Believe it or not, marital communication is not the problem child of your marriage. Communication is just fighting back against a whole gang of other troublemakers who are dragging your marriage into a fight. Kelly Flanagan author of The Marriage Manifesto: Turning Your World Upside Down shares these threats:
1. We marry people because we like who they are. Plan for your spouse to change. Don’t marry who they are now or your vision of them. Get behind, and enjoy the journey of them becoming their ideal self.
2. Marriage doesn’t take away our loneliness. Loneliness is part of the human condition. Marriage can’t undo that. Don’t blame your partner or go looking for someone new. “Marriage is intended to be a place where two humans share the experience of loneliness.” Let it be until the loneliness dissipates.
3. Shame baggage. Yes, we all carry it. When your spouse triggers it, don’t blame them and then demand and expect them to fix it. Go to therapy, heal your own shame.
4. Ego wins. Take walls down. You don’t need your ego to shield you from the one you love. Embrace vulnerability and grace.
5. Life is messy and marriage is life. Do the mess of life together, without blaming and shaming.
6. Empathy is hard. Don’t withhold empathy, as it only leads to an unproductive and “lifelong empathy standoff.” People mess up. Love anyway. Love first.
7. We care more about our children than about the one who helped us make them. Balancing spouse and kids is “about the constant, on-going work of finding the balance.”
8. The hidden power struggle. Men usually want less connection. Women usually want more. It’s ongoing. Keep negotiating. Always.
9. We don’t know how to maintain interest in one thing or one person anymore. We’re too busy, too distracted. Too easily bored. And it is imperative for any marriage to learn to focus, to “make our life a meditation upon the person we love.”
Dealing with these troublemakers takes a lifetime.
That lifetime of effort and refining molds you and your love into better partners with a stronger marriage.
It’s worth the fight.
Read the full article here: The 9 Most Overlooked Threats to a Marriage
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