Drama Free Marriage? It may not sound possible but If you do this ONE thing, you can reduce drama dramatically. As the divorce rate continues to hover at the 50% mark in America, I have thought a lot about what causes problems in marriages. Why don’t people stay together? I’ve asked pastors, counselors, and therapists what is the secret to keeping a marriage together.? There is one word. Also you will keep drama to a minimum if you avoid using ONE WORD. We’ll look at both of these words in this post.
Let’s start with the blueprints from God, he’s the architect and gives us the foundation for marriage. I read recently about a neighborhood outside of Chicago. It was a nice neighborhood, and well-kept for a few years. Before long there were major potholes and the foundations of the homes began caving in. They called in a team of inspectors and discovered that the entire neighborhood had been built on a garbage dump; built on trash. God’s foundation for marriage will keep it strong. Where do we find the foundation? Genesis 2:24.
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (NIV)
The foundation is to leave everything from your past. Leave, not forget, not ignore but leave them sufficiently to form a new and lasting bond with your spouse. A strong foundation is found in the new bond. Two people becoming one.
Leaving literally means to break your dependence. It’s to cut the emotional umbilical cord. Your relationship to your parents changes the moment you’re married. It’s like a brand new baby cannot live if the cord is not cut from the mother. A marriage cannot make it if you don’t psychologically leave your parents.
This is not about geography. You can live next door to your parents, see them everyday and be psychologically independent. Or they can live 3000 miles away on the other side of the country and be dependent upon them.
When Niki was in Physical Theraphy School, her last semester and right before we got married she had an affiliation at Brackenridge in Austin and moved in with her parents. They butted heads. She was an adult but felt her mom and Dad were treating her like a child. She said when we got married, “Your stuck with me because I’m not moving back in with them!” I’m so grateful because she didn’t have any place to go when we have had hard times and it forced us to work it out! It forced us to work on our problems.
What is God saying? He’s saying that your partner should not have to compete with your parents. It’s unrealistic. It puts all kinds of pressure on a marriage and it makes wives feel insecure and it makes husbands feel inadequate. So let go of parents.
Also let go of your past relationships. Contrary to the Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias song, “FORGET all the girls you’ve loved before!” You’ve got to let go of them. Focus on this relationship. If you don’t let go of other people, you will fall into the trap of comparison.
Lastly let go of the problems from your past. Your marriage is going to have enough problems on its own. You don’t need to drag in ones from the past to help it out. Most people, I’ve discovered, are totally unaware of the excess baggage they bring into a relationship when they get married; baggage such as hurt, guilt, grief, and un-forgiveness. Unresolved anger that we carry into a marriage from the past, we tend to take out on our spouses. We emotionally vomit on them. And they say, “What did I do?”
There’s only one solution. Confession. Forgiveness. We ask forgiveness from God, we accept forgiveness from God and then we offer forgiveness to those who’ve hurt us.
“A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife.” The word “be united” is translated from the Hebrew word “dawbak” it literally means to glue together, to paste together, to adhere to. It means to stick, to super glue. Like in welding. The bond becomes stronger than the two pieces you welded together. That’s what marriage is to be.
To be united is an act of commitment. It means to say “I do”. The problem with our marriages is that so many people who say “I do” — don’t. Instead of marrying for better and for worse, people ought to just marry for good. “I do” — a commitment.
Commitment, it’s the ONE thing to do to reduce Drama in your marriage.
What is God saying? God is saying good marriages are a result of choice, not chance. They don’t just happen. They’re the result of choices you make. Good marriages are a result of commitments, not convenience.
Some of you feel “I am trapped! And I don’t know how to get out of this relationship. I’ve got more than I bargained for — false advertising! What I thought I was getting was not what I got.” You think you’re stuck. What do you do? There’s nothing more hopeless than feeling like you’re trapped in a relationship that you cannot get out of. What are you going to do?
The first commitment we made and this is what uniting means — we will never, never, never divorce. We said we’ll never, never divorce. It was not an option for us.
Some of you are already divorced. I’m not talking about your past. Your past is over. I’m talking about if you’re in a relationship now or if you ever plan to be in a relationship. If I ever marry again or if I’m married right now, I will not divorce.
The other commitment that we made was this: We will do whatever it takes and whatever it costs for as long as it takes to make this marriage work. Whatever it takes, no matter what it costs. That’s what it means to be united. Christian counseling? OK
If you’re struggling in your marriage why not take one of our Marriage Growth Groups? There is one in Jarrell on Monday nights, click here to sign up, scroll down to Intimate Encounters One in Taylor on Friday nights, click here to sign up, scroll down to Intimate Encounters . And Marriage workshops on Saturdays, click here to sign up and scroll down to Keeping Marriages Healthy After you take a marriage workshop you are eligible for free counseling. That’s right, The Ridge Fellowship offers FREE counseling from an intern that is about to be licensed.
God says, Keep your commitments. Even if it’s painful. You will never build a great marriage unless you throw out the option of divorce from your mind. As long as divorce is a possibility back in the back of your mind, you’ll never build a great marriage. It is always too easy to walk out than it is to rebuild a relationship. It’s always easier to run, than it is to rebuild. But it is always more rewarding to rebuild than it is to run.
Niki and I said, “Divorce is not an option for us.” Murder, maybe! But divorce no. We locked the escape hatch on our marriage the night we got married and threw away the key. We said, “I don’t care how miserable we are we’re going to make this marriage work.”
Because it was not an option, I made a promise to God and so did you. When you got married you didn’t make a promise to a pastor. You didn’t make a promise to a judge. You said before God, “Till death do us part.”
One of the reasons why people don’t keep commitments is because they don’t know the meaning of commitment. Commitment really means: Being willing to be unhappy until we work it out. That may be a while, even years later. Commitment means I’m going to stay with you as long as it takes because I made a commitment to God and regardless of what you choose to do, I’m going to be committed.
The greatest enemy of commitment is what’s called “the myth of incompatibility.” That is the most unscientific word which has absolutely no basis in reality. Two quotes from two of the top eminent psychiatrists in the world, Paul Tournier, the Swiss psychiatrist who wrote the book Understand Each Other. He says, “So called incompatibility is a myth invented by jurists in order to make a plea for divorce. It is likewise just a common excuse for people to hide their failings. Misunderstandings and mistakes can be corrected if there is a willingness to do so.” Incompatibility is really just selfishness and stubbornness. That’s all it is. “We’re not compatible.” That’s saying I’m not willing to change. I’m not willing to give. You’re not willing to give. We’re both selfish and we’re both stubborn.
Dr. Paul Popenough, the director of the Institute of Family Relationships. He’s written dozens of books on marriage. He says, “I don’t believe incompatibility exists. Almost any two people are comparable if they try to be.”
Our marriage is what we make it to be. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. The grass is greener where you water it! We learned that if we would take all the energy complaining about our marriage and all the energy comparing our marriage to others and focus on growing our marriage, it got a whole lot better.
Here are two ideas to reduce drama drastically in your marriage.
- One word to never use: Never use the “D” word. What’s the D word? “Divorce.” If you want a successful marriage you’ve got to eliminate that word from your vocabulary. Don’t use it as a threats. When you get mad you can’t bring up, “I’ll walk out” or “I’m leaving”. That word is off limits if you want a great marriage.
2. Stay committed and verbalize your commitment often, “I will be here for you, I am committed to you.” If you cant do that yet start with “I love you” often.
I pray your marriage is blessed and free from Drama