware of his wife's sensitive nature. They don't realize that a woman's home, children, family, and friends to become an interwoven part of her identity.

Many women step into marriage equally handicapped. They don't understand that admiration is to a man what romance is to a woman. They don't understand that man generally relies on reasoning rather than intuitive sensitivity.

One of the great psychiatrists of our time, Dr. Karl Menninger, said that when our basic needs are not met, we move into one of two directions. We either withdraw in "flight" or turn to "fight." The woman who takes the "flight" approach is certainly not escaping her problems. As she runs, she begins to doubt her self-worth. On the other hand, if she takes the "fight" approach, she may become an unattractive nag to her husband.

I believe the ideal marriage evolves when the wife concentrates on meeting her husband's needs and the husband concentrates on meeting his wife's needs. That combination builds the lasting qualities of a giving relationship.

**If you would like to improve communication skills with your spouse, take a look at our bookstore, located in this web site. There are several books and videos in which to choose.

Copyright 2003 Smalley Relationship Center

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