My 13 year old son recently asked me a question that many of you are probably familiar with. It’s the good old, “If you fill a glass half full of water, is the glass half full or half empty?” Naturally, I responded with the very wise, adult answer of, “well, it depends on your perspective.” His response was, “No Mommy. It’s completely full. It’s half full of water and half full of air.” I have to admit, I didn’t see that coming. It made me laugh. And, it made me think.
How many of us approach marriage that way? Do we view our marriage as either half full or half empty? Or, do we see it as completely full. The interesting thing is that in order to survive as a human being, you need both water and air. But, how you use it will determine whether you live or die. Pure water nourishes the body. Contaminated water brings disease and can kill. Clean air strengthens you. Polluted air weakens you.
To enjoy a successful marriage, there is a primary concept that is important to the strength of a relationship. Unless it is properly implemented, your union is destined for a bumpy ride and possibly even failure. It’s important to grasp the hold that this ideal has on the success of a relationship. Without a proper understanding of its significance, your marriage can suffer needlessly. It is the key to a seeing your relationship as a completely full glass, surviving on water and air. So, what is it?
Let me start by keeping it simple. Good communication is a requirement if you want your marriage to make it. However, there are so many synonyms I could use here. Effective, smart, or wise are all terms associated with communication that makes a marriage move toward success or longevity. While this article will outline some things that can make or break your marriage, I believe that at the root of each is the way each partner communicates with the other about them.
Things that could make your marriage great can end up breaking your marriage apart if not properly handled or discussed. Instead of bringing you closer in the relationship, they are a source of division. By using wise and effective communication in the following areas, you can keep your marriage running on clean air and pure water.
Starting a family is a blessing to most. When a husband and wife make a decision to have children, they are ready to share their love and start a new generation. However, if they aren’t on the same page on how to make their family work both inside and outside of the confines of their personal relationship, they could be setting themselves up for failure.
Whether it’s a blended family or starting a brand new one, having open communication about what they expect their family to look like and how they will go about getting there will be an important step in making the marriage great.
Business / Career
Starting a business or advancing career opportunities can be exciting. When we are doing what it takes to see a dream come to life, it has the potential to breathe life into our character and thus, our marriage. But, the adverse is also true. Whether you start a business together or one spouse is making significant career strides, communicating effectively and often will have significant impact. Making or breaking your marriage will depend heavily on whether both partners are on the same page and whether the end game will fulfill both of their needs.
Financial success can bring so much fun to a relationship. It eases worry, provides opportunity, and offers security. But what if one spouse values opportunity over security? Well, you have a problem. Discussing your financial goals and what it will take to achieve them is vital to keeping your marriage on track. But, let me add that talk is cheap when it comes to this hot button issue. Dollar for dollar, your success in achieving these goals can be seen on a daily basis. It can therefore be a source of encouragement or strife in the relationship.
Character change and growth in a relationship can be a wonderful thing when two people are growing together. Naturally, growth looks differently to different people. For some, they grow through hardship and suffering. Others grow through a desire to succeed. Others grow through spiritual guidance and a desire to be close to God.
It matters little how growth comes. The impact on a marriage and whether growth makes or breaks the relationship can be easily determined by the conversations that are being had. If one individual begins to strengthen their relationship with God and then unilaterally makes relationship changes and decisions, that’s a major set up for failure. However, talking it out with their partner and expressing why these changes are important to them is a wise step regardless of whether their spouse agrees with them or not.
The same could be said for any area of growth and how it comes about. Communicating the changes going on inside of your heart can help to bridge gaps that character change often brings in a relationship.
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So, how will you go about handling life as a married couple? When change arises through family, finances, career, or character development, it can serve your marriage in an amazing way and make it great. Your marriage can be fully nourished by pure water and have life breathed into it by clean air. On the other hand, these issues can also break the back of a marriage that isn’t fortified with wise and effective communication. Take the time necessary to learn how to talk to your husband or your wife. It will go a long way in making or breaking your marriage.
BMWK, how do you deal with these issues that can make or break your marriage?