Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

upset coupleEd and Jane were having marital problems.  Jane was at the point of walking out. Ed rarely spoke to her. This once loving couple was now thinking divorce.

So what happened?

Like too many couples, Ed and Jane waited too long to go to marital therapy for help.

Jane feels she tried to raise issues, but Ed was not interested. He had a history of avoiding tough topics.

Ed didn’t like the way Jane talked to him but never brought up the issue. He often felt overwhelmed by her intensity. Instead, he allowed resentment to build up and push him away emotionally.

Both spouses were turning away from each other rather than towards–a dangerous move as it eventually leads to emotional distance. And emotional distance is the number one predictor of divorce.

So here are three take-aways for all couples: 

1) When you are upset, deal with the issues immediately and don’t allow them to simmer and grow. As painful or difficult as it is to talk about problems, do it.

2) If the problems are bigger than you can solve, see a marital therapist. One of the reasons couples don’t work things out when they do go to counseling is because they wait too long. By the time they see a therapist, they have emotionally checked out. Marital therapy is highly effective when couples go early and ready to work.

3) When problems come, turn towards each other (and God) and not away. Turning away creates distance and also tempts you towards unhealthy emotional connections with others, or engage in unhealthy behavior.

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