I once wrote this a post about three questions I use when marriages are in trouble. These are progressive questions and it’s vital they be answered in order.
The three questions are simple:
- Where do you want this marriage to go?
- How are you going to get there?
- Are you willing to pay the price?
You can read that full post HERE.
These sound like simple questions, but for a marriage in trouble they are very difficult to answer. One problem I see is that couples try to address questions 2 and 3 before answering question number 1. It almost never works.
Let me give you an example…this is about as real an example as I can offer, because I’ve seen the exact scenario dozens of times:
A wife decides she has had enough and announces she’s done with the marriage. This kicks the husband into action…he’s been clueless until now that there was a problem…and so he does everything he knows how to save the marriage…he begs…he agrees to counseling…he starts reading books…he talks to the pastor…he makes suggested changes…etc…etc….etc…
The problem is that none of those actions change the wife’s decision not to stay and the man grows frustrated. He thinks he’s done everything ask of him, so he’s tempted to give up…revert back to his old ways…and nothing changes…she grows even more frustrated…and the marriage never improves.
Why? Because question number 1 was never answered. The wife (or husband as the case may be) never decided what she really wants from the marriage. Until she (or he) does, every action is just a bandaid on the real wound. When a wife (or husband) decides she wants the marriage to work, she will be willing to make the necessary adjustments to get there.
Have you ever been stuck at step one? Do you see why the other steps won’t work until you answer the first?