The joke goes…
There are three rings involved in every marriage: first the engagement ring, then the wedding ring, and finally the suffering.
Sadly, only a small percentage of married report being “happily” married.
I’m happily married now, but I couldn’t say that with my first marriage. I wasn’t a Christian then, and I certainly did not marry for the right reasons, but I made the common mistake — believing that we loved each other so much that everything else would work itself out. My marriage was a prison including physical abuse that I naively thought I could fix, but ultimately couldn’t. I did not have the benefit of this type of counsel before my marriage, nor did I have the Bible as my guide.
Hopefully, you won’t find yourself facing an abusive spouse, but what about other things that can come up? A friend of mine had a spouse who was a kleptomaniac. How do you handle that? In fact, what would you do if you were faced with the following? (And no saying that wouldn’t happen to you. If can’t help yourself, pretend you were talking to a friend who was dealing with these.)
What if your spouse…
- Constantly belittles you in front of your friends and complains about your personal habits in public?
- Refuses to help with the chores they agreed to do?
- Becomes disabled, cannot work and requires your assistance for basic functions?
- Has an accident leaving him/her in a vegetative state?
- Becomes an alcoholic who cannot function at work or at home?
- Spends more than you make which ultimately causes you to file bankruptcy?
- Develops a mental illness that causes them to be unsafe around your children?
- Has a sexually transmitted disease they did not disclose prior to marriage?
- Joins the military without consulting you?
- Quits their job to accept a job that requires relocation without consulting you?
- Has a physical ailment that causes sterility and refuses to adopt?
- Has a previously undisclosed genetically-transmitted deformity that could show up in your children?
- Is self-indulgent and spends large sums of money on extravagant clothes, body treatments, big toys or recreational activities?
- Is nasty to your family or refuses to attend family functions?
- Has an affair that they call off and you believe there is true repentance?
- Has an affair that they refuse to give up?
- Has secretly squirreled away $100,000.00 in an undisclosed bank account and shows no remorse for their deceit?
- Cannot function sexually?
- Commits a crime?
- Becomes addicted to pornography?
- Is clumsy, constantly breaking things, and ultimately burns down your house by accident?
- Becomes a workaholic and comes home after midnight regularly?
- Demands sexual activities that you find distasteful or unbiblical?
- Is only concerned with satisfying himself/herself sexually?
- Goes out in public in what you consider shameful dress?
- Regularly belches or passes gas in public unashamedly?
- Develops a gambling addiction causing you to lose your house and cars?
- Refuses to have sex with you?
- Commits a crime and goes to jail for ten years?
- Develops Alzheimer’s disease or has a brain injury and no longer recognizes you?
- Lies to you constantly?
- Had an undisclosed abortion prior to marriage that you now discover will prevent you from conceiving?
- Discovers he fathered a child outside marriage?
- Accidentally backs over a child in the driveway?
- Is physically abusive?
- Has been secretly taking birth control so she can further her career, even though she agreed to have children?
- Cannot keep a job, even though they agreed to be the breadwinner and you the at-home parent?
- Becomes abusive after developing dementia?
- Did not disclose that they had a sexual relationship with your best friend prior to marriage?
Does it matter if it’s intentional (willful disrespect or deceit), accidental, unavoidable or unintentional? Until death is a long time and things can happen.
Do you really mean “for worse?” What would you do? What would your fiance do?
Do you agree?
Come and join me for a look at the dynamics of marriage and the importance of being on the same page when you marry.