4 Marital Weapons of Mass Destruction
People often enter into marriage armed with weapons of mass destruction. (We also possess tools to help our marriages flourish. Read about them in 4 Tools for a Happy Marriage.) These weapons will sink your marriage if you do not disarm them. Unfortunately, many people do not know the potential danger of these weapons. Many do not even know they carry such dangerous weapons into their marriages. As a result, they accidently discharge them with their spouses and sink their marriages. To avoid the dangers these weapons present to your marriage, you must become aware of them and disarm them. What are the weapons of mass destruction in your marriage? Let me briefly describe four.
- Disrespect can blow your marriage apart. Disrespect does not appear all that dangerous when seen one “tiny” incident at a time. However, these “tiny” incidents add up. Words and actions of disrespect, no matter how small, accumulate. Your spouse may ignore disrespectful words and actions for a time, even laugh them off. Still, those disrespectful words and actions are not forgotten. They lodge deep within your spouse’s heart and mind. Like a time bomb waiting to explode, they build up pressure and move forward in a silent countdown until…they blow your marriage to smithereens from the inside out. Disarm this dangerous weapon with respect.
- Passivity will destroy your marriage as well. A lack of involvement in the practical, day to day activities of nurturing and maintaining your marriage will leave an emotional emptiness in your spouse. As you give away your responsibility to care for your marriage, the emptiness in your spouse will grow larger. If you do not become actively involved in nurturing, caring for, and growing your marriage, the emptiness in your spouse will become a vacuum. Nothing can fill that vacuum but your active involvement in your marriage. If you do not step in and become actively involved, that vacuum will grow until your relationship implodes. The foundation of commitment and trust will disappear as the walls of love collapse inward into an empty abyss of darkness. Prevent this collapsing vacuum from destroying your relationship by becoming actively involved in your marriage.
- Resentment will also sink your marriage. Any anger you harbor against your spouse or parents will grow into resentment and bitterness. That resentment will distort your vision. It will interfere with your ability to see your spouse’s positive contributions. Instead of recognizing acts of love you will perceive self-seeking benefits. Instead of admiration you will see manipulation. Instead of cooperation you will see nagging demands. I know it’s hard to believe, but resentment and bitterness will distort your vision dramatically. Eventually, you will blindly fire this resentment at your spouse like a torpedo. You will repeatedly fire torpedoes of resentment into your spouse’s loving, admiring, collaborative efforts and sink your marriage in the deep waters of bitterness. There is only one way to disarm resentment—forgiveness (read 5 Steps for Forgiving Family).
- Pride will also devastate your marriage. Pride will render you insensitive to the needs of others. An exaggerated sense of your own self-importance blinds you to the needs of others, makes you disinterested in their pains and their joys, and leaves you insensitive to their needs and desires. You will trample on your spouse’s feelings while focused on your own needs and desires. You will crush opportunities to connect as you revel in your own sense of importance. And, as you do, your marriage will experience nuclear devastation. Avoid this nuclear devastation by humbly seeking your spouse’s best interest.
These four weapons of mass destruction can destroy your marriage if left armed and unattended. Take the time now to disarm them. Humble yourself. Forgive those you need to forgive. Get involved in your marriage. Show your spouse deep respect. In so doing, you will save your marriage and build a great, lasting joy!