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Why Do Marriages Fail? (Part 2)

I used to have this idea that when you got married, “becoming one flesh” meant that we needed to agree on everything or do everything together or even to like the same things. I was scared of marriage because to me, it meant that I would give up who I was for another person; I would lose my independence and individuality to my spouse. Soon after I got married and processed this with God, I understood what He meant. Two separate individuals become one flesh under the covenant of marriage. Gavin gets to grow individually with God and be himself and, likewise, I get to do the same. When we come together in marriage, we hold the same covenant and get to come before the Lord as a sanctified unit. Because I am still a separate individual, I have responsibility to the covenant of marriage to be responsible for myself. I am responsible for past family, friends, and old relationship wounds. I am responsible for seeking God’s healing over my life. I am responsible for forgiving any offense. All of that falls on me. And my husband is responsible for his own. So why do marriages fail?

Unawareness of Past Wounds

As parents, Gavin and I do the best we can with the information and healing we have received in our lives. We continue to grow and heal past family wounds. Hear me out: our parents are AMAZING and they are also not perfect. We, Gavin and I, are amazing parents and are also not perfect. Your parents are amazing and also not perfect. Healing past wounds often comes from healing wounds that you received from your parents even if your parents are amazing. It is so important to know and heal from past wounds.

Daughter on her dad's shoulders. Even if you have amazing parents, it is important to be self-aware of your past wounds and seek healing. To protect your marriage, it is important to heal past wounds. If you need help, please contact one of our Marietta therapists today.

What does that mean? Well, it means to acknowledge that some things that happened in the past were hurtful and allow God to heal us from the inside out. This is where Christian counseling excels and one of our Marietta therapists will guide you on how to practically do this.

What do I need to be aware of?

  • That childhood was not perfect. Maybe you were the middle child and your parents did not have the capacity to give you attention because you were so easy; maybe it means that your mom was critical or you had an emotionally absent parent; maybe it means your sibling relationship was competitive, or your dad never showed up to a game, or the way you were disciplined created perfectionist tendencies. The first step is to be humbled and aware that there is some work to do in your heart.

Why is awareness important?

  • You cannot heal what you do not see or feel. It’s like going to the doctor and saying ok something is wrong and I don’t know what or where but you should fix it. We do this to our spouses so many times. I had a big emotional wound from my dad and before marriage, I was looking for a man to fix it. In marriage, I realized that my mom (even though she was spectacular!) was very critical and this impacted the way I talked to myself and the way I talked to Gavin. If I had not become aware of it, my critical mindset would have destroyed the trust and safety in our relationship. Awareness is key to a successful marriage.

Fighting Bitterness in Marriage

Lie: Marriage is about compromise. What most people mean when they say this is that one person has to lose and compromise in order for the marriage to work. It does not work this way. Why? Because the person who ends up compromising the most is the person who is what we call “a people pleaser.” A people pleaser will do anything in order to not have conflict.

Old happy couple. In order to protect your marriage, it is important to fight bitterness. Always remember that you are on the same team. If you need help navigating marriage struggles, consider reaching out to our qualified Smyrna therapists.

Over time, research has found that this person becomes bitter because they do not have a voice in their marriage. Over time, this person starts reacting to their spouse as he/she wants control back and this creates chaos in marriage. Marriage is about partnership and being on the same team; if we truly believe this, then the only way to do this is by both spouses being heard and “winning” when it comes to decision making. Same as football, if the team loses then it means every player lost. A single player on the losing team cannot win because the team lost. Bitterness grows overtime and usually by the time people recognize it, it may be too late. It could be overcome, but people tend to become tired and will not put in the time and effort to heal and forgive.

Looking for Relief Instead of Healing

So many times we stop at awareness and think that changing our behavior will change everything. It does not. So many marriage counselors will do this and ultimately it does not work. You cannot do behavior modification for a heart issue; you will fail. Changing behavior creates relief for the time being until another reactive behavior moves into the previous behavior’s place. Heart healing brings healing. If you get a good marriage counselor, he/she will lead you through this. At Remain Connected we are not looking to manage people’s behavior; we are looking to partner with God and the clients for them to receive long lasting emotional healing.

You do not have to stay stuck in any of these patterns - there is healing and a thriving marriage for you, should you want it! We believe in healing and have seen so many marriages get healed and restored over the years. We have the same hope for yours. Hear me when I say this - It is not too late! If you are willing to look internally and take ownership of your personal healing, then change will come and you can step into freedom.

Happy couple. It is not too late to find joy in your marriage! Consider reaching out to an Smyrna therapist today. We would love to help!

Begin Working With A Therapist in Marietta, GA

If you are going through a hard time and are in need of counseling, please consider reaching out to a qualified therapist or attending one of our marriage intensives. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to offer support with in-person and online services from our Marietta, GA-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

  • Reach out to talk to a Marietta therapist.

  • Have your first appointment at Remain Connected.

  • Learn how to handle your marriage in a healthy way.

Other Services Offered at Remain Connected Counseling

Our team knows you may experience more than marriage issues. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including teen therapy, anxiety treatment, and EMDR therapy. In addition, we also offer life transitions therapy and depression counseling, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. By using online therapy, these services are available to anyone in Georgia. Learn more about our team of dedicated therapists and contact us for more information.

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