3. Erosion Warning! Following the Map to a Healthy Marriage
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“Christian Pre Marriage Counseling – Erosion Warning! Following the Map to a Health Marriage” www.marriage101online.com
Summary: Strategies for recognizing and managing erosion in the marriage relationship.
Day after day, year after year, wind and waves beat against the pristine coastline. Most people who travel the route are too busy enjoying the view to notice the effects of the forces of nature until the road signs appear. WARNING: EROSION! What was once a beautiful sanctuary is now a place of danger.
The same is true of marriage. The inevitable disappointments of life can erode even the best relationships. If only a map existed to help couples recognize and avoid the slippery slope.
Good news – it does! In this video, Gary and Barb Rosberg address the issue of natural erosion in marriage. Their Marital Map offers an indispensible picture of the downward spiral from simple disappointment and discouragement to emotional and physical divorce. Together, they serve as seasoned guides, providing intentional strategies for preventing a serious fall or climbing back to the summit of marital hope.
Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg
Gary Rosberg: The natural course of marriage leads to something called entropy. Entropy is a natural erosion that occurs in marriage. So we’ve got to be purposeful. We’ve got to have a plan. We've got to go into marriage with some type of a strategy and intentionality so that we can put marriage in its proper perspective and learn over the course of a lifetime how to love one another well.
Barb Rosberg: And one way that you can assess this is to really examine what you both need in order to have a great marriage. Take a look at the marital map. What you see before you is a husband and a wife, a bride and a groom, and it’s the dream marriage. It’s why we got married in the first place. There’s open communication, safety, and trust. It’s truly a great marriage. But when disappointments happen, and they always do – maybe your mate doesn’t do something that pleases you – then we can get very disappointed. And when we don't know how to work through those in an effective way, then we can slide down to discouragement in marriage. Discouragement is a word that we, as women, use way too often. We won’t use it with our husbands, but we do use it with our girlfriends. When those discouragements pile up, and we don’t work through them in a healthy manner, then we’ll continue to slide down that marital mountain.
GR: Then we go into distance. And when there's emotional distance in a marriage, it's as if there's a wall of self-protection that goes up between a husband and a wife. If we don’t take care of things at that stage, then we get to disconnect. Disconnect is where he is doing his thing, she is doing her thing, but they are really living two parallel lives. And then you can move toward something called discord. Discord is when other people begin to see that you’ve got a conflict in your marriage. And this is where there are arguments, there’s overt conflict – the kids pick it up, your in-laws pick it up, your neighbors can even pick it up. And if you don't take care of it at that stage, you get to the stage of emotional divorce. And emotional divorce is one step away from the courthouse where you step into an actual, physical divorce. So this marriage map gives you, if you will, a birds-eye view - if a husband looks at it, wife looks at it - where he is, where she is. And it can give you an idea, and a strategy, to begin to move back up that marital map one step at a time.
BR: And it doesn't matter where you're at on the marital map; you can work to get to that place where there is great hope in your marriage. Whether you’re pre-married or early in marriage, prevent that entropy that can happen by being intentional. If you’ve been married a while - maybe you’re struggling - you can, by being intentional, work to get back to that marital dream.
From “Marriage 101: Back to the Basics” DVD series