Divorce is happening far too often. And it
isnt any longer "out there." Its in here among
us, in our churches. Marriages that start out with high hopes and
wonderful goals somehow over a period of time come unglued. Take
a few moments and check the warning signals for your life.
Tom sat in my office trying to keep his tears
in check. "Looking back," he said, "I can see where
Mary was trying to tell me our marriage was in trouble, but I wasnt
listening. I was too involved in my work, and now Im afraid
its too late."
Over the years I have heard numerous variations
of Toms story and pain. Marriages seldom fall apart overnight.
Almost always there are warning signals if youre willing to
Check the following statements that apply to
your marriage. (Names are fictitious.)
1. You want more time away from
your spouse, even when you are in the same house.
share fewer feelings with your spouse because he/she wouldnt
understand or care.
and your spouse rarely touch except sexually.
have become very critical of your spouse to her/him,
to your children, to others, and/or to yourself.
are carrying resentments toward your spouse. Things that take
place in the present add to things that you havent resolved
from the past.
think of former romantic relationships and feel you would have
been happier if you had married one of them.
dont make plans to spend special time with your spouse.
The two of you mostly sit at home watching TV, reading, etc.
complain about your marriage to your friends and/or a parent.
arent keeping yourself up, i.e., by exercise, cleanliness,
dressing attractively, or controlling your weight.
make hurtful "jokes" about your spouse in front of
him/her when others are present.
you and your spouse do talk, the subjects are usually money
and children and who is going to do what around the house.
and more you find yourself attracted to members of the opposite
compare your spouse to others of the opposite sex, and others
usually come out ahead.
your spouse tries to talk to you about something that is wrong,
you repeatedly tune him/her out.
cope with life with compulsive behaviors such as over-eating,
overworking, over involvement in church activities (or alcohol,
customarily share your deepest feelings with a close friend
rather than with your spouse.
rarely compliment or show appreciation to your spouse.
of your free time is spent in activities that dont include
and your spouse bicker and argue over small things, or your
"discussions" frequently escalate into major fights.
feel your spouse should do things your way. You try to change
your spouse into whom you want him/her to be.
avoid being alone with your spouse. You are more comfortable
when others are present.
have sexual fantasies about other members of the opposite sex.
spend considerable time and share your feelings with a member
of the opposite sex.
you and your spouse fight, on occasion one (or both of you)
throw things, break things, or slaps or hits the other.
dress or behave in ways to attract the opposite sex.
Add your check marks. If you checked:
1-3 items You have a strong marriage.
Work on the areas you checked.
4-8 items Your marriage is showing signs
of deterioration. Pay attention and work on those areas that need
9-12 items Your marriage is in trouble.
You are on your way to a dead marriage. Do something now or your
marriage will most likely slip into the next category. Find a good
marriage therapist, attend marriage seminars or read books about
strengthening your marriage. Let your spouse know that saving your
marriage is very important to you.
13+ items Your marriage is in CRISIS!
You may still be able to save it, but it will take a huge commitment
and a lot of hard work. Your marriage is dying and only emergency
care will save its life. Get help immediately or it will be too
God instituted the loving, nurturing institution
of marriage during creation week, which indicates how important
the marriage relationship is to Him. He will do everything possible,
in partnership with you, to strengthen or restore your marriage.
Take your struggling or broken relationship to Him. He cares!
If you checked items 12 and/or 22-25, your marriage
is in the Crisis category.