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Aubrey Hammack

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Marital Tune Up
By Aubrey Hammack   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, August 19, 2005
Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2003

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Tuning up your marriage.

The problem of divorce is a growing concern for our society, and no easy answers seem to be on the horizon. Several sources that I read placed the divorce rate at just over 50%. Of course, the percentages can deviate according to the population and / or other factors. Divorces are easier to obtain today than ever before. Many times we hear people who are planning for marraige, say something like, "Well, if it doesn't work out, we will just get a divorce." This attitude really needs to change about marriage. It appears that people ignore completely the fact that a successful marriage involves hard work.Some things certainly need to be changed if this divorce rate is to be lowered.

For starters, courses on marriage and the family need to be taught on the high school level in some capacity. Pre-marital counseling needs to be a prerequisite for a marriage license. These counseling sessions could be conducted by ministers and counselors. I realize that many churches offer these already. A minister friend of mine told me several years ago that he would not marry a couple without counseling with them first. I heard Dr. James Dobson say recently that he felt like a couple needed 8 to 10 counseling sessions before they were married. He also said on that same radio program something that has really stood out with me and that is the whole dating process is build on deception. We are trying to be something we are not. People need to get to know the real person before they marry. This takes time. A couple should date at least a year before considering taking that walk down the isle. More focus needs to be on staying in the marriage than getting out. People have to be made to realize that there are a lot of differences that are important and need to be discussed before they marry. However; after the wedding, there are things that can be done to help improve this union.

The human species is basically a self-centered one. It is obvious when two people unite that there has to be some give and take on both sides. We all want what we want. When we are married and plan to share our life with someone, we have to realize that to get some of what we want in the marriage, we must give and do things sometimes that we don't like doing. It is a trade off. I will do something for you, if you will in return do something for me. We must realize that we grow at different rates in a marriage and we have to make adjustments for those. One of the biggest problems that marriage partners seem to face is a fear of intimacy. It seems that because of our selfishness, we are reluctant to trust each other completely. I feel it is beause we are afraid we will be so consumed by another person, that all of our individuality will be given up. Finances constitute another area that reeks havoc with marriages. It seems to take 10 to 15 years for a couple to get to the point that finances loosen up so to speak. One of the problems that complicates this area is that our affluent society has taught us not to delay gratification. We won't to acquire and get everything right now. Children from previous marriages often have trouble fitting in to a mixed marriage. They are already confused because many times they have been made to choose between two parents. The new marriage partners themselves are confused as to who should discipline and often limits and consequences are not set for these children. Thus another problem with untold ramifications presents itself.

We live in an extremely fast-paced world. It is becoming even more difficult for couples to find quality time for each other. Sometimes we carry work problems home with us. Here some unwind time is needed in order to get ourselves ready to communicate with each other. A few years ago marriage retreats were quite popular. You don't have to have a counselor to have these. Couples need to spend time on a weekly basis with each other doing things they enjoy and yes without the children.

It is not any wonder then that when some of the problems we've mentioned today surface, the one area in a marriage that is the very symbol of intimacy sees some fall out effects. We are talking about the bedroom. Most people don't realize what an impact some of these problems have your sexual relationship. Boundary lines between and with families are another source of discontent. Some people have never learned how to respect boundaries themselves and just can't seem to pull this off.

These are a few of many areas that can cause marital discord. There are several ways in which to react when confronted with some of these issues. They can be ignored, swept under the rug, or we can recognize them for what they are and meet them head on. This can lead to getting help to make the marriage better or getting a divorce.

You will make a decision. I've always heard that we get out of something only what we put in. I firmly believe that marriages are always in need of some maintenance work. A marriage is like an automobile. It needs a tune-up periodically or it will quit working. Have you had your tune-up lately? 

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Reviewed by Lisa Young (Reader) 9/19/2003
Whew, interesting read. I wish you could come to my house and tune up my marriage, as I am ready to give up. What you say is true, there should be counseling before and during. Living with another individual you must respect who must also respect you is not easy. Thanks, Lisa

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