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Marital Meltdowns: How to Overcome Marriage Problems and Prevent Divorce

It’s not often that my wife joins me on stage but this past Sunday I invited her to help me talk about how to prevent marital meltdowns. We had a doozy of a meltdown a few years back and thankfully we found our way to overcome it and other marriage problems we had.¬†Below is the video of our talk along with the outline and a few notes.

I hope you find some help from our experiences. As I said in the video below, this is our story. It’s not THE STANDARD that all people should follow. So take it for what it’s worth and apply to your relationships what makes sense for you.

Jesus and the apostles call us to healthy relationships.

There was often disunity in the early church. The New Testament writers constantly called believers to love and unity. This was a sign of true faith. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians dealt with the problem of disunity and called them to “make every effort” to restore the unity of the Spirit.

Aha moments that helped us overcome our marriage problems:

We learned:

    • it was okay, and even good, to be different from each other. (Not wrong, just different). We found that we different in these four area:
      • Gender: Lisa is more relational and I’m more oriented toward achievement.
      • Love Language: Lisa needs touch and I need quality time.
      • Family experience: Lisa came from a laid back team oriented fun household. Me, not so much.
      • Personality: I am a BIG picture person (spare me the details) while Lisa is a small picture person who LOVES details.
    • to not assume the worst intentions and get defensive before we understand one another. We learned that we would often read too much into words and facial expressions.
    • that we had different ideas of a successful marriage and needed to agree on a common goal. My achievement orientation left Lisa feeling emotionally abandoned. This caused a huge meltdown in our marriage that took hard work to recover from.

Divorce-Proofing Our Marriage

We committed to:

    1. never divorce but always find a way back to unity. This commitment put Lisa’s feet to the fire when she lost trust in me. It forced her to trust God to work a miracle.
    2. keep God first in our personal lives as well as in marriage. To give up on marriage meant being hypocrites as believers. Putting God first forced us to deal with our stuff until we could find unity.
    3. work on the marriage.
    4. work on personal growth.
    5. create touchpoints that would bring us together. Touch points are the daily, weekly, and annual things we do to make sure we are spending quality time together.

If you know someone who might find help with their marriage problems from our video, please share it with them or through social media. My book STUCK also deals with many of the issues that we touched on in our talk, looking at anger and how to forgive what feels unforgivable.

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