Dr. Wall mocks the idea that your spouse will never change.
We are born to trouble as sparks fly upward.
For this light and momentary trouble is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
2 Corinthians 4:17
If you marry in your twenties and live to your eighties, you could be married 60 years! Whoa. If you married at 20 and you are 80 today, that puts your marriage at 1950! You couldn’t have even begun to imagine the changes that would occur in the world over those 60 years back then, let alone the changes in yourself, or your spouse. You have no idea of the problems and challenges you’ll face or the joys you’ll experience. You can count on change, that’s for sure.
We’ve got all these cowards that give up their marriages at the smallest infraction.The average marriage that ends in divorce does so after 7 years. Seven years! That’s not even through one two-term President! Give me a break. Sixty years ago Harry Truman was President. Harry Truman? Who was he?
Don’t tell me your spouse will never change. If you tell me that, the one thing I don’t worry about is your spouse. What I worry about is your resentments.
Resentments are hard to change. Your spouse will change. No doubt about it. With you or without you. But if your resentments don’t change, then, yeah, your spouse will have to have near-saint status in order to change, because your resentments will keep your spouse in a box. It’s difficult being in a box.
If you want your spouse to change in a positive way: To flourish, grow, mature, and develop positive traits like kindness and love, or be more conversant, or fun, then treat your spouse this way!!! Show him or her by your example what it really means to be a loving spouse!
Criticize him. Withdraw from her. Scoff at her. Mock him. Be angry at her. Point out repeatedly how far he falls short of your expectations and how much he hurts you. Then check in ten years where you are at. Miseryville. Not my idea of a nice life. When you divorce, make sure you blame your spouse for not changing. You won’t have learned a thing and then you can take your resentments into your second marriage and use them to destroy that person’s life, too.
Stop it already!
But if you take the long view, the sickness and in health view, the ups and down view, the through thick or thin view, you can get through these problems you are facing today. They are light and momentary! Get some advice to get you through the dark days. Here’s a worldview that’s often ignored today:
A wise man seeks advice,
But a fool rushes head long to destruction.
There you go. You don’t know everything. If you can get another perspective, you can make some headway.
But what does stubbornness say? What does resentment tell you? If you’ve tried withdrawing from the conflict, then try withdrawing more! Don’t come home from work much. Lay on the couch watching TV in the basement for hours or work on those cars in the garage! Those excuses will work wonders! Or if you tried pointing out his faults and that didn’t work, then try to be more articulate in how you point out his faults. Use more emotion: Cry or get really mad. Let him know you are serious. Or if that doesn’t work, just shut down altogether. Let him know how you feel by treating him how he treats you. Or go on strike. Don’t pick up his stupid socks anymore. Test him. See how long it’ll take to pick them up. Just leave them there! She won’t be sexual with you enough? Here’s an idea: Pout. That’ll really turn her on. Or test her: Never touch her. See how long it takes for her to touch you!
It’s amazing the lies that anger and resentment will tell you to do to fix your marriage, when in actuality these ideas destroy it. So, hey, give us a call. We’ll help you look more positively towards the long view. We’ll plant the idea that it’s better to give than to receive.That turning the other cheek stops spousal war! That forgiveness is a better option than resentment. That reaching out in love and tenderness is a better alternative than criticism, scoffing or withdrawal.
If you could learn to do that you might actually last 50-60 years.
If not, you can divorce and then you’ll have lots and lots and lots of reasons to be resentful and mad at the world around. You will change at breakneck speed, but you’ll be lost in the sameness of self-pity and victimhood and become an expert in pushing everyone away. At an average of 7 years you could have a ton of spouses by the time you are eighty!
Better plan your funeral ahead of time. There won’t be anyone around to order your casket.
Check out Dr. Wall’s tribute to his mom and dad, who celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary in the summer of 2009:
A Tribute to a Long, Successful Marriage: Fritz and Carol Wall, Byron, Minnesota, Married Sixty Years, July 9, 2009
Recently, a couple Dr. Wall was working with, shared how they were able to turn around a failing marriage into a successful one. With their generous permission, he shares their success secrets so that others might benefit:
In this next blog Dr. Wall discusses the untapped gold mine of disagreements in marriage. Couples often fight when they disagree. But Dr. Wall explains that disagreeing in marriage is actually a major strength of marriage. He suggests that instead of fighting, we stop long enough to hear the wisdom our spouse is saying: