Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Threat to Marriage: #1

{Reflections from Family Life's Marriage Retreat}

Last week, I shared some reflections from our "Weekend to Remember" hosted by Family Life. They opened the seminar with "threats" to marriage. They shared what's gone wrong so we know how to make it right.

Threat #1: Difficult Adjustments

A. There is little in our culture today that encourages the difficult adjustments required to achieve maritatl oneness.

B. Contrasting backgrounds bring about painful adjustments for a couple in the following areas:
-Values, Vocations, Religion, Finances, Family History, Past Relationships, Painful Experiences

The speaker said"Don't let the pain of your past punish your present, paralyze your future, or pervert your purpose." -Clarence Schuler

We bring different backgrounds and different perceptions of how to "do marriage" into our relationship. A lot of problems arise when we view different as wrong. In other words, my way is right, and because your's is different from mine, it's wrong. Different doesn't mean wrong, it means different.

C. The following superficial motivations for marriage require shocking adjustments:
-Feelings, Sexual attraction/involvement, Cultural or family pressures, Escape

D. Differing expectations about marriage in the following areas result in unexpected adjustments:
-Roles, Expression of love, Sexual performance, Plans for the future

Threat #1 Result: When couples fail to make necessary adjustments to move toward oneness, the reult is isolation.

For us I think we had the most difficulty under "differing expectations". When we first got married, I really wanted to be a good wife. So I asked Santino "How many times a week would you want to have sex?"

The conversation went something like this:
Me: How many times a week would you want to have sex? What would be satisfying?
His answer: I don't know? I guess whenever I feel like it.
Me: What?! So I'm just supposed to be like laying around the house, ready and available, until you feel like it??! I was thinking you'd say like 2-3 times a week.

Okay, hello. Different expectations. I soon realized that me asking this question to him, was equivalent to him asking me "How many times a week do you want me to say "I love you"? My response would be: Um, whenever I feel like I need to be loved! I wouldn't answer "oh you know, just like 2-3 times a week."

We both had different motivations/expectations. I was viewing sex as a wifely duty, not as a way to love my husband and pursue marital oneness. Same for him, what if he viewed saying "I love you" as a duty, and not as way to pursue oneness?

Are you pursuing oneness in your marriage?

Are there things in your background (as listed above) that cause divisions or strife in your marriage?

Are there differing (and unspoken) expectations that are causing difficulty?

Are you willing to seek the LORD and ask your spouse the questions above?

How can you pursue oneness, allow your spouse to reveal expectations or unmet needs to better serve and problem solve with one another?

1 comment:

  1. Hahahaha soootl true Melissa! Oneness, true service, an overflow if love and devotion. Sex will be lifelong learning I'm sure!