Marriage Survival




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"In war, everyone wants to win.  In love; there are many losers.  Learn how to compromise, pray, and meditate; so that peace will be synonymous with strife (by changing the energy)."   Rev. Burns 



Every couple faces problems in their marriage that need to be resolved.  Early in marriage, many couples report problems with jealousy and in-laws.  Over time, communication and sex may become problem areas.  And money is a persistent area of concern for couples at all stages of marriage.  Differing values and perspectives can also produce conflict.

Problems themselves do not cause distress in marriage—it is how couples handle problems that matter.

Early in marriage, spouses often avoid discussing "hot'' issues because they do not want to upset their newly formed union.  Soon after marriage, many couples become busy with work, parenting, or other obligations.  The demands of the moment may seem more important than issues in the marriage.

Yet, building a marriage requires making many decisions and planning for the future. Having good communication skills—being able to discuss and work out plans together—helps planning go smoothly.

Discussing, negotiating, and arriving at agreements that are satisfying to both partners are crucial to keeping your marriage on the right track.



Couples risk big future problems when:

  • They are not able to handle conflicts constructively;

  • "Little" disagreements quickly become big "blow-ups";

  • Arguments, once started, are hard to stop;

  • Spouses often experience emotional conflicts;

  • Over the long term, spouses avoid dealing with significant issues;

  • Spouses often put down or insult one another; and

  • During conflicts, one spouse withdraws or avoids dealing with the issue.

When people withdraw or avoid dealing with disagreements, they usually are trying to avoid conflict, not their partners.  Also, when people keep bringing up issues, they usually are not trying to nag or pick a fight—they are trying to find a way to connect with their partners.

If you notice some of these danger signs in your own relationship, you should work on communication with your partner.  Set up a weekly "couples meeting" and agree on one issue to discuss.  To have good communication, both partners must feel emotionally safe ? not vulnerable or on the defensive.

A first step is to listen to your partner.  By listening carefully, you will go a long way toward improving your couple communication, even if your partner does nothing differently!

Be polite in talks with your partner.  Treat your partner as you would a very valued friend.  (Ironically, research shows that people are often more polite to a total stranger than to their spouse!)  When you have something negative or critical to say, find the most polite way to say it.

When you express your criticism politely, you increase the chances that your partner will actually hear what you have to say.


The above data is complied from The Colorado Handbook on Marriages



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Chapel of Love Weddings by Reverend Starlene Joyner Burns

MD Wedding Officiant & Maryland Wedding Minister