Marriage in a Pressure Cooker

Couple Facing ApartMarriage is under assault. And as in any conflict, knowing where your enemy will attack dramatically increases your chance of successfully withstanding that assault.

Yes, the institution of marriage is being challenged, but that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about YOUR marriage. And most of the “enemies” your marriage faces are very close to home. It’s possible to be so concerned with assaults from “out there” that we overlook the very real things that can weaken our marriage from the inside.

Check these seven points of vulnerability, and see how your marriage scores:

  1. Greener Pastures. At some point something or someone “outside” will seem attractive. And if you’re not careful, seeds of doubt about your own marriage can creep into your thoughts. “What if?” becomes “why not?” (You don’t want to go there!)
  2. Busy-ness. It happens to all of us. It takes an investment of time to be best friends, to understand each other, to work through “stuff”, and to nurture your togetherness. A busy lifestyle can gradually eat away at the time husband and wife have for each other.
  3. Children. Enjoying and raising children is so important! And also time-consuming. Husband and wife need to remember that the best gift you can give your children is a mother and father who love each other. Tending your marriage must even come before children.
  4. Money. Today’s economy presents tough financial challenges. The fatigue of working hard, the stress of real or perceived lack of money, and not having enough for what you need and/or want can push otherwise strong marriages to become distant and full of conflict.
  5. Unaddressed conflict. When left unanswered, seemingly small differences or points of conflict can become bricks in a wall between you, eventually destroying any intimacy or healthy connection. The only way to prevent that from happening is to deal with problems right away, every time.
  6. Lack of communication. If you rarely communicate – about things deeper than what’s for dinner – your marriage can deteriorate into nothing more than roommates. Heart-to-heart, emotional communication brings people closer.
  7. Lack of physical intimacy. OK, lack of sex! The quality of your sex life with your spouse may be a great indicator of the health of the rest of your relationship. Busyness and unaddressed conflict may play a big role. Address the issues keeping you apart physically, and you will come closer together emotionally.

Don’t let the internal enemies of your marriage get a foothold. And if they have already started to drive you apart, do something about it today!

Your turn: What has been the biggest danger your marriage has had to face? Can you do anything to prevent those internal factors from weakening your marriage in the future? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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