Lack of communication is death to marriage.
Have you ever seen a marriage of 25-35 years simply dissolve? “How could that be?” we ask.
Have you ever looked at your own marriage and thought that you’ve “arrived” in your marriage – and that you would coast into the twilight years of marriage in bliss, only to wake up and notice that this just is NOT the case?
Many years ago (I was 9 months pregnant with baby #1) we were at a marriage conference. The speakers (a husband and wife in their late 60s with 4 grown children) said,
“The day you think you have ARRIVED in the area of communication is the day you declare death on your marriage.”
Now, I know that sounds harsh, but the reality is that in communication, we must ALWAYS be growing!
Our lives are continually changing: our circumstances change, our ideas change, our understanding of scripture deepens (and sometimes changes), our fears and insecurities change. We need to be continually talking to our spouses to share those changes – otherwise we simply begin a long deliberate process of growing apart.
Some of our changes can include
Our hormones are doing crazy things and we get more persnickety than we used to years ago. Or we might be in a perpetual state of exhaustion from various reasons – not the least of which is often caring for teenagers, young children AND elderly parents/in-laws. Or our lives have gotten very busy AWAY FROM THE HOME with driving children to practices, games, classes and parents to doctor’s appointments, to pick up prescriptions, etc. and this takes a HUGE emotional toll on us.
Perhaps our husbands are struggling with their significance…they may have worked for years and lost a job due to the economy or they are struggling to keep it when younger (and cheaper) labor is waiting in the wings. Or it could be that time with our husbands is getting fewer and farther in between because life is pushing us on all sides and we FORGET that it is us against the world, not us against one another.
Maybe we are dealing with money issues, sometimes even more so than when the children were younger because of college, driving, insurance, rising gas and food prices (and our children are eating TONS of food), taxes rising as we lose dependents (and we didn’t think about this) even though they still live at home. Or the god of the internet is pulling and tugging from all over to snatch our attention, affection and free time.
Yes, we have less patience for stupidity and we are seeing it more than we ever did before (usually more in those we love) – not that it IS more, just that our lack of patience focuses in on it more than before. (And by the way, the converse is true…they are seeing more of OUR stupidity as well!) And we would just rather take a 3 month holiday – maybe with our husbands or maybe not – maybe just to have NO ONE call our names for a couple of days.
There are so many things in this time of life that are seeking to rip our hearts and affection away from this MAGNIFICENT calling God has given to us: the calling of being a helpmate.
But we are not stuck here! We have an opportunity to change a downward spiral we may see beginning to spin out of control. We can, TODAY, make some changes on how we communicate with our husbands and, more importantly, how we VIEW our husbands. (more next week)