Be honest, how much of your relationship do you expect to work like your favorite romantic movie? Do you secretly long for your spouse to complete your sentences, read your mind, agree with your perspectives and suggestions, readily make love to you on demand and just plain get you? Think about it. Wouldn’t life work best if the love of your life simply did what you want the way you want without you asking?
But low and behold your perfectly reasonable calculations don’t seem to add up. You awaken from your day dream only to discover that your spouse thinks differently and (actually thinks your idea(s) suck on occasion), sometimes thinks you are crazy and can’t seem to figure you out, falls asleep when you are feeling your most attractive and to top it off, passes an excessive amount of gas in their sleep! Your head spins and your world is off kilter because marriage doesn’t automatically mean you are in sync. It is at this time that you feel like 1+1=3!
Discovery of the seemingly “new math” equation in a young marriage is often experienced as the end of the world or worst yet in a mature marriage it is experienced as a prison sentence! It is not uncommon for young couples to begin to question their decision to get married and for older couples to question why they didn’t leave. This leads to statements cloaked in hyper-spiritualism such as “Maybe I just missed God”! Or “The enemy has infiltrated his/her heart” or our favorite, “My ministry is under attack”! These and many more statements originate from the fear that your perfect image is not going to ever be perfect. This fear tries to make sense of the new math but is unsuccessful because what you never accounted for is the fact that you did not marry yourself. Therefore, there was no way for another “real” person to meet your imagined sense of the perfect spouse.
While it can be true that we can miss certain signs and warnings that you should be aware of and it is true that the enemy certainly seeks to destroy anyone committed to doing the will of God, might there be something else at play here? Is it possible that your real relationships failure to add up to your imagined one is a part of God’s plan for your maturation? Perhaps the real or perceived resistance is for your benefit?
If you find yourself at any point in your marriage experiencing what we’ve described, take some time and consider these questions:
- Why am I upset that my spouse doesn’t agree with my ideas? Is my pride injured or do Ia believe they are being unreasonable?
- Could he/she be revealing a blind spot in my thinking/perspective that I missed or, could he/she be providing additional options for consideration that may lead to greater success?
- Though I like to believe I communicate clearly and effectively, could God be coming after my ego or could I work on communicating differently?
- Could God be dealing with the self-centeredness in me when I become frustrated with my spouse for getting some much-needed rest rather than making love to mea on demand?
- Am I fostering an environment of security and comfort that encourages intimacy or am I more concerned about getting my sexual needs met?
Be willing to push past the easy answer that absolves you from taking responsibility and allow The Most High to show you the condition of your heart and produce the necessary changes in you. Even if 1+1=3, with God guiding your marriage it will be the right answer!
Dale and Venessa Harewood