Has anyone ever asked you for marriage advice? If so, what advice did you give? Marriage advice runs the gamut from improving communication skills to being vulnerable. And yet, there may be one piece of advice that trumps them all.
This piece of advice is one that has sustained couples in the past. It is something that our parents and grandparents were intimately familiar with. Here it is: when crises come – and they will – embrace them. Do not assume something is wrong. Definitely do not jump to conclusions.
Life Is Imperfect
Idealism is a wonderful trait to have. However, it doesn’t serve couples well when they find themselves in the middle of a marriage crisis. Idealism paints a picture of perfection in the heart and mind. The problem is that life is imperfect. Things go wrong. They always have and always will.
The young couple will have that first fight over money. While they are trying to figure out how to pay the credit card bill, the car is going to break down. One of them may lose a job. But what seems like a series of major disasters to them have been common to humanity since the very beginning.
Crises brought on by the imperfect nature of life are no reason to panic. They certainly are not reason to automatically assume something is wrong in your marriage. You are going to have bad days that result in fights and disagreements. So what? Pick up the pieces and move on.
People Are Imperfect
A bigger problem for many couples is the fact that people are just as imperfect as life itself. Not accepting this premise can create serious problems when one or both spouses maintain unrealistic expectations of the other.
We hear jokes all the time about guys leaving their underwear on the floor and their wives not being able to cook. We can laugh about such things at the comedy club on a Friday night. But how many couples argue about one another’s imperfections in the privacy of their own homes?
The funny thing is that we all have a tendency to believe that we’ve got it altogether. We think that the other person has to change to be like us. In reality, neither husband nor wife has fully arrived. Neither ever will. So expecting perfection from one another is both unrealistic and healthy.
How We Deal with Crisis Matters
Married couples experience crises because neither they nor life are perfect. What matters, according to the marriage counselors at Relationships & More, is how a couple deals with crises.
Relationships & More therapists routinely work with couples who do not know how to respond to crises in a healthy way. They have to teach their clients what to do, how to do it, and so forth. They also help clients understand that crises in a marriage are not necessarily indicative that something is broken. Crises are often just the course result of life itself.
Abandoning Ship Too Quickly
It is unfortunate that so many couples abandon ship too quickly. They hit the first crisis and automatically assume they are in trouble. A second crisis rocks the boat further. By the time they reach the third, they are in no mood to continue. So instead of figuring out how to make the marriage work, they abandon it.
Every couple faces crises. Every couple has to either learn how to navigate them or suffer the consequences of not doing so. Figure it out and your chances of enjoying a long and successful marriage are pretty good.