Every marriage experiences problems. No matter how long you have been married – whether one year or 40 years – you will have problems. Marital problems can be extremely intense and painful, and those hurts can cut deeply and last a very long time.
The pain caused by someone you care about as much as your spouse may be very difficult to deal with. Most of us have preconceived ideas about how our spouses should treat us. We expect mistreatment from other people, but not from our spouses. Just remember that as human beings, we often think, feel and behave in ways that are hurtful, even toward those we love. Flawed people treat each other in flawed ways; so no matter how much we care, we'll sometimes hurt each other.
Your marriage isn't doomed because you hurt one another, have difficulty communicating or have disagreements over important issues. Couples have been experiencing and solving problems on their own – beginning with Adam and Eve, and continuing to this day. The more experience and maturity a couple develops in a marriage, the more success gained in managing and solving problems. God created us with the ability to successfully manage relationships in a healthy and productive way.
Ask other couples what it took to build a strong and successful marriage. Rest assured that their strong marriages did not develop overnight. They experienced some of the same problems you have. One reason their marriages are strong today is that they were committed to the idea that no matter what obstacles they faced, they would learn to manage their problems and overcome crisis on an ongoing basis.
As you read these articles, please understand that the principles we're suggesting are not intended to deal with every problem that couples deal with in marriage. We especially don't want to imply that you should remain in a situation where your safety or the safety of your family is at risk. If you are in a relationship where your spouse displays any of the following signs, please seek help immediately:
- Physically abusive
- Displays symptoms of a significant mental illness
- Has a major chemical imbalance
- Threatens the safety of you or your children
These are not simplistic issues and cannot be dealt with by simply reading a book or talking to a friend. Seek professional help immediately. You can call your local mental health hotline or contact Focus on the Family for a referral to a Christian psychologist or psychiatrist in your specific area.