Saturday, September 21, 2013

Marital Problems

A young couple a few doors down is going through some problems, and since they never read my blog that I know of, I think it’s safe for me to spout off a bit.

Let’s be honest, if we’re married, we’ve had ‘em (or will). The first thing couples usually start fighting about is money. In fact most first divorces are over money. Besides having different priorities with money, a couple often simply doesn’t have enough to go around when they’re first married. I was married once before many years ago. We divorced over money. I was completely nonchalant about it (though I was a very hard worker) and she was completely obsessed (but was a hard worker, too). It was kind of hard to make those two extremes meet in the middle.

My second wife and I are much more versatile; we can fuss about ANYTHING! Still, for the first few years of our marriage, most of our fights were over her son. She was an over-protective and overly controlling widow when I married her, and I understand much of what made her that way. Surprisingly to some, it was usually ME trying to get HER to ease up on the kid! I told her on more than one occasion that if she DIDN’T ease up on him, that he would eventually walk out the door and never look back. And that’s basically what he’s done. I can’t exactly blame him, but he’s cheating himself now, just like she cheated him then.

It should come as no surprise then that fighting over STEPCHILDREN is the cause of most SECOND divorces. Most folks are overly protective of their own children and overly critical of the spouse’s kids. Another surprisingly common, though seldom mentioned situation, though, is where one spouse wants the other to love and support and take responsibility for his or her children, but thinks the spouse should then have no say in the raising of those kids. That’s not only unfair, but unrealistic.

Simply living under the same roof makes those children that spouse’s business. If that spouse learns to love that child as his or her own, being separated from any decision-making about the child is doubly unfair. And certainly, if a spouse helps to financially support a child, they should automatically have some say in that child’s welfare.

What most parents refuse to consider, is that they took a vow before God to love and honor their spouse and stay together for life. The only exceptions that God allows for divorce is adultery, and having an unsaved spouse who doesn’t want you. Understand: you are not married to your children! Yes, you should love them and take good care of them, but God designed them to grow up and move out. Don’t wreck your marriage fussing over control issues or everyone will suffer, including the children.

Most people, even Christians, refuse to accept this, But God comes first, your SPOUSE comes next, and your children come THIRD. Everything else just has to be sifted out by circumstances. If you’re currently having any such problems right now, please give it a lot of thought and a WHOLE LOT OF PRAYER. © 2013


Sixbears said...

Wise words this morning.

I've been lucky to marry well and even luckier to keep her.

I've seen couples sacrifice everything for the kids and then divorce. There was no time or energy left for the marriage.

Communication and a sense of humor go a long way.

Gorges Smythe said...

Thanks, Sixbears; I've gained most of my knowledge the hard way. Congratulations on picking a winner and keeping her.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Absolutely! We never sided with our daughter, in fact when the school would call we would always agree with them and then took a united stand when addressed her behavior. When she went way beyond acceptable behavior and left home, dropped out, etc. we said OK. When she wanted to come home we said no, you won't ruin our lives over your behavior. It took her getting pregnant to turn around, come home, finish school, get a job and follow the rules. Now she is delightful. She went from the town's hated teen to someone that volunteers for every charity, school, church and joins non profit organizations. Be of one mind and know that your spouse is the most important thing over kids and money and things.

Gorges Smythe said...

You obviously did the right thing, Kathy!

buddeshepherd said...

The Bulleit Distilling Company (Its the Mark of a Gentleman) and George Jones have been inspirations for me.
Repression is good for the soul!
That and the only good marital advice I've ever been given. Pray for your spouse every day. (In a nice way)

Humble wife said...

Excellent post! My mom remarried when I was three~my dad was killed in Vietnam two months before I was born.

The marriage was extremely hard on both of them as he had a daughter, mom had six kids, and then they had one together. He was a terrible person to raise kids. He was mean, abusive and should have never agreed to the marriage. When he went off on one of us, mom went after his daughter. Results after he died when I was 12 was a torn apart family with children that moved far away and had little contact with each other. Some of us, through God, His Son, and amazing spouses have overcome. Others have battled demons and have never overcome...all because of what you said. If mom and my step dad had placed God first, then all things could have been possible.

Now I share not making light of my childhood, as I see what a family should have been through my children, and what a dad should have been through their eyes. I see how a husband is with my Bill, and work daily on being the wife I was designed to be for him.

It took my mother's death for the kids to reunite. I say kids but the oldest two are 52, down to the ours baby that is nearing 39. We kind of ignored each other...childhood abuse in our case kind of left us hollow and blaming ourselves for not standing~even though we were kids. As adults we are slowly healing, and are able to see that the marriage lacked the basic premise you shared. If only, if only~but through it all God has remained faithful.

And I live today with Romans 8:28 as my anchor~ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose.

I went off a bit from marriage but in truth~a failing marriage not aligned with God impacts people decades later-in my case four decades later. I cannot undo what happened but can become through our Amazing Creator. Funny how simple things would be if we could all just realize this.

Thanks for a place for my voice from childhood to be heard~as it was never heard then.


Gorges Smythe said...

I could be wrong, Hw, but I suspect most adults don't have the slightest idea the damage they do to their kids sometimes.

JaneofVirginia said...

This is an incredibly wise post. I was 40 when I finally learned to put God first, my husband second and my kids third. I think before that I had my kids first, my husband second, my job and the religion of medicine third, and God on Sundays and when friends and neighbors needed me.
I also think that one of the best recipes to a decent marriage is to be evenly yoked. Life is much tougher when each partner has a different faith or different ideas about money, religious practice or children. What attracts us to one another might be our differences, but what keeps us together are the ways in which we are the same, our common ground.

Gorges Smythe said...

I think the majority of us have to learn things the hard way, Jane.

Chickenmom said...

Hubby and I must have done somethnig right - it's been 48 years already!
Amazing really, we are so different.

Gorges Smythe said...

Well congratulations Cm; you've got my wife and I beat by 18 years. If her first husband had lived they would have been married 50 years this December.